Fearing Cuts, Many Women Stock Up On Birth Control

By Christine Vestal
Stateline.org

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Nationwide, family planning clinics are seeing a surge in demand for contraceptive services, particularly long-acting IUDs and implants.

WASHINGTON

Mary Bonheimer wants to wait a few years before having another child. Uninsured and working part time as a waitress so she and her fiance can split time caring for their 18-month-old daughter, she plans to stay on birth control pills for now.

But Bonheimer, 22, and her friends in Warsaw, Ind., are worried that the local family planning clinic might shut down under new policies put forward by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Her sister had a hormonal implant inserted into her arm that will provide birth control for three years, Bonheimer said. Other women she knows are switching to intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other long-acting contraceptives to ensure they are protected against an unwanted pregnancy for as long as possible.

Nationwide, family planning clinics are seeing a surge in demand for contraceptive services, particularly long-acting IUDs and implants.

In Indiana, appointments for long-acting birth control methods have jumped by more than 50 percent compared with last year, said Kristin Adams, CEO of the Indiana Family Health Council, which oversees federal and state funding for family planning clinics in the state, including at the Warsaw center.

“We’re hearing some patients who have a long-acting device that’s good for only three years tell us to rip it out and put in the 10-year plan,” Adams said. “It’s a sad state of affairs that women have to put off childbearing for 10 years because they’re afraid of losing their insurance.”

In state capitols, lawmakers are responding.

As a hedge against the Trump administration’s promise to rewrite the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a House resolution that would allow federal funds to be withheld from family planning groups that provide abortions, legislators in several states are proposing laws that would require all insurers, including Medicaid, to pay for contraceptive services without copays and without delays.

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