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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Your Country/State/Province & Birth Control

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Author Topic: Your Country/State/Province & Birth Control
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey, all of you awesome international users: can you each make a post sharing what, in your state, province or country, access to birth control and emergency contraception is like as a young person?

In other words, are both easy for you to get or hard? Where do you get them? What do they cost? What, if any, attitudes are you met with in accessing them? What barriers are there to your access of either or both? Do you have to be sneaky in any way? Where you're at, are there any outright dangers in trying to get them?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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To give an example, right now I live in Washington State in the US. Washington is actually a pretty exceptional state, on the whole, when it comes to all methods of birth control, including emergency contraception. Access to all are pretty easy for young people, and we also have a statewide program for young people, insured or not, to be able to get free birth control, including emergency contraception, and some sexual healthcare. Young people's right to both is very much respected and protected here.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

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I've lived in three places since I've been sexually active: British Columbia, Canada, Queensland, Australia and Manitoba, Canada (which is where I am now).

Manitoba (like all Canadian provinces) provides basic health care - there's no cost for doctor's visits or any diagnostic tests, so STI screenings, pap smears and consults for BC are free. Prescriptions aren't free, but based on your income from the previous year, there's a maximum amount you can pay for prescriptions per year. (For example, I'm on a couple of medications that are quite pricey, but since I've earned very little while living here, I pay a maximum of a couple of hundred dollars per year - when I've reached that limit, my prescriptions are free for the rest of the year.) Manitoba is also really good about providing access to sexual health for young people - there are a lot of community health centers that run weekly teen clinics offering services like STI screenings, info on birth control, health educators and counsellors.

British Columbia is a little bit more expensive (there is a small monthly fee to be covered by the provincial health plan, and it doesn't cover prescriptions) but again, doctor's visits and STI testing is free. The town where I lived had several clinics specifically for teens, and friends living in other areas of the province have said that the situation is similar in their cities.

Canada in general seems to have a good attitude towards protecting teen sexual health and making services easily accessible for young people. (Too, abortion is covered under the public health system in a lot of cases, and federal law states that provinces must provide funding for abortion services, although how much that funding covers varies by province.)

Australia has a public health system similar to Canada, and there are a number of family planning clinics in Queensland, easily accessible to young people. Prescriptions, including birth control, are partially covered by public insurance. Access to sexual health care is assumed to be a given for everyone, teens included.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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I have spent most of my time since becoming sexually active in Germany.

There, buying a health insurance plan is mandatory. As a student, I have reduced fees and currently pay 68 Euro a month for my health insurance. That covers all doctor's visits, but not testing or medication (though it does cover the pill for women under 20). I have done some looking around, and currently none of the state insurance plans cover STI testing or birth control. In practice, this means that you have to pay for each test individually, and they cost between 40 and 80 Euros a piece. For the pill, I currently pay 36 Euro for a 3-months supply.

Emergency Contraception is prescription only, and I have never tried to obtain it, so I couldn't say how difficult it is.

Many cities do have some kind of organization that deals with HIV/AIDS, where you can also get HIV tests done free and anonymously. Additionally, there is a private organization in Germany that works a lot like PP in America, called Pro Familia. However, they usually offer only counseling (including options counseling for pregnancy, which is mandatory for getting permission to have an abortion) and classes on safe sex, etc. Only a few of their clinics also offer reproductive health care.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mortality
Activist
Member # 35831

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In Stockholm, Sweden hormonal birth control is subsidised for women under 23. The generic pill they start of prescribing used to cost me 60SEK (~less than 10USD) a year back in 07. Condoms you can get for free from "Ungdomsmottagningar" (health care facilities all about reproductive health care for people between 13 and 23), and they will also give you plan B if you need it.

If you can't get to a "ungdomsmottagning" you can buy Plan B over the counter (costs 159SEK, ~20-25USD) and condoms you can get in pretty much any grocery store, supermarket, pharmacy and a lot of other locations. I don't know how much they cost cos I always stock up on the free ones when I get tested for STIs or just accompany a friend getting tested.

I don't know how it is with other types of birth control, but I know that there are a bunch of other things you can get but they are generally more expensive than the generic brand of the pill they pretty much always start of prescribing.

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Thehiddenone
Activist
Member # 39654

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Well i live in England, UK, Europe and i've found it very easy to get birth control and checked out ect. with and without my parents permission so that is VERY easy to get around here. I'm not sure about EC, but i there is the 'infomation shop' around where i live, in my main town, where i can go and get all the info on sex ed that i need. So i can go ask them there if i ever need it. Over all englands good at helping people underaged with birth control.
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Ronlak111
Neophyte
Member # 46402

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I am from India, in India Condom are to be distrubute free of charge at government health center and contraseptive is also free distribute at here.

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Rons

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