Birth Control & Family Planning
Reproductive freedom includes being able to easily access the full range of affordable, quality, and evidence-based contraception methods. Whether used for preventing unintended pregnancy, treating a health issue, or spacing out pregnancies, affordable and accessible contraception is used by the vast majority of people who can get pregnant at some point during their lives. North Carolinians deserve medically accurate and comprehensive education about birth control as well as a diversity of options for accessing it. Medically inaccurate sex education, disinformation from anti-abortion fake clinics, expansive "conscience clauses" that allow anti-choice people to block access, and lack of health insurance coverage all contribute to a lack of access to this needed care. We advocate for policies that provide accurate and comprehensive education about contraception access, prevent coercion of contraception use, and expand access to this vital healthcare.
Contraception Access at Pharmacies
Starting on February 1, 2022, certain contraception became available in qualified North Carolina pharmacies without a prescription, a necessary expansion of access. Emergency Contraception (EC) is a form of birth control that has been available over the counter in the United States since 2013 for people 15 and over. Access is variable, however. In the mid-2000's, Pro-Choice North Carolina completed an extensive study of the availability of EC in pharmacies across the state. Since then, Pro-Choice North Carolina has advocated for expanded access, and joined national group Reproaction on a campaign to ensure EC is easily accessible to all who need it.
Paid Family Leave
Paid family leave - time off from work to attend to certain family issues like caring for children or other family members - is a key component of reproductive freedom. Unpaid leave time, as guaranteed in the federal 1993 Family Medical Leave Act, is often not enough for many families, who end up having to choose between a paycheck and providing needed care for family members. North Carolina remains one of just a handful of states has not enacted laws to provide paid family leave for the majority of workers.