Providing Access to Contraception

Women deserve access to the contraceptive method of their choice. Birth control opens doors to self-determination, education and careers — yet access is not equitable across America today.

Out of 6 million pregnancies in the U.S. each year, nearly 3 million are unplanned.  Studies show that unplanned pregnancy disproportionately affects low-income women and women of color. An unplanned pregnancy can impact health and stability far into the future. 

One specific cause of unplanned pregnancy is that healthcare providers serving these marginalized communities tend to offer an incomplete set of contraceptive options – often limited to birth control pills and condoms, versus long acting methods. Whether it is lack of inventory or the need for a second visit, which a job or child care may preclude, this community of women need same-day access to their method of choice.

Birth control is not just a contraceptive, it’s your future. It is your choice. It is something that you are in control of. It’s deciding for yourself what you would like for your life and what you want it to be.

– Caitee, Patient

Mountain grantee, Upstream, delivers an intervention that is designed to address these inequities and foster a healthcare environment where convenient, same-day access to a full range of contraceptive options becomes the new standard of care for all patients. 

In 2014, Upstream trained one health center serving a few thousand women a year. Just over five years later, Upstream is on a trajectory to reach health centers that will serve more than 1 million patients annually. Across the United States, Upstream’s health center partners have been able to center patient choice and achieve lasting improvements in contraceptive care and access, long after the work together has concluded.