NEARLY 429,000 WOMEN IN INDIANA LIVE IN CONTRACEPTIVE DESERTS
(Washington, D.C.) —According to data released by Power to Decide, an estimated 428,540 women living at or below 250% of the poverty level in Indiana live in contraceptive deserts, counties in which there is not reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods. Of those in need living in contraceptive deserts, nearly a quarter live in counties without a single health center that provides 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 Indiana, nearly 429,000 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 nearly 66,000 Indianan women of reproductive age (13-44) in need of publicly funded contraception live in the five counties that lost resources due to 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 are making every effort to provide contraceptive services to patients across the state. Still, Indiana can take additional proactive steps to expand access to contraception. This is more important than ever, as the pandemic continues to devastate people’s lives in various ways.
Indiana 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, Indiana provides Medicaid reimbursement for postpartum long-acting reversible contraception. Indiana can also guard against additional barriers to access by enacting policies that allow pharmacists to prescribe contraception, extend the supply of prescription contraceptives and protect contraceptive coverage.
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.