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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leslie Pritchard
Missouri Family Health Council
(573) 694-4898
LPritchard@mfhc.org

 

The Right Time Initiative Increases Access to Quality Contraceptive Services for Women in Missouri
Nineteen additional health center locations across Missouri to offer free or low-cost birth control

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (July 14, 2020) – Deciding if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant helps women pursue the future they want. The Right Time initiative is making it easier for Missouri women, including those who are uninsured or underinsured, to receive quality contraceptive services.

Six additional health centers in 19 locations have joined The Right Time network of providers. In 2019, the first year of the initiative, six health centers in 13 locations were part of The Right Time partner network. Additional health centers are expected to be added in 2021. At present, there are a total of 12 The Right Time partner health centers in 32 locations throughout Missouri; including Columbia in the center of the state, St. Louis in the east, Joplin in the southwest, and Cape Girardeau in the southeast.

The Right Time is a six-year initiative working with a variety of health centers across Missouri to provide training, technical assistance, and funding to expand access to the full range of contraceptive methods. All methods of birth control are free or low cost to those who need them at The Right Time health centers.

Currently, more than half (51%) of all pregnancies in Missouri are described by women themselves as unintended. Although there have been broad declines in unintended pregnancy, both nationally and in Missouri, rates remain disproportionately high among women of color and those in rural areas.

The Right Time is focused on addressing these inequities by removing barriers to quality contraceptive services, providing more women with access to the full range of contraceptive methods, and helping women find the method that works best for them.

“Disproportionately high COVID-19 death rates for Black Americans underscore in stark terms the ongoing inequalities in health services in America,” said Michelle Trupiano, Executive Director of Missouri Family Health Council, the organization leading The Right Time. “In addition, as a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling on contraception, some women in Missouri will be paying for, or paying more for, their method of birth control. This will have a disproportionate impact on women of color and those of limited economic means. The Right Time health centers are dedicated to reducing health inequalities by removing the barriers that keep too many Missouri residents, particularly those in marginalized communities, from receiving quality contraceptive services. All Missouri residents — no matter who they are, where they live, or their economic circumstances —deserve access to the birth control of their choice. The Right Time is working to make that a reality.”

The following six health centers with 19 locations have joined The Right Time:

  • East Missouri Action Agency, Inc. (Park Hills, Cape Girardeau, and Fredericktown)
  • Butler County Health Department (Poplar Bluff)
  • Pike County Memorial Hospital (Louisiana, Bowling Green, and Vandalia)
  • Planned Parenthood Great Plains (Columbia)
  • Missouri Highlands Healthcare (Annapolis, Van Buren, Doniphan, Ellington, Pilot Knob, Naylor, Poplar Bluff, Piedmont, Eminence, and Viburnum)
  • Spectrum Health Care (Columbia)

These new The Right Time partner health centers join an existing network of six health centers with 13 locations. They are:

  • Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers (two St. Louis locations)
  • Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services
  • Contraceptive Choice Center (St. Louis)
  • Fordland Clinic (Fordland and Kimberling City)
  • Jefferson County Health Department (Hillsboro, Arnold, and High Ridge)
  • Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri(two St. Louis locations, Joplin, and Springfield)

 

The Right Time is an initiative of Missouri Foundation for Health and is led by Missouri Family Health Council, Inc. (MFHC). MFHC is a private, nonprofit organization that champions access for every individual to culturally sensitive, quality sexual and reproductive health education and services. MFHC supports systems of care throughout the state, with particular emphasis on safety net providers, in delivering patient-centered reproductive health care to all those who seek services. MFHC’s programming is focused on removing cost barriers, specifically for the uninsured, and supporting health centers through quality training, analysis and collaboration.

About The Right Time: The Right Time is a six-year initiative that 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. With a goal of reducing Missouri’s unintended pregnancy rate by 10% by 2024, The Right Time is committed to addressing persistent health disparities that exist around unintended pregnancy and marginalized populations. Visit TheRightTime.org for more information.