Providing Low and No Cost Birth Control Helps Ensure Women Have the Power to Decide

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Providing Low and No Cost Birth Control Helps Ensure Women Have the Power to Decide

March 30, 2018
A woman considers a pill she's holding in her hand.

A recent study from the University of Utah Health revealed what we already know—having to pay for contraception is a real barrier for some women.  Specifically, according to the study, women are two and half times more likely to use more effective contraception when they don’t have to pay for it.

At Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy, we believe that all young people, regardless of who they are, where they live, or what their economic status is, should have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant. To help young people make informed decisions, we provide objective and accurate information about sexual health and contraceptive options and we work to guarantee equitable access to and information about the full range of contraceptive methods. 

Unfortunately, making access to contraception a reality for all women in this country remains a challenge. Today, women of color, young women living in poverty, and young women in rural areas are more likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy. These disparities are due, in part, to the fact that more than 19 million women in need of publicly funded contraception live in contraceptive deserts, counties in which there is not reasonable access to a public clinic that offers the full range of contraceptive methods.  

In addition, recent actions by Health and Human Services give us pause when it comes to programs like the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and the Title X family planning program. We know that these programs help to ensure that millions of young people have information about and access to contraception.  We will continue our efforts to ensure that all young people will have quality sexual health information, access to no or low cost contraception and a strong network of safety-net clinics providing highest standard contraceptive care through the Title X and Medicaid.  Ultimately, everyone benefits when young people have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant.

Ginny Ehrlich is CEO of Power to Decide