Last year Dr. Virginia Smith was approached by a fellow women's health worker to make earrings resembling an Intrauterine Device contraceptive (IUD).
"Everyone knows I make jewelry," Smith told BuzzFeed News, "so I thought, 'Why not make this?' Only in our modern world, right?"
Smith said she's made jewelry for years and sells it on Etsy. She decided to add the IUDs to her collection.
Smith, who is an OB-GYN, has personally inserted hundreds of IUDs and said she could easily visualize a mold for the jewelry.
She didn't want to use real IUDs, but wanted them to be around the same size as one. The small size made finding the right material a challenge, but she eventually found a resin which she could pour into an IUD mold and infuse with color and glitter.
The earrings turned political when they were discovered by advocates for a Colorado bill that would provide IUDs and other long-lasting contraception to women at little or no cost.
The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Democratic Rep. KC Becker and Republican Rep. Don Coram. It would designate $5 million toward subsidizing a Colorado Family Planning program which has provided affordable contraception to women in the area for years, but can no longer survive on private funding.
Coram calls himself a "Redneck Republican," but has said he supports the program, which is expected to decline the teen abortion rate by 42%, primarily for fiscal reasons.
"Unintended teenage pregnancy sets [women] up in a cycle of poverty," Coram told the Denver Post. "Eighty percent of them will be on welfare within a year. Many will drop out of school."
Politicians and lobbyists for the bill began distributing the earrings to fellow elected officials and supporters of the bill. The men wear them as lapel pins, next to their American flags.
"It's fun to see if people notice them or not," Rep. KC Becker told the Washington Times. "Usually it's the women who can identify what that is," while many of the men ask if they are fishing lures, she said.
As the earrings grew in popularity in Colorado and Washington, D.C., Smith said she has sold nearly 200 pairs. She added that she supports the intent of the bill.
"I fully support women being able to have affordable access to IUDs, to choose to postpone pregnancy to when they're ready," Smith told BuzzFeed News. "Nothing but good can come from that."
"Surprisingly, I've had no negative reactions yet," Smith told BuzzFeed News. "But I'm sure there's some waiting out there. ... The reality is that the IUD exists and it's out there to help women. There's no way to deny that."
Smith said she plans on making IUD lapel pins, necklaces, and anything else that comes to mind.