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Local organization provides birth control access in Tulsa County

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 11:16:24-04

TULSA, Okla. — After the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade last week, Oklahoma’s trigger law outlawed abortions in the state.

Since 2010, Take Control Initiative works with local clinics to provide equitable access to birth control in Tulsa County.

“We’re a contraceptive access program in Tulsa County that means we work to remove barriers to access to birth control for folks in Tulsa,” Laura Bellis, executive director for Take Control Initiative said.

The initiative launched in 2010 hoping to educate uninsured and under-insured populations about birth control resources available to them. They partner with one hospital and 22 health centers.

Bellis said her organization focuses on education and the clinics focus on providing healthcare resources.

“It was really imperative to have concentrated work making sure everyone knows their options, how to access options and then when they get to a clinic site, they have any birth control method available to them that they choose," Bellis said.

Community Health Connection is one of those 22 health center sites.

“By providing those services, community health connection is able to improve public health equity across all of Tulsa County,” Jim McCarthy, CEO of Community Health Connection said.

Bellis said many of the people who contact them often don't know about the reproductive healthcare options available to them. Others encounter transportation, financial, and language barriers.

Bellis said calls for emergency contraception ramped up even before the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade. She said inquiries started coming in shortly after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill banning abortions from fertilization and a bill allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers.

"That’s been a big one, people trying to make sure they can get emergency contraception. We’ve been ramping up services for that. Last year, we had through our clinic partners and our online pharmacy partner distributed about 70 or so emergency contraception pills over the last two months we’ve distributed about 930 in the community because people are really trying to be prepared and have resources on hand,” Bellis said.

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