A relatively new company known to some as the “Uber for birth control” is aiming to foster easy access to contraceptives for women and girls.
Nurx, which debuted in late 2015, delivers contraceptives, Plan B and medication meant to help prevent contracting HIV directly to residences.
But the company, which operates in 15 states including Missouri, as well as Washington, D.C., is attracting opposition from lawmakers and groups opposed to emergency contraceptives such as Plan B, a product delivered by Nurx.
(Nurx is not available in Kansas but might be in the future; the company aims to expand to all 50 states.)
Susan Klein, the executive director of Missouri Right to Life, considers Plan B similar to the abortion pill RU 486, she told StatNews, despite the fact that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration classifies Plan B as emergency contraception.
John Seago, the legislative director for Texas Right for Life, explained his stance against emergency contraceptives to StatNews: “We believe life begins at fertilization. That’s the point where we have an individual, and morally that’s who we want to protect.”
Nurx is free in most states for those with insurance and costs $15 per month for those without, according to the company’s website. The minimum age requirement is 12.
The company aims to provide access to contraceptives to women and girls who live in so-called “contraceptive deserts” — areas that lack reasonable access to a public clinic.
There are nearly 20 million women living in contraceptive deserts, according to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. A map on the organization’s site indicates Missouri is among the states with the worst contraceptive deserts.
Nurx is part of a growing area of health care known as telehealth, which uses telecommunication technologies to enhance care. Contraception can also be purchased online through Amazon and other sites.
“Rural populations very much benefit from telehealth,” Michael Adcock, executive director at the Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, told NBC News.
Nurx’s mission, per its website, states: “We believe that control over your own healthcare is a human right, and something everyone deserves. Every woman should have convenient access to birth control where and when she needs it.”