The Choose When Mission
The mission of Choose When is to provide access to long-acting reversible contraception, (LARC) through advocacy, education and funding, for women in Northwest Colorado who could not otherwise afford it.
Why does Choose When Exist?
According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, nearly half of all pregnancies in Colorado are unintended. Colorado has a high cost of living and a high poverty rate, this plus a high number of uninsured or under-insured women leaves many without access to affordable contraception. Women with incomes below the poverty line had an unplanned birth rate nearly seven times that of women at or above the poverty line. Research links access to contraceptives with women’s attainment of college degrees and employment, increased earning potential, and a narrowing of the gender pay gap, as well as more enduring marriages. Choose When became our local grassroots solution to this problem. We offer maintenance-free birth control to all women in Northwest Colorado through existing health service providers.
The Choose When Story
The problem we are addressing is not a new one. We are not the first organization to take on the goal of providing free birth control to women in need. So, what makes us different? We are a group of women coming together to help other women, and we believe that is an incredibly powerful thing and with enough support, potentially an unstoppable force. We are also the only organization in Northwest Colorado currently providing this service.
After having the idea to help women in the community, our founders began by asking those on the front lines, working in women’s health, what were the most pressing needs of their patients, and how the community could come together to support their efforts. Together with affected community members and healthcare professionals, our team put together a plan of action to best serve the women of the region. What they needed was birth control: whose efficacy would not be affected by forgetting to take a pill one day, that could be hidden from disapproving partners or parents and could be obtained for little or no cost.
So with this information, we partnered with those who could provide the medical expertise necessary, and we became the fundraising, education, and advocacy wing of this movement.
Northwest Colorado Health, Planned Parenthood, and Rio Blanco County Public Health all agreed to partner with us as we formed Choose When. Our established and respected healthcare partners implement and administer the program. Choose When provides funding for LARCs, like IUDs and hormonal implants, for the women of Northwest Colorado who could not otherwise afford it. Together, we provide the education, outreach, and advocacy for LARCs.
As a community, we will work to improve the lives of women in Northwest Colorado.