Proposal would expand access to highly-effective long acting reversible contraception for uninsured and underinsured Virginia women

Alexandria, VA – Today, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam announced new proposed funding to expand access to long acting reversible contraception (LARC) for Virginia women. The Lieutenant Governor’s proposed program mimics a highly-successful Colorado pregnancy prevention initiative that resulted in a stunning 40 percent decline in unintended pregnancies among young women and a 42 percent decline in abortion among teens from 2009 to 2013.

Long acting reversible contraceptives, such as IUDs and implants, are recommended by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the most effective form of birth control for young women. Long-acting reversible contraceptives are able to prevent pregnancies for several years and require no action after implantation, minimizing human-error. However, the cost of LARCs – which can run up to $800 without insurance – is prohibitive for many women, particularly low-income women and young women.

“We are proud to stand with Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam today in support of this critical program,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Studies have consistently shown that reducing unintended pregnancy – particularly among young women – empowers a woman to further her education, strengthen her career, and become a highly-contributing member of society. This is a proven, highly-effective program that will make a difference in the lives of thousands of Virginia women, their families, and their communities. I thank Lieutenant Governor Northam for his leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with him to make this program a success.

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