More Than 300,000 Women in Louisiana Live in Contraceptive Deserts
(Washington, D.C.) Newly-released data from Power to Decide reveals 314,450 women living at or below 250% of the poverty level in Louisiana live in contraceptive deserts, counties in which there is not reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods. Currently, across the country more than 19 million U.S. women in need live in such areas.
“In Louisiana, more than 300,000 women must overcome significant barriers to get the birth control they need and deserve in order to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child,” said Power to Decide CEO Raegan McDonald-Mosley, MD, MPH. “For women already struggling to make ends meet, the costs associated with getting to the nearest health center that offers the birth control that works best for them – transportation and childcare costs, combined with unpaid time off from work – can easily become too much to manage.”
The state has made meaningful progress to improve access to reproductive health care, including expanding Medicaid coverage, and recently passed a bill to allow Louisianans eligible for Medicaid to have a six-month supply of their contraceptive method dispensed at one time. However, there are still many proactive steps Louisiana can take to expand birth control access, such as allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraception, or protecting insurance coverage for the full range of contraceptive methods without cost-sharing.
Visit Power to Decide for state-by-state information on these and other reproductive health access policies.