I had a lapse in insurance a few years ago and paid nearly $250 for my three-month supply of birth control. Luckily, I had the money, but that's not always the case for people who face these barriers on a regular basis or don't have health insurance. If you have a similar story and want to show your support for birth control access, there's a new social media initiative that makes it simple.
Share an Instagram Story or Twitter post about your own struggles to access birth control with the hashtag #KissMyAccess by Oct. 31, and online prescription service Simple Health will donate one month of birth control to an uninsured person. The company is partnering with Power to Decide, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing unplanned pregnancies, for the campaign. In addition to donating birth control, it hopes to break down the stigma surrounding conversations about reproductive health care access.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has long recommended that oral birth control should be available without a prescription, and Simple Health's chief medical officer Dr. Rashmi Kudesia, MD, tells Bustle that people who run out of birth control and need refills often run into issues.
"You can’t just drop everything you’re doing, take the day off of work, and go see your gynecologist," she says. "Obviously, the onus is frequently on women in heterosexual relationships to provide the contraception. I think there’s a lot of anxiety over that."
Ultimately, participating in the #KissMyAccess campaign during the month of October is just one way to speak up. Here are four other ways you can promote birth control access all year-round.