We talk a lot about the effects of unintended pregnancies - they result in poor health outcomes for mothers and their children, they reduce both educational and professional opportunities, and they put people in poverty and keep them in poverty. And yet, almost half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. That’s nearly 3 million pregnancies each year. And many of those pregnancies occur to low-income women.
Why is this? We live in a country that offers subsidized and even free birth control. Why do some women still have trouble getting the birth control methods they need? We’ve written recently about barriers to contraceptive access so we won’t go into detail here, except to say that women still face very real challenges with getting birth control options that meet their needs. Even here in the U.S.
How can we help?
There are lots of ways to help, including making sure that women have access to a full range of birth control options. Research shows that when women have access to a full range of contraceptive options, they are more likely to find one that works for them and to stick with it. At Cycle Technologies, we are dedicated to making free and low-cost, simple tools for using fertility awareness-based methods, an important type of method in the full spectrum of birth control methods.
Low Cost & Subsidized Services
A program that has been incredibly effective at offering a broad range of options is the federal government’s Title X family planning grant program, something that you probably heard about in the last election cycle and in the news more recently. Title X provides funding to clinics to offer free and low-cost family planning and reproductive health services to low-income women. These clinics in turn make it possible for women to access contraceptive options, as well as get testing and screening for anything from STIs to types of cancer that affect the reproductive system.
Contrary to what some believe, Title X funds are not used to cover abortions. Instead, the money is used for preventative services that help educate women, provide them with birth control options, and help them take charge of their reproductive health.
We are proud to have worked closely with many Title X funded clinics over the years as they've offered our products (CycleBeads in particular) as part of the contraceptive methods they make available to clients.
Do Title X clinics work?
You bet they do. In 2008, Title X funding provided 4.7 million women with contraceptives and helped those women avoid almost a million unplanned pregnancies. Nearly half of those would have resulted in an abortion and the other half in unplanned birth.
The savings here are huge - obviously an individual’s welfare is at stake, but there’s also a cost savings for the community. These women are less likely to need the community to support them, and they have the freedom to go on and invest in the well-being of their communities by attaining their educations and pursuing careers.
Title X clinics make a difference
They give women a chance and a say in their reproductive health. Reducing or ending funding to Title X clinics would result in more unintended pregnancies, more women and families who need government assistance for longer, and more women who don’t get to pursue their dream jobs.
Learn more about Cycle Technologies’ mission to help women have access to birth control.
"Moving Forward: Family Planning in the Era of Health Reform." Guttmacher Institute. April 01, 2016. Accessed March 22, 2018. https://www.guttmacher.org/report/moving-forward-family-planning-era-health-reform.
Bassett, Laura. "What Exactly Is Title X Funding?" April 08, 2011. Accessed March 22, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/08/title-x-headline_n_846852.html.
Bassett, Laura. "What Exactly Is Title X Funding?" The Huffington Post. April 08, 2011. Accessed March 22, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/08/title-x-headline_n_846852.html.
Frost, Jennifer J., Stanley K. Henshaw, and Adam Sonfield. "Contraceptive Needs and Services: National and State Data, 2008 Update." Guttmacher.org. https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pubs/win/contraceptive-needs-2008.pdf.
Ranji, Usha, Alina Salganicoff, Laurie Sobel, Caroline Rosenzweig, and Ivette Gomez. "Financing Family Planning Services for Low-income Women: The Role of Public Programs." The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. March 08, 2018. Accessed March 22, 2018. https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/issue-brief/financing-family-planning-services-for-low-income-women-the-role-of-public-programs/.
Cycle Technologies is a socially minded consumer product company based in Washington, D.C. The company creates Brilliantly Simple™ solutions to address global health needs with particular focus on reproductive health technologies. Since 2002 the company has worked with researchers, healthcare partners, and technologists to identify, develop, and make available leading edge ideas that fit its mission. To see more about the company’s initiatives, visit http://www.CycleTechnologies.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.