Choose When project aims to fund long-acting birth control for Northwest Colorado Women

— Northwest Colorado women who struggle to afford long-lasting birth control devices could now receive the products at no charge, thanks to a new Steamboat Springs women’s group.

Focus on Women was created during the winter with a goal of addressing gaps in service for women’s health, and the group quickly chose to focus on access to expensive, long-lasting birth control as its first project, according to Kathleen Wasserman, one of the group’s organizers.

“A group of my friends and I were talking about what we could do for women in Steamboat, and really, we were focused on women’s health care,” Wasserman said.

After meeting with local nonprofits and health care providers — including Northwest Colorado Health, Planned Parenthood and Yampa Valley Medical Center — the women continued to hear about a recent Colorado project that provided private funding for women to receive long-acting, reversible contraception, including intrauterine devices, or IUDs, and hormonal implants.

Though the devices can cost $1,000 or more, they provide long-acting birth control for 4 to 12 years and can be removed when a woman chooses to become pregnant.

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