After decades of pursuing public health policies to reduce unintended pregnancies in South Carolina, New Morning President & CEO Bonnie Kapp had a bold idea.
What if we made birth control available at little to no cost in every community, in every county, for every person with a uterus in South Carolina, regardless of health insurance coverage? What if we did this against a backdrop of relentless political attacks on reproductive rights and a weak healthcare infrastructure, where 30% of counties have no OB/GYN providers, the average distance to a family medicine practitioner is 37 miles, and 29 of 46 counties in the state are 100% medically underserved?
Against these odds, Choose Well was established in 2017. Choose Well works across a network of 119 health centers to provide free or low-cost birth control across South Carolina. In just four years, it has become the largest state-based contraceptive access program in the nation.
Today on the podcast to talk about the impressive program are New Morning Foundation's President and CEO, Bonnie Kapp, and Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Kelly.
Bonnie and Sarah discuss the backdrop of historical and contemporary barriers to reproductive health access in South Carolina, how the Choose Well program works and has managed to serve over 300,000 South Carolinians to date, what challenges they've encountered, and what lessons they've learned that can be applied to other states in the fight for equitable, comprehensive contraceptive access.
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