MORE THAN 300,000 WOMEN IN SOUTH CAROLINA LIVE IN CONTRACEPTIVE DESERTS
(Washington, D.C.) — Recent data from Power to Decide, show 310,100 women with low income in South Carolina 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 of low income live in contraceptive deserts.
“More than 300,000 women in South Carolina face real barriers in accessing contraception they need and deserve in order to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide. “These women who are already struggling to make ends meet must cover costs associated with transportation, child care and unpaid time off from work just to access basic health care. What’s more, women in South Carolina are also less likely to have health coverage, which limits their ability to get the birth control method that is right for them.”
In South Carolina 15.8% women of reproductive age (13-44) are uninsured, significantly higher than the national average of 11.7%.
“States like South Carolina can help women in need through policies that protect and expand access to contraception,” said Ehrlich.
Expanding Medicaid to childless adults would help decrease the percentage of uninsured women, and by extension, give them contraceptive coverage. In addition, allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraception, and requiring insurance to cover an extended supply of prescription contraceptives can make it easier to access some contraceptive methods. South Carolina can also guard against additional barriers to access by enacting policies that protect insurance coverage of the full range of contraceptive methods. More information about these policies can be found here.
Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.