Where there’s a dire need, there’s a way
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Ever since Republicans unleashed the term “Trumpcare” on our confused and vulnerable nation, the possibility of losing health care coverage has become all too real for millions of Americans.
Women, in particular, should be worried, considering the new bill aims to cut Planned Parenthood’s funding and repeal the contraception mandate, which made birth control free for millions of American women. According to the National Women's Law Center, about 55 million women currently get birth control without having to pay out-of-pocket costs. Our throats are shriveled from having to repeat this so many damn times, but women use birth control for a wide range of reasons beyond preventing pregnancy. Sufferers of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) use it to regulate their hormones and irregular periods, other women use it to alleviate painful cramps, while others still use it to clear up their skin or reduce menstrual migraines.
Making preventative care more costly for women would cripple low-income families and effectively put the entire country’s health at risk. President Obama’s former health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, told The Huffington Post,
“When teenagers for the first time could qualify for preventive care, which included contraception, the numbers of unplanned pregnancies and the numbers of abortions and the numbers of teen pregnancies have dropped dramatically in this country. So one could argue that by removing some of those features, the people who at least profess to be anti-abortion are actually going to be driving those numbers back up.”
Put simply, repealing President Obama’s healthcare law without offering a rock-solid replacement would be a terrible, sad, pathetic disaster. Here’s how to get the contraceptives you need—despite Trumpcare’s attempts to make America hell again for women.
Check your state’s laws—they might have your back
In 2014, California, Maryland, Vermont, and Illinois all moved to incorporate the Affordable Care Act’s free birth control mandate into state law. So with or without “Obamacare,” access to free contraceptives won’t change if you live in one of those states. According to Reuters, New York, Minnesota, Colorado, and Massachusetts Democrats have pledged to do the same if the ACA gets mangled beyond recognition.
There’s an app for that
Before the golden days of free birth control are gone, take advantage of birth control delivery apps offering sign-up deals and stock up. Nurx, for example, delivers a ton of birth control options to residents in California, New York, D.C., Washington, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, and regularly offers discounts for first-time users—whether you have insurance or not. Through March 31st, you can use the promo code “NASTYWOMAN” to get $30 worth of birth control delivered at no additional cost by Nurx.
Melinda Gates for the win
Apparently there is a god and her name is Melinda. In an op-ed for National Geographic last month, Gates pledged to help 120 million women get access to birth control through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She highlighted the ways in which having reproductive options can benefit whole communities, writing,
“When women are able to plan their pregnancies around their goals for themselves and their families, they are also better able to finish their education, earn an income, and fully participate in their communities. And not only do moms benefit; their kids benefit, too. In communities where women have access to contraceptives, children stay in school longer, and entire families are healthier, wealthier, and far better equipped to break the cycle of poverty.”
The foundation will focus primarily on aiding the world’s poorest countries, but who knows, maybe we’ll be among them by then.
Stock up, buttercup
There’s no time like the present to adopt the mentality of a doomsday prepper—or hoarder, depending on which TLC show you watch. While free birth control is still available, try to stockpile as many pills, patches, or rings as you can. Ask your doctor for a prescription that allows you to fill several orders at a time just as you would in preparation for long-term international travel (which also might be a good idea right now). And while we may not be big fans of Amazon at the moment, you can buy emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step on the site with free shipping. Just make sure to have some handy for that 72-hour, post-sex effectiveness window. With a shelf life of three to four years, you might as well stock up.
Now might also be a good time to get an intrauterine device (IUD) if you’ve been thinking of getting one already. There are many things to take into consideration, however, so consult with your doctor about the best possible method for you.