In a study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers reported that use of long-acting reversible contraception increased in the month following the 2016 presidential election.
Adjusting for seasonal trends and patient characteristics, the researchers from Brigham & Women’s Hospital found that insertion of contraceptives such as intrauterine devices increased by 21.6% after the election of President Donald Trump.
The study’s authors considered women between the ages of 18 and 45 who were enrolled in commercial insurance during the 30 days before and after the 2016 election. They concluded that if the study’s findings were projected to the 33 million women in the U.S. with employer-sponsored health insurance, the rate of use for long-acting reversible contraception would be an additional 700 insertions per day compared to the same time in 2015.
“The ACA’s contraceptive coverage mandate is an important strategy to reduce unintended pregnancies. The Trump Administration has weakened this mandate. Our findings could reflect a response to fears of losing contraceptive coverage because of President Trump’s opposition to the ACA or an association of the 2016 election with reproductive intentions or LARC awareness,” the researchers wrote.
“Our findings also suggest that women with commercial health insurance value contraceptive coverage and that concerns about potential reductions in access or coverage may affect their contraceptive choices,” the authors added.
The researchers noted that they did not have information about covariates such as race and that they only studied a short period after the election. Additionally, the authors only studied women with commercial insurance and therefore didn’t generalize their findings to women with public insurance or no insurance.