The cost of birth control shot up significantly to kick off the new year, but what about the cost of not using it? According to the Medical Institution for Sexual Health, 43 percent of college-age women report having been pregnant at some time.
Many students may not know that they are eligible for free health insurance.
That includes birth control, by going to the Department of Economic Security and applying for AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) or by calling them at: (602) 542-9935.
To avoid lines, women can also apply for AHCCCS and receive birth control at places such as Crisis Pregnancy (CP) or Planned Parenthood.
“It is so important to have health insurance and to be on birth control if you are sexually active,” said MCC faculty member and nursing adviser, Robert Decker.
Decker explained how common it is to have pregnant women in class each semester and how capable they are to reach their academic goals.
“A pregnant woman in college can absolutely complete her education,” Decker said.
He encourages those students to communicate with their instructors, let them know the expected date of delivery, amount of time away, and to work ahead.
“Any instructor has had this situation and can help accommodate the student,” he said.
For women who have become unexpectedly pregnant, or think they might be, a free pregnancy test, ultrasound, and counseling are available at the Crisis Pregnancy center near MCC.
Crisis Pregnancy also offers a referral list of doctors covered by AHCCCS.
“Often girls come in and feel alone and unsure of what decision to make,” Emily Snyder said, a staff member and certified counselor at CP.
“We’re here to help and to offer information.”
Once a week girls can come and meet with a counselor as a part of CP’s Learn and Earn program.
After each session, they receive “mommy bucks” which allow them to purchase baby items from their on-site store.
CP also offers a Hope and Healing Program for women who may be emotionally distressed after having an abortion.
“A lot of times women think their dreams are over for them, but they can still pursue their goals,” Snyder said.
“We give them as many resources as we can to help them through it.”
Crisis Pregnancy is located at 1818 E. Southern Ave., Suite 13A west of Gilbert Rd. on Southern and the telephone number is: (480) 733-2740.
Decker said he has often referred students to the MCC counseling department concerning these issues, where they have found “great help and progress towards recovery.”
“If MCC students need help with any personal issue, they should come to the counseling department and make an appointment,” MCC counselor Christa Adams said.
“We respect their value system and work with everyone individually to ensure academic success.