Access to Birth Control Is More Important Than Ever

step ahead

Sponsored - The following content is created on behalf of A Step Ahead Foundation and does not reflect the opinions of Gray Media or its editorial staff. To learn more about A Step Ahead Foundation, visit

A Step Ahead Foundation’s mission has always been to give women access to free, long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) as well as health education and an annual scholarship. And as you know, access to birth control is now more important than ever. It matters. Here’s why: Tennessee has one of the highest unplanned pregnancy rates and Shelby County’s teen pregnancy rate, though cut in half over the past 10 years, is still more than twice the national average. And did you know that unplanned pregnancy is one of the most cited reasons for women (and men) dropping out of school?

This is why A Step Ahead created Teen Talk. During Teen Talk, 13–18-year-olds learn about abstinence, birth control, STIs, consent, healthy relationships, and hygiene in a fun, relaxed, welcoming environment. A Step Ahead Health Educators connect with young people in a variety of settings, mostly during after-school activities, making sure they have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their life choices.

We are committed to our goal of ensuring that every Memphian has the support they need to achieve their full potential. Any unplanned pregnancy can - for many individuals and families, not just teens - create challenges that can feel unsurmountable.

This is what drew Sabel to Christ Community Health Services Women’s Health Clinic: “I just had a baby and I wanted to spend the first few years focused on just that one child as a first-time mom,” Sabel said.

She continued: “I had no insurance at the time and fortunately I was able to get free birth control from A Step Ahead.”

A Step Ahead was there for Melonie, too.

“Getting birth control for free when I did was so important because my husband had just started a new job and I didn’t get paid maternity leave from mine,” Melonie said. “Not having to pay for birth control, or worry about possibly getting pregnant again, was a huge help.”

Will you continue to support women and families in Memphis? Since 2011, A Step Ahead has provided birth control at no cost to over 7,200 women at 27 partner clinics, educated over 30,000 people from teens to grandparents about how to talk about reproductive health (and how to start a conversation about family planning) and finally, awarded $1.5 million post-secondary scholarships to 396 Shelby County women.

Your support is not only vital to us as an organization, but is truly life-changing for thousands of young women and their families throughout Shelby County.

A Step Ahead Foundation is completely funded by donors like you. We receive no government funding. If you would like to contribute, please go to to help women and families continue to get a step ahead.

step ahead