Abortion Rights Overturned: One Year Later
Public Health Expands Free Sexual and Reproductive Health Services to Meet Need
In the year since the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated safe and legal abortion access in Wisconsin, Public Health Madison & Dane County has expanded its free services and resources to meet the changing needs of the community.
The agency’s Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) clinic increased staffing, hours, and added new services including providing free long-term pregnancy prevention and all-options pregnancy counseling.
“Our mission is to provide critical reproductive and sexual health services to anyone who needs it, especially people with low income and those who are uninsured or underinsured,” said Stephanie West, Public Health Supervisor. “That goal became more important than ever a year ago when the healthcare landscape shifted drastically,” she continued.
In addition to its expanded suite of birth control and STI testing services, Public Health now also provides long acting reversible contraception like Intrauterine Devices, or IUDs. This single intervention can prevent pregnancy for a long time, and can be removed when the person wants it to be.
“IUDs are the most effective, non-permanent birth control option. They are safe and effective for all ages and body sizes and give people choice and control over their bodies,” said West.
More than a quarter of pregnancies in Wisconsin are unintended. The majority of those unintended pregnancies are among people living with low income.
Public Health also launched the Reproductive Health Nurse Navigator program, which connects people with a registered nurse to help review all options for pregnancy. This includes abortion, adoption, and parenting resources. This service is free and confidential.
“We know that losing abortion access has created significant barriers for people to access necessary health care. This program is designed to help meet the increased need for coordination and education of options for preventing unintended pregnancies,” said Sarah Hughes, Public Health Supervisor.
“We want people to know that getting help is as easy as sending a text,” she continued.
To reach one of our Nurse Navigators, call or text 608-690-0893 or fill out a short contact form. To make an appointment at our sexual health clinic call (608) 243-0411.
Funding for the expansion of services came from a joint investment from Dane County and the City of Madison.
Edited on 7/5/2023 to include accurate phone number to reach Nurse Navigator.