A Donald Trump-Mike Pence presidency could mark the end of reproductive rights as we know them. On multiple occasions, Trump has pledged that he will "very, very quickly" tear down Obamacare. His running mate, Pence, has declared his intention to consign Roe v. Wade to the "ash heap of history" and has set the destruction of Planned Parenthood as his career goal.
This perfect storm of Republican furor does not bode well for anyone's uterus. That's why women of the Twittersphere are imploring their fellows: If you want to retain autonomy over your own body, get an intrauterine device — aka an IUD.
Do it, they say, as soon as possible — and definitely before January 20.
Here's what women need to know about getting an IUD: For starters, it's a small, T-shaped device that lives in the uterus and, once in place, reliably protects against pregnancy for years. It is, in fact, the most effective form of birth control currently available.
The longest-lasting iteration of the IUD is the copper variety — usually, Paragard, which lasts roughly 10 years. However, there's hormonal options (typically, Mirena) that can outlast one term of the Trump administration, with a shelf-life of five years. Both types have their risks — namely: expulsion and uterine perforation — but those risks are low.
Time is of the essence here: The process of getting an IUD is not necessarily easy or expedient. Bedsider has a detailed guide to the process, but before doing anything else, it's a good idea for interested parties to call their insurance company for help finding the right health care provider, who in turn can determine whether or not an IUD is a suitable option. Most insurance plans should, per the terms of the Affordable Care Act, cover all forms of FDA-approved birth control — but that doesn't mean that they actually do.
The cost of an IUD varies by type and with insurance coverage; expect to pay between $500 and $950 with the understanding that it's an investment that could pay for itself over time. Since that's still a sizable chunk of change, it's worth exploring providers like Planned Parenthood, which adjust fees based on patient needs.
The prospect of four-plus years under these most patriarchal of patriarchs — one, a man who, by his own account, condones and practices sexual assault; and the other, a man who was willing to redefine rape to make it harder for a woman to end her pregnancy — is grim. But for now, women retain their right to choose. There's still time to exercise it.