NEARLY 300,000 WOMEN IN KENTUCKY LIVE IN CONTRACEPTIVE DESERTS
(Washington, D.C.) — According to data released by Power to Decide, an estimated 267,600 women living at or below 250% of the poverty level in Kentucky 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 Kentucky, nearly 300,000 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 women already struggling to make ends meet.”
In this challenging landscape, states like Kentucky can take proactive steps to expand access to contraception in various ways. Kentucky 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, a bill to protect insurance coverage for the full range of contraceptive methods without cost-sharing and require coverage for an extended supply of contraceptives was introduced in the last legislative session. If passed in the future, these policies would help improve access. Allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraception would also help increase access to some 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.