Health | Law | National

Mother Jones: Indian women lack access to contraceptives

"Compared to the rest of the United States, the rates of sexual violence among Native American women are nearly twice as high; one in three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, according to the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center. But in many Native communities, women have little to no access to emergency contraception, the group reports in a new paper advocating for greater access.

On many reservations, the only medical facilities are the Indian Health Service centers, which are a federally administered division of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center's research found that only 10 percent of the pharmacies in the IHS offered Plan B, or "the morning after pill"—the leading form of emergency contraception—over the counter. Forty percent only provide Plan B with a prescription, and the other half don't provide the pill at all. The federal government approved over-the-counter sales for women over the age of 18 in 2006, and for 17-year-olds in 2009, but access has lagged in the IHS."

Get the Story:
Report: Plan B Access Limited in Native Communities (Mother Jones 3/13)

Join the Conversation