How Smartphone Technology Could Save Women’s Rights Under a Trump Presidency

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding President-elect Donald Trump, as we all know. He boasted about sexually assaulting women but claimed it was locker-room talk, described women in derogatory ways and even supported the idea that women should be punished for having an abortion. Millions of women were psychologically, intellectually and emotionally assaulted by Trump’s words and actions, and now it’s about to get physical.

Trump stands to pass — or repeal — legislation that is an assault on all women’s reproductive healthcare. In fact, 47 million women stand to lose access to preventative healthcare if Obamacare is repealed. If that happens, access to birth control will be in jeopardy for millions of women.

In the midst of dark days in women’s rights, however, there is a small bright spot in the potential of healthcare apps providing accessible and affordable birth control for women.

Smartphones and Healthcare Apps

Smartphone apps provide new ways of improving lives — some apps are even being created by young adults for social good. Now we can add healthcare to the app list, thanks to telemedicine.

Telemedicine, or telehealth, is the practice of doctors using technology to remotely diagnose and treat patients. A steadily growing number of apps make telemedicine affordable and accessible — and not a moment too soon.

Through one of the many healthcare apps available, doctors have virtual appointments with patients, prescribe new medication and refill expired prescriptions, with or without insurance.

Reproductive Healthcare Accessible Through Apps

This is especially good news for women most at risk for losing access to birth control during a Trump presidency: Women in rural and conservative areas where the nearest clinic may be shut down or too far to access. Now they can use an app that connects them virtually to a doctor, who can then send a birth control prescription to the nearest pharmacy.

Concerns over defunding Planned Parenthood, a major provider of healthcare services for women, makes accessibility more important than ever. States like Texas continue to reduce funding and impose ridiculous mandates on clinics, which led to 82 closing over the past five years.

In a metro area, this may not be a big deal since there are multiple providers nearby. To women in rural or conservative areas, though, closing the community’s clinic means access to birth control becomes difficult, if not impossible.

Reproductive Healthcare Affordable Through Apps

Affordability will also be an issue if women lose their insurance. If Trump repeals Obamacare, uninsured women will be especially impacted by the shut-down of clinics like Planned Parenthood and other public health clinics. For many uninsured women, these clinics provide their only affordable option for birth control.

The healthcare apps that provide telemedicine are also able to keep costs down, which reduces doctor’s fees and the cost of routine tests. Women also save money because they no longer have to pay for transportation or miss a day of work for an in-person appointment.

There is no denying that women are facing a threat to reproductive health rights. It is likely that birth control will become less available through either a loss of insurance or a loss of affordable and accessible healthcare clinics.

Thankfully, if you find yourself needing an affordable doctor who can take care of your birth control needs, there’s an app for that.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Holly Whitman is a feminist writer and journalist from the UK, but now based in Washington D.C. When she's not running what she hopes will one day become one of the best political blogs written by a woman, she can be found volunteering at local women's shelters and campaigning for reproductive rights and equal pay.

Holly Whitman is a feminist writer and journalist based in Washington DC.

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