Instead of a president-elect who intended to staunchly defend women’s reproductive rights, U.S. citizens elected a president who promises to deny those rights. In a taped town hall meeting in Green Bay, President-elect Donald Trump told an MSNBC interviewer that he believed that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who get abortions illegally. Trump scrambled to revise his statement by saying that doctors should be held legally responsible, while women are simply victims.
Many people were excited at the prospect of Hillary Clinton assuming the position of the 45th president of the United States. The idea of shattering the seemingly impenetrable “glass ceiling” was certainly enticing. Although she won plenty of voters because of her sex, she also generated a lot of support because of her values. She was a candidate who strongly advocated the idea that government should not determine whether a woman should go through with an abortion. Clinton was perfectly poised to maintain and even further the progress that has been made in the field of reproductive rights over the decades.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence has been quoted saying that he would like the results of Roe v. Wade to be obliterated. The Trump administration has maintained a pro-life stance throughout the election cycle and plans to appoint justices who share that value to the Supreme Court.
In another interview, Trump stated that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, states would have the authority to regulate abortion within their borders. For a woman living in a state where abortion is outlawed, Trump believes that she can simply go to another state to obtain the procedure.
Doing away with Roe v. Wade would be the utmost threat to rupturing reproductive freedom. Although it is a hypothetical notion at this point in time, it represents the growing lack of support for reproductive rights.
What seems to be more imminent is the repeal of Obamacare and the federal defunding of Planned Parenthood. Trump’s website states, “On day one of the Trump administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.” Under Obamacare, women are able to receive birth control at no additional cost, which is a tremendous benefit. A larger population of women who have hit their reproductive age are insured and have the option to be on birth control.
Additionally, teen pregnancies and abortion rates among teenagers have reached their lowest levels in almost four decades. A woman insured by Obamacare is eligible to be fitted for a intrauterine device at no extra cost. A hormonal IUD is functional anytime from three to six years, while a copper IUD can prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years. Both types are 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Without insurance, an IUD can range anywhere from $200 to $800, which is a cost that some women simply cannot afford.
The New York Times estimates that it would take up to a year for the Trump administration to do away with the mandate that is responsible for no additional costs for birth control. It is not right to expect women to adopt Trump’s “we will see what happens” approach when it comes to their reproductive health. A spike in Google searches for IUD’s following the results of the 2016 election demonstrates this. Women all over the country are attempting to secure long-standing birth control while it is still financially feasible for them.
The Trump administration has also stated plans to defund Planned Parenthood in addition to repealing Obamacare. Just in February of this year, Trump sincerely credited Planned Parenthood with helping millions of women with cervical cancer and breast cancer. Despite the fact that he explicitly validated the need for Planned Parenthood, he said that he would still defund it due to the fact that it promotes abortion.
Republicans in Congress have tried to defund Planned Parenthood eight times since 2011. Having Trump in office could finally allow them to carry this out. According to an article from The Huffington Post, Planned Parenthood subsists off of “$500 million a year in federal grants that go toward birth control services, pap smears and testing and treatment for low-income patients.”
Planned Parenthood also receives personal donations, some of which fund abortions, which comprise only some of Planned Parenthood’s services. Federal funding is not permitted to cover abortion costs, as per the Hyde Amendment. However, conservatives still argue that any money going toward Planned Parenthood is money going toward abortion.
A Trump presidency will only bring on increasing birth control costs under an administration that opposes abortion.