Set It and Forget It: How Better Contraception Could Be a Key to Reducing Poverty

Set It and Forget It: How Better Contraception Could Be a Key to Reducing Poverty

Read

Upstream profiled in the New York Times

New York Times Upshot reporter Margot Sanger-Katz spent several months exploring our work in Delaware, speaking with patients, providers, and government leaders:

“When a woman of childbearing age goes to the doctor in most places, she gets standard queries about her smoking, drinking, seatbelt use and allergies. In Delaware, she is now also asked: “Do you want to get pregnant in the next year?”

If her answer is no, clinics are being trained to ensure she gets whatever form of birth control she wants that very day, whether a prescription or an implant in her arm.

This simple question — so new that electronic medical record systems had to be modified to record the answer — is part of the state’s effort to remake its approach to contraception. The bet by state officials is that this will both reduce unintended pregnancies and help women escape poverty. It could also reduce state spending on Medicaid.

Working with an organization called Upstream, Delaware has rolled out the program to nearly every medical provider in the state over the past three years. It’s having big effects on the number of women requesting and receiving contraception in a state that recently had the nation’s highest rate of unplanned pregnancies.”

The complete profile can be found here: Set It and Forget It: How Better Contraception Could Be a Key to Reducing Poverty