Small state. Big idea.

DELAWARE CAN (Contraceptive Access Now)

Delaware CAN is a project from Upstream USA designed to reduce unintended pregnancy in the state of Delaware.

This comprehensive, statewide plan is increasing access for all women to the full range of contraceptive methods, including the most effective, IUDs and implants. Upstream USA is providing training, technical assistance, and quality improvement to all publicly funded health centers and the largest private providers in the state.

Our goal is to improve public health by creating an environment where the women of Delaware can achieve their goals and become pregnant only if and when they want to.

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Read Former Governor Markell’s New York Times’ Op-ed, “What States Can Do on Birth Control

“I got into politics with the simple idea that I could create an environment where more people could achieve their full potential. I’ve come to believe that helping women achieve their own goals and become pregnant only when they want to may be one of the most important things we can do in this regard. There are very, very few times when you can create better outcomes, save money, and create opportunity all at once – and this is one of those rare times. And if we get it right, we have a chance to catalyze a national movement that could have a profoundly positive effect for generations.”


Delaware CAN will accomplish this through four activities:

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Providing training and technical assistance to all publicly funded healthcare providers and the 30–40 largest private healthcare providers in the state to ensure their patients are offered the full range of contraceptive methods, including IUDs and implants, in a single appointment.

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Working with state agencies to ensure that there are no policy barriers to all women getting same-day access to all methods of birth control, at low or no cost. The Delaware Division of Medicaid and Medicaid Assistance (DMMA) has revised its reimbursement policy for hospitals providing labor and delivery services so that they can offer their patients placement of IUDs and implants immediately post-delivery if patients request them, promoting healthy birth spacing.

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Developing a consumer-facing public awareness campaign to increase awareness of contraceptive options and where low or no cost contraception can be obtained.

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Creating a rigorous, independent evaluation of the impact of Delaware CAN so that all stakeholders, both in and outside of Delaware, will understand the impact of Delaware CAN on health outcomes and related cost savings.


Delaware CAN will take two years to implement with an additional two years to complete a full evaluation.
For more information, please contact Liz O’Neill, Delaware CAN State Director.