Women are encouraging each other to get IUDs before Trump becomes president

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There's no way to sugarcoat this: Trump and Pence's election is likely terrifying news for women's health.

One major reason women are worried is that Trump and Pence (not to mention a Republican-controlled congress) could threaten access to affordable birth control.

Both men have said that they will work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which requires that insurers cover birth control as a form of preventative care. As governor of Indiana, Pence slashed women's health funding through Planned Parenthood and signed a bill that would have held some doctors who performed abortions liable for wrongful death. Trump has also called for punishments for doctors who perform abortions, and falsely suggested that women get abortions just days before birth.

See images of the history of birth control:

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Closeup still life of Zorane tablets, a series of low-estrogen birth control pills. Shown are three packs, one open, two closed. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
13th August 1968: Father Paul Weir expounds on his refusal to quit the Catholic church in the St Cecilia Presbytery in North Cheam. Father Paul, 31, was suspended from his duties because he disagrees with the Pope's ruling on birth control. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
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The good news is that there may be an opportunity for some women to protect themselves against that threat.

As Gabriella Paiella argues in New York Magazine, and Erin Gloria Ryan does in The Daily Beast, an intrauterine device (IUD) offers some women the option to take care of their birth control needs in a way that could outlast any changes made by the Trump-Pence administration.

An IUD is a small device that sits inside a woman's uterus and prevents pregnancy by keeping sperm from reaching an egg. Some are copper, which has a strong sperm-blocking effect. Others release hormones that induce the body to block sperm on its own. Once they're in, IUDs generally remain effective for longer than a presidential administration lasts.

Here are the basic IUD facts:

Women looking to get an IUD that's covered by insurance should consider taking the initial steps as soon as possible. Though it's unclear how fast Trump and Pence would work to roll back the ACA and it's birth control provisions, an IUD can cost up to $1,000 without coverage.

Some women are already taking steps to get themselves protected.

It's also important to recognize that IUDs are not an option for everyone.

Planned Parenthood offers a very helpful guide for people interested in learning more about IUDs.

President Barack Obama will remain in office until Friday, January 20, 2017. It is almost certain the ACA will remain in place through that date. Afterward, Obamacare's fate becomes far more uncertain.

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