NEARLY 115,000 WOMEN IN NEW MEXICO LIVE IN CONTRACEPTIVE DESERTS
(Washington, D.C.) — According to data released by Power to Decide, an estimated 114,630 women living at or below 250% of the poverty level in New Mexico live in contraceptive deserts, counties in which there is not reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods. Nationally, more than 19 million U.S. women in need live in contraceptive deserts.
“In New Mexico, almost 115,000 women with low incomes face barriers to accessing the contraception they need in order to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, CEO, Power to Decide. “Women in these deserts struggle with transportation and child care costs and taking unpaid time off from work just to access basic health care.”
In this challenging landscape, states like New Mexico have taken proactive steps to expand access to contraception in various ways. New Mexico has already expanded Medicaid to low-income adults, which helps decrease the percentage of uninsured women, and by extension, gives them the contraceptive coverage they need to live healthy lives. In addition, New Mexico law requires insurance to cover an extended supply of prescription contraceptives and protects insurance coverage of contraceptive methods. Further, New Mexico allows pharmacists to prescribe contraception and offers Medicaid reimbursement for postpartum long-acting reversible contraception. Other policies that would help include enacting a state policy to educate college students about unplanned pregnancy.
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.