More Than 360,000 Women in Massachusetts Live in Contraceptive Deserts

Press release

More Than 360,000 Women in Massachusetts Live in Contraceptive Deserts

January 11, 2023

(Washington, D.C.) Newly-released data from Power to Decide reveals 361,810 women living at or below 250% of the poverty level in Massachusetts live in contraceptive deserts, counties in which there is not reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods. Currently, more than 19 million women in need live in such areas across the United States.

“In Massachusetts, more than 360,000 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 commonwealth has made meaningful progress to improve access to reproductive health care, including expanding Medicaid coverage, requiring insurers to cover the full range of contraceptive methods without cost-sharing and a 12-month supply of prescription contraceptives dispensed at one time. However, there are still proactive steps Massachusetts can take to expand birth control access, such as allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraception.

Visit Power to Decide for state-by-state information on these and other reproductive health access policies

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Power to Decide is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to advance sexual and reproductive well-being for all by providing trusted information, expanding access to quality services, and catalyzing culture change.