Media outlets across the nation are suggesting that President-elect Donald Trump is planning to take away all access to birth control, despite the fact that he has never claimed the task was on his agenda.
A CNN article published Friday morning titled, "What happens to birth control under President Trump" purports that Trump is going to take away access to women's birth control, and the article cites women on social media who are spreading the unfounded worries and fears over the internet and urging women to "go get IUDs." One woman who was cited even suggested that women "stock up on Plan B" because it has a long shelf life.
Although the CNN article does not correct the misrepresentation, the truth is that Plan B, the emergency oral contraceptive also known as the "morning-after pill" is currently covered by some insurance plans only with a prescription. But it is available to purchase as an over-the-counter drug with unrestricted access. Therefore access to Plan B would not disappear under Trump.
Another article published by Cosmopolitan goes a step further, not only claiming Trump could take away women's access to birth control, but insinuating Trump would actually outlaw birth control methods.
The article titled, "Women Are Urging Each Other to Get IUDs Now — Before It's Too Late" opens with a paragraph that reads:
The day after the election, women across the country are urging one another to get IUDs over the next 71 days until the president-elect takes office, pointing to the likelihood that Donald Trump will dramatically roll back access to birth control. (One of the first texts I received from a friend as his victory became apparent: "I'm gonna have to get an IUD asap before they are outlawed.")
The claim that Trump has shown any interest in outlawing contraceptives is, of course, completely erroneous.
Make no mistake, Trump campaigned on the platform of repealing the Affordable Care Act, which currently provides planholders with birth control and women's preventive visits at no cost other than the cost to taxpayers and other planholders in the form of higher premiums.
Although Trump made headlines on Friday when he announced he would consider keeping key provisions of the Affordable Care Act instead of a full repeal, he gave no indication of future plans around the current coverage for oral contraceptives.
But purporting the idea that Trump plans to go on a rampage to take away women's access to birth control and using social media opinion void of facts as a source is misleading at best, absolutely irresponsible at worst.
If the President-elect was successful in repealing or modifying Obamacare, as it stands now, access to birth control would not change. It simply might not be free.