A hard pill to swallow
Trump’s rollback surrounding birth control affects students and faculty on campus
Nicole Kuhn | Assistant News Editor | The USD Vista
On Oct. 6, the Trump Administration made a decision that could affect 62 million women in the US. The Department of Health and Human Services declared that the pill may no longer be covered by insurance. With the rollback enacted, college campuses and employers have the decision to cover their employees and students for the pill.
The USD Student Health Center is available for medical counseling regarding birth control, but due to religious affiliations students will have to get birth control from a family provider or off-campus physician.
Sophomore Mina De Guia has been affected by the fact that SHC does not distribute birth control. Living on campus with no car, De Guia’s only option is to get a large supply of birth control pills when she visits home or has her mother in Washington send her pills.
“I feel unsupported by my university not being able to fill my legitimate birth control prescription,” said De Guia. “I’m confused, and a little bit upset that I am not able to get my birth control on campus because birth control is a legitimate medical tool. I was prescribed by a licensed doctor. It should be honored by the health center that has the ability to care for its students.”
De Guia has her own insurance provided by her family, but still finds that it is difficult to not have a provider nearby or on campus to meet her medical needs. She stated that restricting the pill on campus does not grant anyone freedom, but instead deprives them.
“You can’t pick and choose what medical concerns you want to support and not support,” said De Guia.
The rollback has presented an issue that faces USD students and the SHC. The SHC website also states that because of its religious affiliation, birth control is not distributed on campus.
“In keeping with the Catholic tradition regarding birth control, the SHC does not dispense condoms nor prescribe medication for purposes of contraception,” the site states. “However, recognizing that oral contraceptives are prescribed for particular medical conditions, it is advisable that these matters be discussed individually with a provider at the SHC.”
Sikes encouraged students to solicit medical advice from the health center.
“All conversations are held in the strictest confidence and provided with support and without judgment,” Sikes said. “Students receive medical advice regarding sexual and reproductive health in order to make their own informed decisions regarding healthy relationships.”
Following the rollback on birth control administered by the Trump administration, USD students and employees questioned if the mandate affects their insurance plans.
The cutback of the pill was initiated on Oct. 6, but it is an interim decision, and the Trump administration is open to public comments until Dec. 5, 2017. For the time being, employers are discussing matters that surround the issue.
“The rollback effect is unknown at this time,” Sikes said. “It may have a significant effect if insurance carriers or those who negotiate plans with them do not provide this benefit. It may have an insignificant effect if the insurance carriers and those who negotiate plans with them do continue to provide this benefit.”
For employees on campus, insurance will continue to cover the pill regardless of the rollback. Janie Carolin, Director of Compensation & Benefits for Human Resources, reassured that employees at USD will not be affected.
“The University of San Diego strives to provide our employees with comprehensive healthcare options that meet the needs of our diverse employee population,” said Carolin. “There are no plans to make changes to our health benefits as a result of President Trump’s recent ruling.”
Over the past few weeks ,lawsuits from states such as California and Massachusetts and bills such as the Protect Access to Birth Control Act, are being passed to try and help block the recent rollback initiated by the Trump administration.