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...for visiting the Blog of the Nonviolent Choice Directory.

We feature commentary but most of all action alerts on the same positive, abortion-reducing measures we cover in the Directory.

These measures include post abortion healing; male responsibility; comprehensive sexual/reproductive health education; all voluntary pregnancy prevention methods, plus rape and incest prevention & treatment; and life-affirming ways to get through crisis pregnancy and beyond.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

How to Afford Family Planning Despite the Economic Hard Times (US-Oriented)

A report by Kathy Lohr of National Public Radio discusses the problems that the economic downturn poses for access to family planning--and suggests that many people are considering abortion who might not have before.

So Nonviolent Choice would like to highlight some resources that can help people suffering from these hard times to still access good birth control and prevent undesired pregnancies and abortions. (This is limited to people in the US, unfortunately.)

--Educate yourself fully for free online about the different methods and the pros and cons (including the financial pros and cons) of each one with the resources in the Pregnancy Prevention section of our Directory.

--Might you be eligible for the Medicaid health insurance program for low-income people? In many states, family planning is a free benefit under Medicaid. Start by visiting the website of your state's Medicaid office.

--Title X is a national family planning program that serves mostly low-income and many uninsured Americans with affordable services. Find the Title X clinic nearest you.

--See if your state health department has any free or low-cost family planning services of its own.

--Whether or not you personally have trouble affording your birth control, take action to ensure that everyone in the US who wants it can get it. Please regularly visit the 2-Minute Activist at Cristina Page's Birth Control Watch to see all that you can do.


Sophia said...

Great resources, Marysia! One additional thing I wanted to highlight is that Fertility Awareness and Natural Family Planning methods are extremely low cost--just a book, like Toni Weschler's Taking Charge of Your Fertility, or a class. And they are highly reliable when used carefully and give women empowering knowledge of their bodies. I was fascinated to learn recently that the mainstream family planning establishment, after years of dissing NFP, is now actively propagating the Standard Days Method, with counting beads to track cycles and the option of barriers during the fertile time, in developing countries. It is enabling many couples who have not used any form of family planning to begin doing so and a greater team effort with faith based organizations....

Marysia said...

Sophia, great points.

Yes, low cost is one of the pros for fertility awareness/natural family planning...as well as its reliability, if (like any other method) it is practiced diligently and correctly.

But isn't getting instruction from a trained teacher, as opposed to simply reading a book (however sound), important to the success of the method?

Are you aware of any organizations that offer classes and/or personalized counseling in FAM/NFP at reduced or no cost?

But books can be helpful. Another good FAM/NFP book is Katie Singer's Garden of Fertility, which we sell among the books on the lefthand side of this blog.

Sophia said...

Classes, where you can follow up with chart consultation, are probably ideal--if you are very careful though books can work (or computer programs, another option offered by Weschler).

One problem with NFP classes, as opposed to FAM, is that they tend to be restricted to married or engaged heterosexual couples. This even though Sr./Dr. Hanna Klaus found that teaching the Billings method to sexually active teenagers, which made the young women clearly aware of their fertility, was quite effective and in many cases they chose to cease sexual activity altogether....

Anonymous said...

For folks interested in the Standard Days Method, I found my CycleBeads on eBay for well below retail, with their original instructions. Toni Weschler's book is also available in most libraries.

All the info for CycleBeads can be found online, and are really useful when used in combination with condoms (often free from your local Planned Parenthood or student health office!).

Marysia said...

Thanks for the information! Free is good. (:

But I do want to point out that if anyone wants their purchases of FAM items like CycleBeads, or other nonprescription family planning or safer sex items, to benefit Nonviolent Choice--and if you can afford it--you can go to:

(By the way, there are some options for people with latex allergies, and for vegetarians and vegans.)