Fact Check: Planned Parenthood Boss Says Trump Fear Caused ‘900% Increase’ in Women Seeking IUDs

The head of Planned Parenthood says women are so fearful of the Donald Trump presidency that there’s been a run on intrauterine devices (IUDs) before he is sworn into office just in case he cuts off free access to birth control.

The president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, made this astonishing claim:

“We’ve had a 900% increase in women trying to get into Planned Parenthood to get an IUD because they are desperately concerned that they might lose their access to health care and they know Planned Parenthood is the place that can provide it.”

There was a lot of talk about it on social media before– now it’s heating up before the Trump inauguration:

This doctor claimed there was a run on IUDs at her practice:

And this woman chose an IUD because of the hoopla:

Abortion rights groups piled on:

CNN host Christiane Amanpour didn’t follow up with Cecile Richards to find out what she meant by the “900%” claim, such as whether they were phone inquiries or emails or even tweets asking about IUDs or people who tried to make appointments. But she did tweet the number out there:

But CBS News talked to Richards before the election, and her comments appear to have started the fire:

Richards raised alarms over Trump’s campaign promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — after he takes office. If it happens, insurance companies would no longer be required to cover birth control with no copay and young adults under the age of 26 will no longer be guaranteed coverage on parents’ plans.

Richards — who campaigned for Hillary Clinton — said 55 million women now have access to preventive care with no copay and no cost. [emphasis added]

US News and World Report reported that there’s been a social media campaign to warn women that because free IUDs were only free because of an order from the Obama Administration, Trump can undo it:

In raising concerns, women pointed to comments Trump made throughout his campaign about his plans to repeal Obamacare. Further, the requirement that health insurance companies cover all forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration would be simpler to do away with than other parts of Obamacare would be.

The requirement isn’t specifically spelled out in the law. Instead, Obamacare calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to determine which preventive services must be covered, and the agency decided that contraception – including IUDs, birth control pills, emergency contraception and others – should be included. New leadership under the agency could undo it.

The Washington Post reported that some women are getting the IUD because it will give them free birth control through the Trump Administration’s first four years and then some:

It was a concern echoed in headlines of Elle, Glamour, Jezebel, Vogue, New York magazine and others. Writer Sophia Benoit told the Intercept that some two dozen women took her up on a Twitter offer, posted just before midnight Nov. 8, to discuss intrauterine devices.

“I recommend the IUD right now especially because it’s long term, which with 20 million+ Americans potentially losing their health insurance and potentially right to an abortion, is important,” Benoit said.

Richards told CNN that if IUDs under ObamaCare aren’t free it would somehow be a loss of “rights”:

“Of course that we’re concerned that any rights lost in the U.S. will have a cascading effect across, around on the globe.”

After the election, Planned Parenthood’s president also intimated that all existing clinics could be shut down by Trump:

And Richards has claimed that women will go back to ‘back alley’ abortions under a Trump Administration:

Three things are certain: First, Richardson says the show of support to Planned Parenthood’s anti-Trump political efforts have “been extraordinary.” Second, no one knows what new rules will come as a result of the repeal of Obamacare. And third, it appears that many women have made a long term decision not to have kids based on a fleeting political campaign.

And one more thing. There’s no verification of Planned Parenthood’s claim of a “900% increase in women trying to get into Planned Parenthood to get an IUD.”

Planned Parenthood is one of the sponsors of the women’s march planned for the day after Trump’s inauguration.

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