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Just over a decade ago, nearly half of all pregnancies in Indiana were unintended. One key contributing factor? A lack of access to contraception. And the consequences? Some of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the nation.
The Path4You program, funded through IU Health Foundation via the IU Health Community Impact Investment Fund, and the support of generous donors like you, offers a solution. The program empowers people by providing information about reproductive decisions and improving access to the decisions that are right for them, including free, easily accessible birth control for all.
Path4You breaks down the barriers that keep many from seeking needed contraceptives, including lack of education and awareness, transportation difficulties, prohibitive costs, and fear of repercussions. Along with education, the program supplies a range of birth control options, from oral contraceptives to intrauterine devices and implants.
A Fort Wayne family, who wishes to remain anonymous, is making contraceptives and pregnancy education available to residents of Allen County. One of the family members, who has clinical experience in maternal and public health, has seen firsthand the fallout of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.
“We want to work toward planned pregnancies that support the woman, the baby and the family. By doing so, there’s an opportunity to reduce the number of women and babies who die from pregnancy-induced hypertension, pregnancy-induced diabetes, and complications from the birthing process such as placental abruption.”
Research has shown that education is key, as people who need contraceptives might not know what is accessible to them or what best suits their individual circumstances. “Part of what we're working toward is to make funds available for education, and to extend this education from physicians' offices to the community to raise awareness about available options.”
Path4You is available at partner locations in Marion County and is expanding to Allen County. With donor support, the program can expand statewide. To give, visit the IU Health Foundation online donation page. Once directed to the site, select "Other" under "Please Direct My Gift To," and then type "Path4You."