Demand Accessible, Effective Contraception for All Women

Intrauterine Device_By_Sarah Mirk

Target: U.S. President Barack Obama

Goal: Make long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) easily accessible to women everywhere in the U.S.

The most successful contraceptive tools for women are unnecessarily hard to obtain. Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) are also one of the least used forms of contraception in the U.S. due to the many hurdles women must jump through to access them. In order for all women in the U.S. to have access to these effective forms of contraception, it is time to ensure that clinics across the nation are trained and ready to offer LARCs to women the very day they come in looking for help.

A recent trial in Colorado made LARCs available to low-income women, and the results were extremely telling. During the trial, LARC use nearly quadrupled and unwanted pregnancies decreased significantly. As of now, only 12 percent of women using contraceptives use LARCs, and this is largely due to their higher upfront cost, and the current inability of clinics to offer same-day LARC insertion when a woman comes in to discuss contraceptive options.

Currently, groups such as Upstream USA are attempting to train staff at clinics nationwide on how to insert IUDs so that women only have to come into the clinic once to receive one. The hope is that with a full staff capable of performing the procedure, patients won’t have to schedule a separate session with the doctor for the actual insertion.

Access to effective contraception is extremely important so that women can pursue opportunities of their choice without fear of unwanted pregnancies. Yet, as of right now, the majority of women in the U.S. don’t have easy access to the most effective form of birth control. This is unacceptable and needs to be changed with funding for more training programs like Upstream USA. Please sign the below petition to demand that every effort be made to make LARCs an affordable and accessible contraceptive option in every state.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama,

Access to effective contraception is necessary for the health and happiness of women. Being able to plan for their families affords women the option to choose and pursue whatever opportunities she wishes to pursue, which is ultimately beneficial to both her and her family. As of now, however, the most effective form of contraception, long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), are not easily accessible to women, and are not widely used. I am writing to request that you make every effort to make LARCs, such as IUDs, more readily accessible to women in all 50 states.

LARCs have been found to be 20 percent more effective than the popular birth control pill, yet only 12 percent of women using contraceptives are using these devices. This is likely due to the fact that obtaining a LARC currently requires multiple trips to the doctor and costs more upfront.

Fortunately, programs such as Upstream USA are trying to make it possible for women to obtain a LARC the same day they come in for a consultation by training clinic staffs around the country on how to insert IUDs. The hope is that by training the whole staff at the clinic, more people will be readily available to perform the procedure, and patients won’t have to schedule separate insertion appointments.

A recent study in Colorado made IUDs easily accessible to low-income women in the state. The results concluded that when IUDs are more widely used, the rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions drop. Ultimately, every woman has a right to choose what sort of contraception is best for her, but it is important that she also have access to all possible options. Please make every effort to support programs such as Upstream USA so that LARCs can become available to all women in the U.S.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Sarah Mirk

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