NEARLY 242,000 WOMEN IN OREGON LIVE IN CONTRACEPTIVE DESERTS
(Washington, D.C.) —According to data released by Power to Decide, an estimated 241,690 women living at or below 250% of the poverty level in Oregon 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.
“In Oregon, nearly 242,000 women must overcome significant barriers to access the contraception they need and deserve in order to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child,” said Raegan McDonald-Mosley, MD, MPH, CEO of Power to Decide. “The challenge of covering costs associated with obtaining family planning services—such as transportation, child care and unpaid time off from work—may be too great a burden for those already struggling to make ends meet.”
Additional data from Power to Decide show that 257,950 Oregonian women of reproductive age (13-44) in need of publicly funded contraception live in the 29 counties that were impacted by the Title X Family Planning Program “domestic gag rule” that was lifted on November 8, 2021, after more than two years of harm.
Despite these challenges, family planning providers have been making every effort to provide contraceptive services to patients across the state. In this challenging landscape, Oregon took proactive steps to partially alleviate the impact of the domestic gag rule and to expand access to contraception in various ways.
In addition to providing state funds to supplement the loss of federal Title X funds, Oregon has already expanded Medicaid to low-income adults, which helps decrease the percentage of uninsured women, and by extension, give them the contraceptive coverage they need to live healthy lives. In addition, Oregon has enacted state policies that allow pharmacists to prescribe contraception, require insurance to cover an extended supply of prescription contraceptives and protect insurance coverage of the full range of contraceptive methods.
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.