Protecting Women’s Health

I got my IUD the same way I registered for my fall classes — by scheduling an advising appointment and paying with tuition. Within 48 hours of my consultation at the university clinic, I had one of the most effective forms of birth control.

My experience is fairly typical among Texas’ large, four-year universities. Here, well-equipped student health services are funded by tuition, and, according to the American College Health Association, most students pay for birth control with a parent’s insurance plan.

But my experience isn’t an option for Texas’ 712,554 community college students. Despite reporting preferences among college women for longer-lasting, more reliable birth control, a recent study from the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin found that cost and insurance barriers pushed community college women to use less-effective methods such as condoms and withdrawal.

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