(Washington, DC, Thursday, July 23, 2020) – Deciding if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant helps women to pursue the future they want. The Right Time initiative is making it easier for Missouri women, including those who are uninsured or underinsured, to receive quality contraceptive services.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding contraception says that employers have the right to refuse to include birth control in their insurance plans based on any religious or moral objection. As a result, more women in Missouri will have to pay for, or pay more for, their preferred method of birth control. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that women without insurance pay more than $1,000 to start using one of these methods—this is almost one month’s salary for a woman working full-time at the federal minimum wage.

Many Missourians are struggling to make ends meet and more people are deciding to delay having children due to financial concerns brought on by COVID-19. These concerns seem to be resulting in an increased demand for birth control.

Although there have been broad declines in unintended pregnancy, both nationally and in Missouri, rates remain disproportionately high among women of color and those in rural areas.

Six additional health centers in 19 locations have joined The Right Time network of providers. In 2019, the first year of the initiative, six health centers in 13 locations were part of the network. Additional health centers are expected to be added in 2021.

The Right Time is focused on addressing these inequities by removing barriers to quality contraceptive services, providing more women with access to the full range of contraceptive methods, and helping women find the method that works best for them.

The Right Time is a six-year initiative that seeks to empower individuals to take control of their own health by improving information about, and removing barriers to, contraceptive services, recognizing that decisions always rest with the patient. With a goal of reducing Missouri’s unintended pregnancy rate by 10% by 2024, The Right Time is committed to addressing persistent health disparities that exist around unintended pregnancy and marginalized populations. Visit www.TheRightTime.org for more information.

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