I work as a contraceptive counselor at a Title X women’s health center. Part of our practice includes stocking LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive) methods, like IUDS, in order to remove accessibility barriers.
One day, I took a phone call from a twenty-something woman who had an abortion procedure a week or two prior at Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. This patient lived near the Arkansas border, nearly four hours from St. Louis. She was calling me because she wanted to get a LARC method before her insurance coverage ended. All the health centers near her had to order the LARC method for her, pushing the time that she could get her IUD past the time that her insurance coverage ended.
Since my health center stocks LARCs, I was able to schedule the patient quickly and get her the LARC she needed before her insurance coverage ended. This patient moved me. She had two long commutes for two very routine outpatient procedures – abortion and birth control.
It’s devastating to know that there are many women out there who lack access to basic health care services.
Thankfully, my health center and other health centers like Planned Parenthood are trying to expand care.