Startup gives away free birth control following Trump’s potential repeal of Obamacare
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Photo credit: Nurx

Photo credit: Nurx

A San Francisco-based telemedicine startup called Nurx is offering free birth control until the end of February. The best part? The promo code is “AlternativeFacts”

Nurx, a San Francisco-based telemedicine startup increasing access to birth control and the HIV prevention drug Truvada through their app, is giving away free birth control until the end of February. The move comes in reaction to Trump’s executive order seeking a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare.’ According to researchers at the Urban Institute, the repeal of Obamacare could leave up to 29.8 million more people without health coverage by 2019.

In particular, the repeal will have a devastating effect on women’s health, and affect their access to contraceptive and other preventative services. According to the National Women’s Law Center, over 55 million women now receive such services with no out-of-pocket costs because of the ACA, which requires health plans to cover at least one form of the 18 FDA-approved contraceptives.

Nurx, a startup that launched last year, has been quick to criticize the Trump administration. In an official company announcement, co-founder and CEO of Nurx Hans Gangeskar stated, “Donald Trump’s first executive order reaffirmed that he is intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act. We hope that in doing so he ensures that women would retain access to free birth control and other preventative services. Anything less would be reckless.”

In addition Jayne Gagliano, PrEP Services Coordinator at Nurx, said, “We stand in solidarity with everyone participating in the Women’s Marches. Everyone should have access to quality reproductive health care services regardless of income, location or education.”

The company has also restated their mission to continue to provide low-cost options for women, and since December, it has been offering free birth control for new users of the app. In order to get this deal, new users can visit Nurx.com, sign up, pick their brand of choice, and enter promo code ‘AlternativeFacts’ in order to receive $45 of credit toward birth control. The promotion ends at the end of this month.

Although the move shows support for the plight of women to get easy, low-cost access to birth control, it is but a small gesture with no real impact. Silicon Valley companies such as Uber, which lost customers as well as drivers after Uber drivers came to JFK amid the New York City Taxi Worker’s Alliance strike last Sunday  which was also interpreted as unsupportive of the protest against Trump’s immigration ban — have learned the cost of remaining ambiguous in the current political climate.

As a result, companies such as Google, Lyft, and yes, Uber, have recently pledged millions to legal fights to protect immigrants. Cynically viewed, this can all be seen as positive marketing, but with rising political engagement and action, companies like Nurx should continue to do more.

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