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The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
News that digs deeper.

EST. 1915

Contraceptive Panic

Updated: Oct 5, 2018

There have been many reactions to Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential election. Some are celebrating a victory for the way the world used to be, others are protesting against what they feel is the beginning of an age of regression. His representation of himself during the presidential race has given many a reason worry about how their lifestyle will be affected. This has been especially true for users of contraceptives, many of whom have been rushing to find more long term solutions.

This may seem like a knee jerk reaction if you know Trump's stance on over the counter birth control. In an interview with Dr. Oz, he expressed his view that women should not need a prescription for birth control. This is a view contrary to most of the Republican Party. The real reason for the rush on long term birth control may be his expressed intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave many without insurance to pay for birth control. Another equally plausible reason could be Trump’s intention to stop funding planned parenthood, a service that provides long term birth control as well as other reproductive health services. Trump’s victory, specifically, may have less to do with the surge in interest in birth control than the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and Senate that were also elected. Trump’s view on over the counter birth control is different to most of theirs and it is unclear whether his stance is strong enough to warrant a veto if congress were to present him with legislation limiting access to birth control.

The responsibility of birth contraceptives has almost entirely been pushed upon women. Outside of condoms or a vasectomy there is little available to men in the way of birth control. A study that was being conducted recently on a new type of birth control for men was stopped after the side effects were deemed too severe. These side effects ranged from acne to mood swings, which resulted in depression and even an attempted suicide. Outside of these side effects developing birth control for men is not as simple as for women. Women’s birth control can take advantage of the menstrual cycle with a monthly pill, but men constantly manufacture sperm. The researchers involved with this study say they are going to try experimenting with the levels of hormones administered as well as different ways of administering them before giving up on this particular idea.

Whether or not the Trump administration and Republican majority in Congress intend to restrict access to birth control, it is unlikely that it will happen immediately. Not only does the inauguration take place until January 20th, but it takes time to schedule something to come before Congress and even more time to deliberate it. Even then, Trump has still stated that he is pro over the counter contraceptives, so he may very well veto legislation restricting it. Recently, it has been reported that he has even been reconsidering his stance on Obamacare. Whatever your stance on Trump, Obamacare, or contraceptives the important thing is to see how things begin to play out before jumping to conclusions or taking rash actions.


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