Maven offers free birth control prescriptions via digital doctors

Many women fear that the next administration will limit access to birth control and IUDs.

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Getty / Peter Dazeley
Getty / Peter Dazeley

Two days after Donald Trump was elected to be the next president of the United States, searches for the term "IUD" rose more than four times across the country, according to Google Trends. Searches for "Planned Parenthood" and "birth control" similarly spiked as women in the US began preparing for an uncertain future. After all, Donald Trump and his running-mate, Mike Pence, have spoken out against protections for women's reproductive rights and against the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to cover intrauterine devices and other forms of contraception. With a Republican Congress, there's a path for Trump to repeal the ACA outright.

In response to these concerns, Maven, a New York-based startup that received $2.2 million in funding last year, is offering free digital appointments with a women's health practitioner now through the end of the year. These appointments include a prescription for birth control and information about IUDs.

"It is unclear how access to women's healthcare could change in 2017," the company's site reads. "At Maven, one thing we believe will never change: getting birth control easily and affordably is a social imperative. Now through the end of the year, speak to one of our women's health practitioners for free and get your prescription immediately (or get your questions about IUDs answered)."

The Maven system offers doctor appointments via video or private message. We recently tested out an online doctor app based in the UK and found the process to be exceedingly convenient and convincing.

In another show of digital support for women's reproductive rights, people have taken to Twitter this week with stories about the benefits of birth control, using the hashtag #ThxBirthControl. The Twitter campaign was started by the non-profit online birth control support network, Bedside. More than 20,000 people have taken things a step further by donating to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence's name.

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