With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, the United States Supreme Court now leans heavily towards the right, making it seem increasingly possible that Roe v. Wade will be overturned and abortions will become more difficult, or even illegal, to access. Many liberal health care providers and politicians are urging anyone who menstruates to look into lasting birth control options. Here are some long-term birth control options to protect your right to choose.
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs)
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) are some of the most effective and long-lasting birth control methods. Planned Parenthood reports that “LARCs include the copper Paragard IUD, the hormonal (progesterone) Mirena IUD, and the hormonal contraceptive implant (effective for 10, five, and three years, respectively). These methods of birth control can prevent unwanted pregnancy up to 20 times better than birth control pills, patches, and vaginal rings.” These are great options for someone who can and may not want to become pregnant in the future.
Birth control is not one-size-fits-all, but a LARC may be right for you. They are perfect for a woman who may want to become pregnant in the future but also desires long-term, highly effective pregnancy prevention. IUDs and implants are reversible — any time you decide to become pregnant, you can have them removed (by a health care provider). Despite popular misconceptions, IUDs are safe and highly effective for women who have never been pregnant.
The main appeal of LARCs is that they are reliable and effective for many years, and do not need to be constantly administered like birth control pills or replaced like patches, vaginal rings or condoms. However, unlike condoms, LARCs are unable to prevent STDs and STIs. Additionally, LARCs, like the Paragard IUD, Mirena IUD and the hormonal contraceptive implant, all tend to be on the more expensive side if your insurance does not cover it.
At Planned Parenthood, “An IUD or [birth control implant] costs anywhere between $0 to $1,300. That’s a pretty wide range, but the good news is that IUDs can be free or low cost with many health insurance plans, Medicaid, and some other government programs. Prices can also vary depending on which kind you get.”
It is important to note that with a conservative court, these low prices for people on Medicaid and other government programs might change. Thus, it is urgent to get them now before prices and policy change in response to the conservative push in the courts.
Attacks on Roe v. Wade from President Trump and Amy Coney Barrett
In a 2006 letter written by the newly appointed pro-life justice, Amy Coney Barrett stated that “It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore laws that protect the lives of unborn children.”
This letter, which Barrett and her husband signed, declares that life begins as early as “fertilization,” and claims both that most post–Roe abortions “were performed for social reasons” and that an “increasing majority” of Americans stand against continuing the use of abortion as a “method of birth control.”
Barrett did say in 2013 that the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned was not impossible, and she later questioned the decision’s permanence in an academic lecture she gave in 2016.
“Women have a right to an abortion — I don’t think that would change,” as she is quoted in NPR. “But I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions, how many restrictions can be put on clinics, I think that would change.”
President Trump has also expressed a similar view and claims that his judicial-nomination strategy would lead to Roe v. Wade being overturned.
“That will happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court,” he said during one of the 2016 presidential debates. “I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.”
This means that conservative states can ban abortions and even outright stop funding for Planned Parenthood, which is crucial for providing access to birth control and other sexual health needs. A long-acting contraceptive could be issued now before a new verdict is issued on Roe v. Wade and the right to chose is stripped from anyone with a uterus.
To make an appointment and find your local Planned Parenthood, click here.