As Trump Grabs For Our Reproductive Rights, The 'Uber For Birth Control' Fights Back

As Trump Grabs For Our Reproductive Rights, The 'Uber For Birth Control' Fights Back

This app could have revolutionary potential in the ongoing battle for women's healthcare rights.
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The morning of November 9th, millions of women across the country panicked.

"There was a very real fear that we could lose everything," Carter O'Brien, college student, shares. "My mom called and told me to go ahead and get an IUD. I just wanted to be safe because I had no idea what was going to happen once Trump was president."

With Trump's promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act accompanied by his earnestly pro-life agenda, the future of women's health care felt uncertain. It didn't take long for the panic to hit social media.

Post-election panic also hit another place- the doctor's office.

“The morning after the election we had an immediate uptick in calls from women who were concerned about the election,” says Gretchen Borchelt, the vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center, which manages a birth control hotline. “They didn’t know if they were going to lose coverage, whether they should go out and get an IUD.”

Many women are now on the hunt for a reversible birth control that could last the duration of a Trump presidency. IUDs, a form of birth control implant which can last up to 4 years, are the most sought-after choice.

Ballpark price of an IUD? $600 to $1000.

O'Brien says, "That's an expense most college students just didn't plan for."

So how can we feel safely assured that we can access birth control in a world where we still can't buy it over-the-counter?

Enter Nurx (pronounced 'New RX'): the new contraceptive app that could be the future of birth control.

And they've got a pointed statement to make to Donald Trump.

Sometimes described as the "Uber for birth control," the Nurx app allows users to order birth control in hours, from your phone, with no doctor's appointment. Your birth control is then delivered straight to your door, usually within 24 hours. For patients with health insurance, the service is free or the cost of a copay; for those with no insurance, the app offers a number of low-cost generic options.

To use Nurx, you select your preferred brand of birth control, answer a few questions, and enter your insurance and shipping information. A doctor will review your submission, write a prescription, and voila: your birth control is on its way.




The app could be a game-changer in a new era of under-insured women.

Nurx hopes to expand women's access to birth control in the long term, but they've been especially responsive to the post-election panic.
Not only are they making birth control easier to access, but now they're giving it away for free- and in the name of Donald Trump.

The startup company has launched several promotions inspired by the new president: free birth control with promo codes "donaldtrump" or "tinyhands." Other campaign taglines have included "Nasty Woman" and "Alternative Facts." The founders of Nurx are cheeky- and vocal.

“We at Nurx will continue to serve as a low-cost option for women. Since December, we have also made birth control free," co-founder and CEO Hans Gangeskar assures women.

Birth control is free (with insurance) through Nurx even after the promotion is over. Those without insurance can get birth control through the app for as low as $15 per month. The app also delivers HIV-prevention medication.



But Nurx could be important for reasons beyond its convenience and marketability. What looks like just a trendy app could actually be a revolutionary bombshell in the ongoing battle for women's healthcare rights. The model itself could change the game of birth control access forever.

"Nurx, which prescribes birth control online and mails it to users, isn’t a boutique service for busy urbanites," writes Technology Review's Julia Sklar. "It just might be a key player in blowing birth-control access wide open, especially as women’s reproductive health becomes increasingly politicized in the U.S."

"It’s especially beneficial for women in health-care 'deserts' who don’t live near physicians or pharmacies, disabled women who may find it hard to access the physicians and pharmacies they do live near, and working women who can’t afford to take time off to visit a prescribing doctor."

For most of history, birth control access was the luxury of upper class white women. Reproductive freedom was segregated along strict racial and economic lines. Middle class women had access to birth control. Poor women's didn't. White women had access to birth control. Many Black, Hispanic, and Native American women didn't.

Thanks to efforts from Planned Parenthood and other reproductive advocates, this has changed in recent years- but it hasn't changed entirely. Minority and poor women still are significantly less likely to have regular access to a doctor. Working-class women are also far less likely to have time to go to the doctor. When they do have time, they often lack money or support.

Birth control access remains an issue of race, class, and reproductive freedom. It is a vital resource that has been historically closed off to many women, and restricted to those with certain economic and social privileges. Now imagine if, with Nurx, that suddenly wasn't true.

While the app itself may not single-handedly defy the constraints of privilege, the concept could be a model for future technologies. An app that helps humans meet their needs while also circumventing the class restrictions of capitalism has a lot of promise for creating a better world.

The creators of Nurx are embracing their role in the revolution. They see the void in modern healthcare, and they want to use creativity to fill it.

"Women should not have to jump through unnecessary hoops just to access birth control," says Dr. Jessica Knox, Nurx's Medical Director. "With our app, we’re making birth control more accessible than ever."

“Women should be able to access birth control on their own terms,” says Co-founder Dr. Edvard Engesaeth.

Birth control access remains an issue of race, class, and reproductive freedom. It is a vital resource that has been historically closed off to many women, and restricted to those with certain economic and social privileges. Now imagine if, with Nurx, that suddenly wasn't true.

We certainly agree, and this sounds like an excellent start.

Cover Image Credit: Vice Broadly Images

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

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The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

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The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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