Organization offers free emergency contraception for Missourians

A Missouri organization wants to increase access to emergency contraceptives, with the director saying now is the time to help
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 4:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A Missouri organization wants to increase access to emergency contraceptives.

The Missouri Family Health Council’s new project aims to help women in Missouri discreetly and confidentially get emergency contraceptives, better known as Plan B.

“This is proactive to have in your medicine cabinets,” Michelle Trupiano, executive director of the Missouri Family Health Council, said. “To make sure that everybody knew that it was legal and that people had it available and accessible to them.”

According to Trupiano, since abortion became illegal, many women in Missouri are confused about emergency contraception.

“It does not terminate a pregnancy; it works just like any other form of birth control,” Trupiano said.

These emergency contraception kits are available at different agencies across the state. In Cape Girardeau, they’re available at the East Missouri Action Agency.

Program Director Lucia Obergoenner said the kits contain over the counter emergency contraceptives, reproductive health education materials and links to health care.

“Anything that would help to prevent unwanted pregnancies is definitely needed,” Chelsie Montano said.

She is a Cape Girardeau resident. She said without tools like this, women don’t have a choice.

“Because all it’s going to do is cause a bunch of women to go and try to do unconventional methods to go get rid of unwanted pregnancies and that’s not fair to them,” Montano said.

Trupiano said even with abortion illegal, emergency contraceptives are readily available across the state.

“Pick up a kit no questions asked,” Trupiano said. “If there’s not a distribution site that is accessible to them whatever the reason, they can request one by mail and we will deliver one to them.”

The delivered packages are discreet and confidential. Trupiano said she wants women to have this access waiting for them if they want it.

“Our goal is also to connect folks to ongoing care and ongoing family planning services,” she said. “Just one more tool that folks have in terms of determining and empowering them to control their own health.”

We reached out to the Archdiocese of Springfield and Cape Girardeau for comment but have not heard back.

The MFHC has a complete list of distribution centers on their website.

The website also has a form to request free emergency contraceptives by mail.