Trump’s impending presidency sparks a surge in calls to Planned Parenthood – Sacramento Bee
In the two weeks since Donald Trump won the presidency, the number of appointments at the organization’s 12 clinics has jumped by 81 percent, according to spokeswoman Tiffany Harms.
The most popular requests: intrauterine devices, or IUDs, small plastic devices that are inserted into the uterus and left in place, and hormonal implants.
Planned Parenthood officials say it’s a similar situation across the country, with many women braced for the worst. They fear that Trump will try to follow through on his promises to outlaw abortion and scrap the Affordable Care Act, which helps many poor women by providing birth control with no co-pays.
Trump stoked fears on the subject during an MSNBC town hall forum last March, when he said women who got abortions should face “some form of punishment” if the procedure were banned.
And in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Nov. 13, Trump said he would appoint conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.
Trump said the abortion issue then could be decided by individual states. And if a state decided to ban abortion, he said, women would “have to go to another state” to terminate pregnancies.
On Capitol Hill, backers of abortion rights are geared up for a full-scale assault in 2017.
“Women’s access to reproductive health care shouldn’t be dependent on their income or their ZIP code,” said Washington state Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene. “It puts women’s health at risk, and these are also women’s constitutional rights. . . . President-elect Trump has said he’d punish women for exercising their constitutional rights. That is unacceptable and extremely concerning.”
While it could take Trump years to get the Supreme Court to overturn the law, Harms said the more immediate worry in Idaho and Washington state was the prospect of him moving quickly to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
Harms said many women would suffer a big financial hit if Trump tried to junk the national health insurance plan in the first 100 days of his presidency, as he has promised.
Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Planned Parenthood’s chief medical officer, said out-of-pocket costs for an IUD could range from $500 to $1,000 for a woman without health insurance, creating “a major barrier,” for many, especially poor women.
Harms said that was what was driving all the phone calls: Since Nov. 8, requests for appointments for long-acting methods of birth control have increased from 132 to 239.
With Trump and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin both saying they want to stop funding Planned Parenthood next year, abortion rights will be in the spotlight as soon as the president-elect takes the oath at noon on Jan. 20.
The Women’s March on Washington is scheduled for the very next morning. Organizers say that more than 200,000 people from across the country have already signed up for the march from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House.
And Jan. 22 will mark 44 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, an anniversary that’s sure to draw heightened attention. Thousands of abortion-rights opponents are expected to turn out for the annual “March for Life,” set for Jan. 27, while supporters of abortion rights are planning a counter-demonstration.
Abortion rights supporters worry that Trump will have plenty of abortion opponents in his administration, including Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his nominee for attorney general, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions.