'Contraception deserts' likely to widen under new Trump administration policy

Critics warn that women's choices in contraception will narrow under the Trump administration's changes to the Title X program.

Critics warn that women's choices in contraception will narrow under the Trump administration's changes to the Title X program. The initiative is the only federal one in existence to subsidize contraception for low-income and uninsured populations; however, expected new rules will increasingly steer that funding toward clinics that do not provide condoms, hormonal contraception, intrauterine devices and implants, or pregnancy terminations. The so-called "Protect Life Rule" is a reversal from 4 decades of practice that saw Planned Parenthood and thousands more women's health clinics offer a full range of contraception options. With anti-abortionists, abstinence advocates, and other religious conservatives claiming leadership positions over important federal health programs—including Title X—a shift in women's sexual health care could be on the horizon. One company that hopes to be at the forefront of this new movement is Obria Group, which offers pregnancy, disease, and cancer testing along with prenatal care. In terms of pregnancy prevention, however, the only option it offers is fertility planning—which, according to CDC, is only 76% effective, and only if strictly followed. Family planning clinics nationwide are preparing for what comes next if Obria and similar outfits claim predominance. If lack of funding forces shutdowns of more liberal clinics, the result could be the creation of "contraception deserts" that leave many women with few alternatives. Some women seeking contraception may even have to resort to procuring it from outside the United States or over the internet.