You Can Now Get Birth Control Via An App. This Is A Total Game Changer.
Believe it or not, millennials have it pretty rough what with today’s affordable housing crisis and the soaring costs of attending college. But one perk of growing up within the past two decades is the glorious, life-saving thing that is technology. Specifically, smartphones and, even more specifically, new app-based birth control ordering. You read that right: now, you can literally get a birth control prescription using your smartphone.
Apps like one by Planned Parenthood and another called Lemonaid have women answer pretty basic questions about their health, have a doctor review their medical information, and then send a prescription for birth control to a nearby pharmacy or in the mail. After the woman has a phone call with a doctor, Lemonaid, which involves a $15 fee, sends three months’ worth of birth control pills literally the next day. The Planned Parenthood app also offers free UTI consultation over video call with doctors. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood’s app doesn’t offer care in every state yet, but women in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, and Washington can take advantage of the app and possibly have their birth control costs covered.
Frankly, this is all nothing short of revolutionary when you consider the struggle and stigma that has long been associated with women, especially teenage girls, having abortions. This just might have something to do with lingering sexist attitudes about female sexuality and women having sex for reasons other than procreation, but this is amazing news, so I’m going to try my best not to get sidetracked.
According to Guttmacher, women between the ages of 15 and 19 are most likely to be sexually active without the use of any form of contraception, and while birth control can’t address the sexually transmitted infections this renders young women vulnerable to, it can certainly combat teenage pregnancy. Lower rates of teenage pregnancy will obviously be to the benefit of teenage girls who can thus continue pursuing their educations and professional pursuits, but they’ll also cost the government a lot less in terms of Medicaid and welfare spending on teenage mothers. And what with all the unfortunate conflict and struggle regarding abortion in many states, some of which forbid minors from obtaining an abortion without parental consent, not getting pregnant at all is probably every girl’s safest bet.
Young women having access to birth control is a win-win that conservative-leaning doctors and the ingrained shame and embarrassment about being sexually active preventing girls from asking their doctors for the pill have long stood in the way of. I repeat: these apps are absolute game changers.
In California and Oregon, women can purchase birth control pills over the counter without a prescription, which is just great, but also not within the budgets of some. The ability to get a prescription, and three months’ worth of birth control for $15 via Lemonaid, further opens up access to birth control by making it affordable and obtainable on a regular basis.
Even outside of the key demographic of women between 15 and 19, it’s worth noting that about 45 percent of annual pregnancies are unintended. I have no doubt that struggle to obtain some form of birth control contributed to this, and the ease of ordering birth control from one’s smartphone could work all kinds of miracles in reducing this number.
I can only imagine the outrage this will inspire among the usual anti-reproductive rights crowd, especially the delusional thumpers of abstinence-only sex education. But considering these are the same people who oppose abortion, and birth control is the best means to reduce rates of abortion, it would be in their best interests to just get on board with this.