Now, patients in Minnesota and Washington will be able to talk to a nurse online and even get their birth control medication mailed to them at home in an unmarked package. In October, the program will be expanded to STI consultation, and even mail-order medications for chlamydia. There’s even a phone app!
“The service is expected to be especially appealing to clients living in rural areas who don’t have ready access to a clinic,” writes Dan Browning at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But it’s not just access that’s likely appealing to those people. The Planned Parenthood website highlights that the service is “discreet.” This is great for those who would rather not be seen going into a family planning clinic or picking up a package with the iconic round birth control pill dispenser at the pharmacy. Discretion can also be critical for young people living at home who don’t want their parents to know that they’re sexually active. (For STI services, the promise of discretion is likely an even bigger draw.)
Tara Culp-Ressler cites an example:
Right now, since women need to visit a doctor’s office in person to obtain a prescription for birth control, they can end up in a tight spot if they can’t get an appointment in time, especially if they live in a rural area. [Sarah Stoesz, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood in MN, ND, and SD] told the Tribune that the first woman to take advantage of Planned Parenthood Care ran out of birth control pills and couldn’t see her regular physician soon enough; fortunately, she discovered this new option online.