Enter to win every day in CTNOW's 21 Days of Summer Giveaways. Click here to see today's prize.
CT Now

Removing barriers to contraception [Letter]

A report released recently by the Guttmacher Institute shows a sharp decline in national abortion rates and strongly suggests it is due to increased access to birth control and fact-based sexual health information. We celebrate this news.

Right now we have a unique opportunity for women and families in Maryland. Planned Parenthood of Maryland has announced an expansion of our long-acting contraception services project. Long-acting reversible contraception is a method of birth control that is either implanted in the arm, such as the Implanon, or intrauterine devices such as Paragard or Mirena.

These methods have an effectiveness rate of more than 99 percent, with some lasting up to 10 years. A copper IUD also functions as emergency contraception, or EC, for women for whom Plan B is not an effective method.

Yet these methods are often cost prohibitive for many women who want a long-acting form of contraception — some devices are priced up to $1,000. In addition, a lack of general understanding about LARCs prevents women from knowing which method to choose.

With support from the Abell Foundation we have been able to offer LARCs as a same-day procedure at no cost for women in Baltimore City. Our talented staff has received extensive training on how to counsel patients and explain the benefits of LARCs. And our educators have been in the field, sharing information about the most effective methods available.

We are committed to educating women on all of their birth control options and to alleviating factors that may prevent them from effectively planning for their family. In the first year of the LARC access project, we saw a dramatic increase of women requesting these methods of contraception. The momentum gained from this spike propels us forward to continue expansion.

Through our new partnership with the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission, Planned Parenthood will expand the project to our health centers in Salisbury, Towson, Owings Mills and Annapolis this March. Taken together, these programs will serve hundreds of women across Maryland.

Planned Parenthood is proud to provide every FDA-approved birth control method at low or no cost. We also provide reproductive health education and services to more than 50,000 Marylanders each year in local communities, churches, schools and health centers.

We know what works: Removing barriers to the most effective contraception methods and providing accurate reproductive health information means better family planning, a lower rate of infant deaths and fewer unintended pregnancies. We are proud to serve our communities in this way and to help remove the barriers to the most modern, effective birth methods at reduced or no cost.

Jenny Black, Baltimore

The writer is CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland.

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
Related Content
  • Where OB-GYNs stand on over the counter birth control [Letter]

    Where OB-GYNs stand on over the counter birth control [Letter]

    A recent exchange within your opinion pages debated the benefit of over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives, with a letter to the editor ("Sun wrong on OTC birth control," Sept. 16) citing the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as being supportive of recent proposals from...

  • Birth control in schools: Times have changed, and we must change with them

    Birth control in schools: Times have changed, and we must change with them

    The front-page Sun article "School birth control debated" (June 7) deserved the big headline. It is time for everyone to review the present and not the past. Thirty years ago, we would not have blinked an eye: Our parents would have said no to birth control; case closed. That was then, the good...

  • School birth control makes parents' jobs harder

    School birth control makes parents' jobs harder

    It is the parents' job to teach their children right from wrong. At the very least, schools should not be making the parents' job harder ("Amid teen pregnancy decline, debate renewed about birth control in schools," June 6).

  • Little Sisters' employees have rights, too

    Little Sisters' employees have rights, too

    The Founders wisely gave us the First Amendment so that the followers of one faith could not force others to live their lives according to that faith. They had already seen how religion could be the basis for so much suffering. The case of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Affordable Care...

  • Teens have a right to birth control

    Teens have a right to birth control

    As two organizations committed to increasing access to reproductive health care services for all Marylanders, we were glad to see The Sun highlight the availability of contraceptives in school-based health clinics ("Amid teen pregnancy decline, debate renewed about birth control in schools," June...

  • Little Sisters treated shamefully

    Little Sisters treated shamefully

    President Barack Obama's federal government has scored another big win in its war on religion in the United States, which used to be a nation under God ("Federal court rules against Little Sisters of the Poor," July 15). We should be ashamed of our court system as well as this "government" pledged...

  • Pills don't prevent STDs

    Pills don't prevent STDs

    This letter is in response to Susan Reimer's column about the GOP's attitude about birth control ("On birth control, young Republicans get it," April 15). I think Ms. Reimer's opinion is very narrow-minded. While I agree that young people often have premarital sex with no desire to procreate, I...

  • Stokes, like many before him, is wrong on birth control

    Stokes, like many before him, is wrong on birth control

    Readers Diana Philip and Spencer Hall were right to call out City Councilman Carl Stokes for his characterization of teen access to contraceptives as "a racist policy targeting African-American youth" ("Teens have a right to birth control," June 11).

Comments
Loading
81°