FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Most Missouri Residents Support Greater Access to Birth Control
New Survey Released by The Right Time Initiative on “Thanks, Birth Control” Day
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI (November 17, 2021) – Three quarters (76%) of Missouri residents, including large majorities across the political spectrum, believe the state legislature should increase access to birth control for Missourians, according to a new public opinion survey. Three-quarters (75%) believe more should be done in their communities to improve access to all methods of birth control, including 86% of Democrats, 78% of Independents, and 69% of Republicans.
The survey of 750 Missouri residents was released as part of the Missouri-based The Right Time initiative. The Right Time partners with a variety of health centers across the state to provide training, technical assistance, and funding to expand access to the full range of contraceptive methods. There are currently 12 The Right Time partner health centers in 33 locations (and growing) in Missouri.
Partner health centers in The Right Time network offer all methods of birth control and all methods are free or low-cost to those who want them. Fully 72% of Missouri residents support the privately funded initiative’s provision of free or low-cost birth control. Regarding insurance coverage of contraception, eight in 10 (80%) believe that birth control is a basic part of health care that should be completely covered by health insurance, including 87% of Democrats, and 80% of both Republicans and Independents.
Survey results are being released on the 9th annual “Thanks, Birth Control” Day, an opportunity to highlight the role birth control plays in improving the lives and prospects of people worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites birth control as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
“The Right Time aims to help those seeking quality contraceptive services, with special attention to eliminating health inequities by reducing cost, access, and knowledge barriers, and focusing on equity for those who are uninsured or underinsured, geographically isolated, or low income,” said Kathleen Holmes, Missouri Foundation for Health Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. “It is encouraging that a broad majority of Missourians recognize that birth control is health care and strongly support increased access to contraception for all.”
This polling shows that Missouri residents want the legislature to focus on increasing access to birth control,” said Michelle Trupiano, Executive Director of Missouri Family Health Council. We hope the legislature will support proactive measures that increase access to contraception and allow people to take control of their own health.”
Other survey findings include:
- Fully 88% of Democrats, 79% of Independents, and 71% of Republicans think the Missouri state legislature should increase access to birth control for Missourians.
- Cost (41%), lack of time to get birth control (38%), and lack of a nearby clinic (30%) are the top three factors that have made it hard for Missouri residents to get the method of birth control they wanted. An additional 23% cited concerns about COVID-19. (Respondents could choose more than one answer.)
- Three-quarters (74%) believe birth control gives individuals the power to make their own plans on their own schedule and on their own terms.
About The Right Time: The Right Time is an initiative of Missouri Foundation for Health and is led by Missouri Family Health Council, Inc. Missouri Foundation for Health is building a more equitable future through collaboration, convening, knowledge sharing, and strategic investment. Working in partnership with communities and nonprofits, MFH is transforming systems to eliminate inequities within all aspects of health and addressing the social and economic factors that shape health outcomes. Missouri Family Health Council, Inc. champions access for every individual to culturally sensitive, quality, sexual and reproductive health education, and services.
The Right Time initiative is based on the simple belief that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue the future they want, including if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant. The Right Time seeks to empower individuals to take control of their own health by improving information about, and removing barriers to, contraceptive services, recognizing that decisions always rest with the patient. The Right Time is committed to addressing persistent health disparities that exist around unintended pregnancy and marginalized populations. Visit TheRightTime.org. for more information.
About the Survey: The results presented here are based on an October 2021 survey of 750 Missouri residents 18-45. The survey was conducted by AYTM, an independent research organization and has a margin of error of +/- 3.58% at the 95% confidence level.