A San Francisco based telemedicine company will provide another option for Iowa women to access birth control -- online.
Nurx announced it will launch in Iowa on Tuesday. The company allows women to gain access to birth control online by partnering with Iowa healthcare providers to assess patients through online intake forms. Once patients have a prescription, the company then delivers the pills to their homes.
Vice President of Clinical Services Jessica Horwitz said the service will benefit the estimated 170,000 Iowa women live in "contraception deserts."
"We mean areas where there either none or very limited sort of affirming providers that are providing contraceptives," Horwitz said. "And that may mean driving 50 miles, 100 miles to get to the closest clinic that you can get a birth control prescription, and there are counties in Iowa that meet that criteria."
Horwitz said this also includes women who may not be near a doctor who is willing to prescribe birth control.
"Sometimes it means there’s just not an affirmative place to get that care," Horwitz said. "We hear stories all the time of the women who go in and are told, ‘Oh maybe you should try abstinence instead of birth control.’ So that’s barriers to access, but it’s a totally different thing."
In addition to Iowa, Nurx is available in 24 other states.
The company's launch comes about a month after Governor Kim Reynold’s push to make birth control available through pharmacies failed in the legislature. Reynold's plan would have allowed women without a prior perscription to get birth control pills through a pharmacist without seeing a doctor first.
Editor's note: This post was corrected on May 15 to reflect that Nurx does not offer video consulations, which had been previously reported.