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 https://www.astepaheadfoundation.org/.
What do you think of when you hear the words birth control? The “pill”? The IUD? Going to the doctor? Preventing teen pregnancies?
All of these are true but did you know that one of the main reasons to use birth control is to space the birth of children? Spacing when children are born helps ensure that each child receives a mom’s full attention. It also allows a mother’s body to return to optimal health before having her next child.
This is what drew Sabel to Christ Community Health Services Women’s Health Clinic six years ago.
“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 had recently emigrated from The Gambia with her husband but did not have insurance during her pregnancy or after she gave birth. Everything up to that point had been paid out-of-pocket.
“I had no insurance at the time and fortunately I was able to get free birth control from A Step Ahead through Christ Community,” she said. Sabel had gone to the clinic for other services when she was informed about A Step Ahead.
Sabel remembers that “getting reliable birth control was very important to [her] because [she] so much believes in spacing kids.” A Step Ahead Foundation works with over twenty partner clinics in Shelby County to provide free, reversible, long-acting birth control (LARC) for those who have no other means to cover it.
Sabel chose the Nexplanon Implant because it works for up to three years. It is also 99% effective; you get it one time and forget about it.
She admits that, “[She] did have some side effects with the Nexplanon, like not having a regular cycle. But honestly, knowing that [she] wasn’t going to get pregnant was much more important to [her] than having a regular cycle.”
After Sabel’s Nexplanon was removed, she got pregnant within three months and now has two wonderful children, ages three and six. And by the time she was pregnant with the second child, she had health insurance. But for that moment in time, being able to have peace of mind and access to reliable birth control at no cost was a “game changer.”
Since A Step Ahead Foundation was founded in 2011, their goal has always been to make birth control available at no-cost, while also providing contraceptive counseling, transportation and education. Since 2011, the teen pregnancy numbers in Shelby County have reduced by 46.4% and there are now five A Step Ahead affiliates throughout Tennessee, covering 75 of 95 counties across the state. A Step Ahead also partners with over 100 Shelby County organizations to inform and educate the community about the importance of planning a family and how to address topics such as self-esteem, hygiene, abstinence and consent. Through their scholarship program, they have awarded $1.3 million dollars in post-secondary scholarships.
A Step Ahead Foundation is completely funded by donors like you. They receive no government funding. If you would like to contribute, please go to www.astepaheadfoundation.org/donate to help women and families continue to get a step ahead.