A new public awareness campaign is providing First State women free rides to health clinics with the goal of preventing unplanned pregnancies.
Delaware women in need of free contraception can now get a free ride to a participating health center by visiting beyourownbaby.com.
It’s part of a new public health campaign called Be Your Own Baby, hoping to inspire women to take care of themselves before thinking of having kids. Mark Edwards is co-founder of the nonprofit Upstream USA that’s in charge of the campaign, and says its upbeat message reflects feedback from local women.
“We spent a lot of time with a very large number of Delaware women asking them about what the barriers were to them getting access to contraception, and one of the things that came out of those conversations was transportation," Edwards said. “For many – just literally getting to their health center, or getting to their doctor – is a challenge.”
That's why they're utilizing Circulation, the HIPPA-compliant arm of Uber to give women free rides to health centers for contraceptive services.
Upstream has been working in the First State for about two years training staff on how to provide all necessary contraception services in one visit, compared to the previous standard of 2-3 visits. Edwards says they’ve worked with about 80 health centers so far.
“We didn’t want to do any sort of consumer marketing or public awareness work until most of the health centers in the state were really able to offer great service," Edwards said.
Edwards says around 40 health centers are part of the Be Your Own Baby campaign, which he says has received great feedback so far.
Upstream plans to provide the complimentary transportation service through December, and possibly longer.