Researchers at the University of Utah have teamed up with Planned Parenthood to create HER Salt Lake, an initiative that provides women with access to various methods of birth control free of charge.
The HER Salt Lake Contraceptive Initiative started in September of 2015. Operating out of local health centers, the project began providing counseling to educating patients about all available birth controls options that they qualify for. Unfortunately, even though the health centers were offering birth control, patients were still required to pay for their birth control.
In March 2016, HER Salt Lake was able to eliminate the cost of all birth control methods including oral contraceptives, vaginal contraceptive rings, contraceptive injections, implantable rods and IUDs in all participating health centers.
“We know that birth control is not one-size-fits-all and that people may need to switch methods to find the best birth control for themselves, so HER Salt Lake helps participating patients continue or switch methods, for free, for up to three years,” said Kyl Myers, a spokesperson for the HER Salt Lake Contraceptive Initiative.
HER Salt Lake aims to educate patients and assist with family planning. By providing women with birth control, the initiative hopes to help women avoid unplanned pregnancies.
“We want to help empower people to accomplish their goals and research shows us that people have better health outcomes and more enduring relationships with their partners and their children when they are able to plan their families,” said Myers. “I love being a part of the HER Salt Lake Contraceptive Initiative and helping people accomplish their goals, whether their goals are graduating college, getting a promotion, remaining childfree, or planning and spacing the children they want.”
There is no limit on the number of women who are eligible for birth control. HER Salt Lake has set a goal of providing at least 7,000 women with access to the birth control. As of now, the initiative has provided more than 3,000 women with birth control. The program is funded by donations from local supporters, Intermountain Healthcare Foundation and a nonprofit pharmaceutical company that donated 3,000 IUDs and other implant devices.
HER Salt Lake is providing this service to patients until March 25, 2017.
There are three Planned Parenthood health centers participating:
Salt Lake, 654 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
West Valley,1906 West 3600 South, West Valley City, UT 84119
South Jordan, 1091 South Jordan Parkway, South Jordan, UT 84095
Women interested in getting the pill, ring or shot can walk-in to any of the participating health centers, and women interested in getting an IUD or implant need to request an appointment through the website www.HERsaltlake.org.