The Number Of Women Seeking IUDs At Planned Parenthood Has Increased By 900 Percent

"Women in this country are absolutely not going without a fight. The majority is with us."

You remember Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood who in 2015 weathered hours of interrogation from elderly heterosexual male politicians about the organization's work in providing reproductive care to primarily low-income women? On Monday, Richards went on CNN to discuss the GOP-led Congress' latest efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, revealing that the impending onslaught on reproductive rights has led to a staggering 900 percent increase in women seeking IUDs at Planned Parenthood.

"They are desperately concerned that they might lose their access to health care, and they know that Planned Parenthood is the place that can provide it," she said. "Women in this country are absolutely not going without a fight. The majority is with us."

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The uptick in demand for IUDs follows post-election reports that women were turning to the long-term birth control method. Coupled with Vice President-elect Mike Pence's record on reproductive rights, Donald Trump's campaign promise to repeal Obamacare sparked an urgency among women who now faced the possibility of dwindling access to birth control.  

Take Sara Clark, for example, who went back on the pill after giving birth to her son two and a half years ago. Clark told A Plus in an email that she noticed articles on women's websites about the merits of the IUD and had considered it, but after her OB/GYN expressed apathy in her switching from the pill to an IUD, Clark said she "let the idea slide."

"Then... the election," she wrote. "Everything changed." While Clark harbored many concerns about the Trump administration, she believes that the effect it will have on women's health will be "extremely negative" and enduring. "I am well aware of Mike Pence's stance on abortion," she continued, "and given the current state of the Supreme Court, I think the prospect of Roe v. Wade being overturned is one that has to be seriously considered."

Clark scheduled an appointment for her IUD at Planned Parenthood the day after the election. 

Renewed efforts to repeal Obamacare have presented another opportunity for Republicans to try to defund Planned Parenthood, a move that would leave a gaping hole in health care access for underserved communities. 

"[There are] more than a million-and-a-half people who rely on Planned Parenthood, and for most of them we're their only medical provider," the group's president, Richards said in a Rolling Stone interview published last week. "As all of the medical institutions have said: There's no one to take our place providing low- and moderate-income people with preventive health care."

Clark said she chose to get her IUD at Planned Parenthood partly because she wanted to support the organization. As Planned Parenthood braces for the slew of anti-choice policies from Republicans, women and advocates across the country have emphatically heeded its calls for support. The group has received 40 times the usual number of donations since the election, many of them in VP-elect Pence's name

Expressing "no faith whatsoever" in the incoming administration to defend women's health, Clark said that getting an IUD has been a relief, one less thing to worry about as she faces what's to come in the next four years. "The prospect of what is facing this country in terms of reproductive rights is really scary," she wrote in her email. "It gives me some reassurance that I personally will be OK in that arena, although I wish I could say that for everyone. ... So I'm doing what I can. Educating people about Planned Parenthood, and telling every woman I know to GET AN IUD!!"

Cover image via Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com.

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