Over 11 million women of reproductive age in the United States live over an hour away from an abortion provider, and at least 19.5 million women who need publicly funded contraception live in “contraceptive deserts”—counties without reasonable access to the full range of contraceptive methods.
Several private companies, such as Nurx, are trying to bridge the gap by making birth control more accessible. Non-profit organisations such as Planned Parenthood aim to treat underserved communities and populations with limited means to obtain contraception and reproductive health services.
Pill Club, a birth control and prescription delivery startup backed by Google’s Alphabet, is partnering with non-profit organisation Power to Decide to provide 5,000 units of emergency contraception—a generic version of Plan B—to women in need.
Over the next three months, Pill Club will also match all donations up to $10,000 made to Power To Decide’s BCBenfits programme, a contraceptive access fund. The fund helps lower-income women overcome barriers that are commonly encountered when trying to get birth control, such as transportation, child care, unpaid time off work and healthcare costs not covered by insurance.
“We thought, what can we do to support women in these states in ways that other companies may not be able to?,” Co-founder and chief executive officer Nick Chang told TechCrunch. “This is the moment where private companies can really go out and benefit women in ways that may not be supported in other avenues. Since we have the means and ability to do it in ways that are more convenient and private, it’s our opportunity to drive access and support.”
Founded in 2016, Pill Club offers healthcare services with at-home delivery to customers in all 50 states and is licensed to prescribe medication in 35 states, thanks to its team of doctors, nurses and patient care coordinators. The company also has its own pharmacy.
“At the end of the day, our company is about empowering women,” Nick told TechCrunch in January 2019. “What does that mean? It means empowering our patients to make their own healthcare decisions and making reproductive healthcare more common — something to not be shy about or worried about.”