Access to Contraception

Access to Contraception2019-07-18T15:34:03-04:00

About This Work

Access to the full range of contraceptive options is essential to having control over our bodies and our lives. NIRH is committed to expanding access to contraception by addressing policy barriers, expanding insurance coverage, and implementing systems-level change in health care settings, using an approach that centers patient autonomy and choice.

Some forms of contraception, such as long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) and emergency contraception, have been historically underutilized because of lack of provider training, lack of public education, and high cost to providers and consumers. However, efforts to increase access to contraception have often targeted their efforts at marginalized communities, particularly women of color, who have historically experienced many forms of reproductive oppression, including forced sterilization. As we work to increase access to contraception so that all patients can choose the method that is right for them, it is imperative to keep this history at the forefront of our minds.

NIRH supports policies that ensure access to the full range of methods of contraception and non-coercive, inclusive contraceptive counseling, and is committed to increasing knowledge of and access to underutilized contraceptive options in ways that center and honor patient autonomy and decision-making. NIRH also supports policies that ensure that all insurance coverage, whether offered privately, by employers, or through the government, provides coverage all methods of contraception and non-coercive contraceptive counseling with no cost-sharing on the individual and without barriers or delays.

NIRH’s LARC Access Project addresses policy and systems-level barriers to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), including IUDs and implants, within a framework that centers patient autonomy and choice. Learn more about NIRH’s LARC Access Project here.

Our Successes

Advancing Contraceptive Coverage in Massachusetts

Since the 1990s, many states have required insurers to provide “contraceptive equity,” meaning that insurance plans that cover prescription drugs must also cover contraception. However, insurance companies often limited the types of contraception that were covered or charged high copays for some or all forms. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) addressed some of these barriers by requiring coverage for all FDA-approved forms of female contraception with no copay. Many advocates and legislators worked to enshrine this requirement in their state law and to broaden the coverage guarantee even further, such as by including over-the-counter and/or male forms of contraception. In [...]

March 20th, 2017|