Should You Still Be Hoarding Birth Control Or Nah? An Update On Planned Parenthood

After walking contraception advertisement Donald Trump was elected President back in November over the most qualified candidate our nation has ever seen (still not over it, in case you couldn’t tell), sexually active women everywhere rushed to Planned Parenthood for long term birth control—IUDs, for example, last an entire presidential term—just in case the GOP ever made good on their promise to defund Planned Parenthood, repeal Obamacare, and make us all live in The Handmaid’s Tale. Whether you went for an IUD, the implant, a nuvaring, or just stocked up on four year’s worth of pills, long term birth control was definitely the move in the immediate aftermath of the election, but what about now? We’re almost 100 days into the Trump Presidency (100 days = a decade in Trump Years) and he’s yet to score a single legislative victory (but hopefully I didn’t just jinx it). Paul Ryan’s healthcare reforms blew up so hard that it reached getting-your-period-in-white-pants-while-giving-a-book-report levels of embarrassing, the Muslim Ban isn’t held up in court, and the Senate had to blow up the filibuster just to get his Supreme Court nominee passed. As far as Trump’s ability to do literally anything, it’s not looking good. But like, that’s not a challenge or anything, Donald. Keep on doing what you’re (not) doing.

So can we chill? Is it time to hang up our pussy hats and go back to only thinking about our gynecologist at our annual check up (or bi-annual STD scare)?

Unfortunately, no. While Trump has not really been able to do any of hard stuff (governing, spelling, having hair, etc…) it turns out that fucking with women’s health is actually fairly easy if you are motivated to do so and the President Of The United States.

Since taking office, Trump and his woman-hating monkey boy Mike Pence, have made at least two significant moves on the defunding Planned Parenthood front, but before we even get into that, it’s probably best to define what exactly “defunding Planned Parenthood” means because, like most things, it’s not what Donald Trump thinks it means.

First of all—and we’ll say this one loudly for people in the back—none of the federal funds Planned Parenthood receives go toward abortions. None. Zip. Nada. Not one dollar. Not even a fun, jokey Venmo for 50 cents. Nothing. So don’t even try me with the “I don’t want my tax dollars funding abortions” line. 

This is because of a federal law passed in September 1976 called the Hyde Amendment, which bars public funds from going toward abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother being at stake. Despite democratic attempts to repeal the amendment, Paul Ryan passed H.R 7 on January 24th, 2017 which seeks to make the Hyde Amendment “permanent.” That’s also only 4 days after Trump became President (you probably refer to it as “the worst day of my life”), which shows you just how desperate PR was to take away women’s rights. Like, if this is indicative at all of his texting style he’d be the guy who meets you once and then starts texting you “hey beautiful” everyday. And as Paul learned when trying to pass his shitty healthcare bill, nobody likes that guy. Sigh. It’s always the hot ones who disappoint you the most. 

So, much like when you’re mad at your boyfriend for liking some Instagram model’s butt selfie so you start a fight about the proper way to load a dishwasher, when we talk about defunding Planned Parenthood, we’re really talking about something else. Basically, “defunding” Planned Parenthood means that the government would refuse to reimburse Planned Parenthood for the mammograms, contraception, cervical cancer checks, STD screenings, pap smears, and annual checkups they conduct for roughly 4 million women each year. 

This is like if Planned Parenthood put its card down for drinks so you could avoid annoying the server and having to do math, and then the GOP refused to accept the Venmo request later. Eventually, Planned Parenthood isn’t going to be able to put its card down anymore because it doesn’t have enough money in checking to cover everybody’s shit, and now Happy Hour is ruined for everyone. And by Happy Hour we mean your sex life and reproductive health.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, “defunding” Planned Parenthood would be disastrous for people Mike Pence refuses to be alone with (all women), and would result in 15% of low incoming women losing their healthcare entirely, and thousands more births per year. So basically, think of that one friend who you know should absolutely not ever produce a child. Defund Planned Parenthood, and they’ll probably have one. Maybe two. All named dumb shit like “Amabella” or “Prosecco.” Just think about that. 

So where are we, and our platinum vagines, at now? Here’s a rundown of the actions the Trump Administration has taken to restrict women’s access to healthcare:

1. Reinstated A Ban On Abortion Funding Overseas.

One of Trump’s first actions in office (besides going around and farting on all of Obama’s old stuff, which I assume he did immediately after being sworn in) was to reinstate the Mexico City policy, established by Ronald Reagan in 1984. This rule blocks federal funding for international groups that provide abortions, or “actively promote” the procedure, so if you were thinking that you’d just turn your failure to use adequate birth control into an excuse for a vacay, you are sadly mistaken. I mean, you still could, but you’d be returning to the U.S. with a much needed tan and an unwanted baby, which isn’t really a great look for anyone. 

2. Made It Easier For States To Deny Funding To Planned Parenthood.

Last week, while most of us were distracted by the impending threat of global nuclear warfare, Trump casually signed legislation that makes it easier for states to defund Planned Parenthood by rolling back changes to Title X Family Planning Funding President Obama put in place that said states couldn’t deny funding to family planning services simply because they provide abortions. What this means is basically if you live in the liberal bubble, your Planned Parenthood is fine (for now), but if you live in a shitty red state like Kansas or Arkansas or literally the entire middle of the country, you should get your birth control on lock now because the fate of Planned Parenthood in your state is about as solid as Nick and Vanessa’s engagement.

For those of you betches living in Maryland, you’re in luck. MD was the first state to say that it will protect PP’s funding, regardless of what the federal government says, so now is as good a time as ever to finally make your parents’ Ocean City house your actual permanent residence.

3. Told PP He Wouldn’t Defund Them As Long As They Stopped Doing Abortions.

In a last-ditch effort to save his sad-ass health care bill, Trump offered Planned Parenthood a deal: keep your federal funding, but stop doing abortions. That’s like a guy telling you he’ll take you out to dinner, but you have to agree to leave your phone at home. It’s just not happening. And much like you when that same dude hits you up to Netflix and Chill a week later, Planned Parenthood rejected the offer.

So, all of this is to say that, while it is heartening to see the level of incompetence the Trump Administration has shown in even the most basic tasks (apart from bombing people, which he appears to have gotten the hang of very quickly), looking into long term birth control options, whether it be an IUD, the implant, or getting your tubes tied and moving to the woods, is probably still a very good idea. As is donating to Planned Parenthood, especially donating directly to red state clinics that are in danger, so that PP can keep doing its thing no matter what The Trump Administration throws its way. You could make it your weekly mission to find at least one bro to buy you a drink at the bar, and then donate the money you saved by being attractive to the Planned Parenthood of your choice. That way, you can lay the groundwork for future hookups, and protect yourself from any unwanted pregnancies that hookup may bring, with one well placed across the bar eye-fucking. It’s a beautiful thing.

Oh, and if you’re hoping that First Lady-Daughter Ivanka Trump will swoop in and save us here, you’re delusional. Stop trying to make Ivanka Trump as a “Savior To Women” happen. It’s not going to happen. 

Alise Morales
Alise Morales
Alise Morales is a comedy writer and performer. She is the writer of the Betches Sup Newsletter and co-host of the Betches Sup Podcast.