It’s a widespread yet very particular problem in primary healthcare: the issue of women’s access to hormonal birth control. Women face perpetual barriers in obtaining prescriptions for contraceptives. That is true even when they need the medication not to prevent pregnancy, but to treat health problems ranging from headaches to endometriosis. These barriers often have to do with finances or access, but recently they also include moral judgments from politicians and other public figures. In the end, contraception is a very personal issue for most women, some of whom share their perspectives in the accompanying story and in the audio files below.

Kendall McKenzie

Kendall McKenzie

Armed with facts, but still fighting with her doctor.

Chantel Elassad

Chantel Elassad

Fresh from Canada, didn’t know where to turn.

Michele Carlo

Michele Carlo

Only recently insured at age 51, Planned Parenthood made the difference.

Joanie Byrnes

Joanie Byrnes

Although she has access, the people she helps do not.

Shauna Haynes

Shauna Haynes

Insured, but still running into issues.

Summer Starling

Summer Starling

Getting prescriptions is a challenge without a primary care provider.