The president-elect and his running mate run a strongly anti-choice campaign
It is still two months before Donald Trump takes office.
But after the Republican candidate ran a strongly anti-choice campaign – at one point he suggested women who had abortions should be “punished” – there are mounting concerns about whether the next US administration would work to limit access to birth control and contraception.
A large part of this concern is connected to Mr Trump’s vow to scrap the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, which makes contraception available.
I’m so glad I just got an IUD that lasts for 12 years.
— Emily McCombs (@msemilymccombs) November 9, 2016
Such is the worry that some women appear to be stocking up on contraceptive devices, such as IUDs. A number of women have posted messages on Twitter, declaring their concerns, and their response.
Meanwhile, organisations that work on providing healthcare and access to contraception, are urging the incoming government to ensure that women can still obtain such services.
One major organisation said they were receiving a lot of calls from women who were worried about what may be in store.
Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said: “Since the election, we have seen an uptick in questions about access to healthcare, birth control, and the Affordable Care Act.”
“While we truly hope that birth control methods will be available, accessible, and affordable to all women under the Trump administration, we understand people’s real concerns about losing access to birth control, which is basic healthcare for women.”
Mr Trump’s views on issues such as contraception have varied. But while campaigning in the Republican primaries earlier this year, he suggested that women “should be punished” if they had abortions if the procedure were to be banned in the US.
@seelions God forbid a woman should have to pay for her own birth control rather than have her fellow citizens foot the bill.
— GD Holcombe (@GDHolcombe) November 9, 2016
He later retracted the statement and said that he felt abortions should be available in cases of rape, incest or where the health of the mother was in danger. In an effort to reach out to evangelicals, he has sought to position himself as conservative on such issues.
But Mr Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, is considered one of the most outspoken opponent of of abortions rights. In March, he signed a bill that that would have forced women to obtain funeral services for a foetus, if they had an abortion or suffered a miscarriage. The legislation was subsequently by a federal judge.
Campaigning in Indiana with Ted Cruz – the candidate he initially backed in the Republican primary – Mr Pence was confronted by a woman who wanted to know why were backing legislation to limit access to abortions. In particular, Andrea DeBruler wanted to know why they supported a bill that would have prevented women from getting abortions even if a foetus was deformed.
Mr Pence sought to ignore questions from The Independent, but eventually he said: “I’m pro-life.”
Ms McDonald-Mosley of Planned Parenthood said: “We have seen an increase in IUDs over the past few years thanks to the Affordable Care Act and growing public awareness of their safety and efficacy, and we expect that trend to continue. Planned Parenthood health centres nationally have seen the total number of patients using IUDs increase 91 per cent in the past five years.”