In April 2004, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette (PPCW) became the first family planning provider in the US to offer qualifying Oregon women access to hormonal contraception (e.g., birth control pill) online. In May 2006, PPCW began providing contraception online to women in Washington State, through a common web infrastructure housed in Portland. In October 2006, PPCW launched Instant Birth Control, a multi-media campaign which significantly increased web traffic, patient visits, and online contraception sales. Since April 2004, 2,363 Oregon and Washington women have accessed Instant Birth Control.
For more than 14 years, standards of medical practice have uncoupled the requirement of a pelvic exam to receive hormonal contraception. Hormonal contraception can safely be provided based on careful review of medical history and blood pressure measurement. (Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2001)
Instant Birth Control patients receive all necessary health screening and monitoring to ensure safe, quality care. Patients may have the prescription called in to a pharmacy, pick up medication at a PPCW health center or have medication mailed to them.
Increased access to reliable birth control methods is key to reducing unintended pregnancy and abortion rates. Instant Birth Control increases access to reliable birth control by:
* Providing 24/7/365 access, accommodating busy work or family schedules
* Eliminating geographic barriers, serving women regardless of physical distance from a provider or pharmacy
* Honoring women’s desire to keep personal choices private from doctors or pharmacists who may not respect the decision to use contraception
* Serving women whose anxiety about the pelvic exam prevents them from starting or continuing reliable contraception
* Easing women into an ongoing relationship with a provider by starting online first
* Reducing cost of care through economies of scale, allowing providers to serve more women