Science proves that the Trump administration is lying to deny women access to birth control

As a justification for rolling back the Obamacare mandate regarding employer insurance-provided birth control coverage, the Trump administration (via the Department of Health and Human Services) tried to convince us that access to birth control promotes risky behavior on the part of young adults and other groups. They also claimed that there are potential harms from birth control that the public is somehow unaware of. Except, well … facts. Science disproves their claims and years of studies show that birth control has actually helped the rate of unintended pregnancies reach a 30-year low.

Page 44 of the 163-page [Health and Human Services] document begins an effort to dismantle many of the arguments for contraceptive use. It first focuses on unintended pregnancies, reviewing some of the studies from the 2011 Institute of Medicine report to justify its assertions of “complexity and uncertainty in the relationship between contraceptive access, contraceptive use and unintended pregnancy.”

There is no uncertainty in the fact that contraceptive use significantly reduces the risk of unintended pregnancy. There is also no uncertainty in the fact that increasing access to contraception increases contraceptive use. The question most on point is whether the mandate to provide free contraception to all women in the United States provides a benefit.

The H.H.S. department notes that from 1972 through 2002, as “the percentage of sexually experienced women who had ever used some form of contraception rose to 98 percent, unintended pregnancy rates in the United States rose from 35.4 percent to 49 percent.” This statement cited three different sources for those three percentages — and even then it cherry-picked facts. 

Basically, under Trump’s Health and Human Services Department, lies about contraception and birth control are being used to justify taking contraception away from women. Of course, this is linked to the Republicans’ obsession with controlling women’s bodies and our right to decide whether or not to procreate. But it’s also reflective of the fact that they know absolutely nothing (and don’t care) about women’s bodies, health, or well-being. Women use birth control for a variety of reasons—some of which have nothing to do with sex.


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