Empowering women to be in charge of their reproductive choices and ensuring they have access to affordable contraception have always been the guiding principles of our work at Nurx. Following the news this week regarding several state laws that will significantly impact access to reproductive care, we’ve heard from many Nurx patients who are concerned that recent legislation will interfere with their ability to access birth control. We have more than 20,000 patients in the states most recently impacted by these laws, and we want to make sure that women everywhere understand that birth control and emergency contraception remain legal and affordable across the country.
What’s been happening this week?
Multiple states have passed new laws or advanced legislation that place significant barriers to reproductive care. The laws deal primarily with abortion access and the details vary by state, but the headlines have many women understandably concerned and confused.
Do these laws impact my ability to access birth control?
No! Birth control is not abortion and and none of these laws impact our ability to provide contraception. There is one piece of legislation in Ohio which could potentially limit insurance coverage for certain forms of birth control based on an incorrect definition of pregnancy, but this hasn’t been voted into law and wouldn’t make birth control illegal.
Nurx provider Dr. Julie Graves also shared her concerns from a clinician perspective: “Legislation that is not based on sound medical evidence is very concerning for healthcare outcomes – and potentially has unforeseen consequences as there are limitations placed on high quality reproductive healthcare. We are always happy to provide facts and answer questions about reproductive health – from legislators and other elected officials, and from our patients.”
Does this affect my ability to access Plan B or other emergency contraception?
Dr. Nancy Shannon from Nurx’s clinical team provides a clear answer on this: “Unfortunately, many people misunderstand how emergency contraceptive pills work. There are two types available – Plan B and Ella – and they both prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation until the sperm are no longer able to fertilize the egg. If a sperm has fertilized an egg already, emergency contraception will not end the resulting pregnancy.”
Because Plan B and Ella prevent pregnancy and do not affect an existing pregnancy, they will not be impacted by the new laws. Which is good — just as with birth control, convenient access to emergency contraception is more important than ever when limits are placed on reproductive choices.
Will health insurance still cover birth control?
Yes! If you have health insurance, we will work with your plan and in many cases, the cost of your medication will be $0. We also want to emphasize our long-standing commitment to offering affordable options for women without health insurance or who choose to not use their health insurance. We offer birth control for as low as $15 per month.
We want to be especially clear with our Ohio patients that while pending legislation could potentially limit insurance coverage for certain forms of birth control such as IUDs, this legislation would not impact our providers’ ability to prescribe birth control.
What do you think the long-term impact will be?
Although these laws don’t impact our ability to provide access to contraception, we are deeply concerned when there are any new roadblocks put in place to reproductive care. The result of such legislation often impacts women’s access to critical healthcare needs at-large.
Dr. Shannon shared with us another important health fact around the importance of making sure women have access to contraception: “Even in healthy young women, pregnancy can cause complications like dangerously high blood pressure, diabetes, blood clots, and gallstones. Women with underlying conditions like heart valve problems and lupus can experience increased symptoms during pregnancy. Moreover, in first world countries and with good prenatal care, there are still too many women who die during childbirth.”
What can people do to help?
Please help us spread the word that birth control and emergency contraception remain legal and affordable across the country! We want to make sure women understand they can access safe birth control, no matter where they live or what their circumstances may be.
Share Your Story
Nurx remains steadfast to our commitment to provide safe and affirming care for sensitive healthcare needs, including birth control and emergency contraception. We believe it’s more important than ever that we raise our voices about the importance of affordable access to reproductive care. What does affordable and accessible contraception meant to you? Please share your stories with us!
Contact Your Legislators
Wherever you live, make your voice heard by contacting your state lawmakers to tell them why access to safe reproductive care is important to you. If you live in one of the states that has already or may soon pass legislation limiting access to reproductive care, you can find your legislators’ information here:
Help Elect Pro-Women’s Health Candidates (or run for office yourself!)
If you believe women should have a seat at the table when their reproductive choices are called into question, we’ve provided a short list of organizations that help recruit women to run for office who are advocates for reproductive care. Even better? Think about running yourself!
Is there anyone else that we should add to the list? Do you have a question that we didn’t address here? Send us a note at email@example.com
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.