Nashville providers see surge in demand for IUDs due to Roe v. Wade reversal

Intrauterine devices
Posted at 4:39 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 21:54:25-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There's a growing demand for long-term birth control now that Roe v. Wade was overturned, Nashville providers said.

A Step Ahead Foundation of Middle Tennessee provides free IUDs and birth control arm implants to women.

"This form of birth control is the most effective form of contraception, yet it’s the most costly," executive director Jenny Matthews said.

Matthews said without insurance, getting an IUD could cost more than $1,000.

Due to Tennessee's abortion ban, they've been slammed.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision enacted the six-week abortion ban law this week in Tennessee. Planned Parenthood providers performed their last abortion Tuesday in Tennessee. The legislation — known as the "heartbeat bill" — means abortions can't happen after a cardiac activity is detected on an ultrasound. Further trigger laws in Tennessee will go into effect in less than 30 days following the Human Life Protection Act voted on by the legislature in 2019.

"We estimated that we’ve scheduled at least five times as many appointments as we normally would, and our website traffic is doubled," Matthews said.

Depending on which device women get, they can last three to 10 years.

"Our call volume has tripled in the week," Matthews said.

They’re looking to add additional staff members as well.

"And I actually had a provider text me earlier this week and she said, 'I’m opening up my schedule—adding more appointments to meet the need,'" Matthews said.

The nonprofit partners with clinics in multiple counties. Neighborhood Health in South Nashville is one of them.

"So, we have our clinics bending over backwards to meet the need because they recognize that this is timely and important," Matthews said.

Some women fear for what the Supreme Court of the United States will do next.

"We are seeing more women panicked,” Matthews said, “We are social workers at heart.”

For women with transportation obstacles, A Step Ahead Foundation will pay for Lyfts to appointments. In addition, a lot of the clinics are on bus lines.

"The vast majority of women love what they get, if they don’t love it, we’ll remove it at any time free of charge," Matthews said.

Additionally, a clinic in Franklin posted on Facebook that they're also seeing more women who want tubal ligation.