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New Morning Foundation Announces Choose Well, A First of its Kind Program Across South Carolina to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy

COLUMBIA, S.C., May 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- New Morning Foundation has launched Choose Well, the largest contraceptive access program in our state's history. It's an alignment of 56 organizations with the shared vision to create a healthier South Carolina by attempting to reduce unintended pregnancies 25 percent by the year 2021.

More than half of all pregnancies in South Carolina are unintended, and it is estimated they cost South Carolina taxpayers more than $79 million each year with an additional $195 million to the federal government annually. Choose Well aims to reduce unintended pregnancy by improving consumer knowledge and access to contraceptive care services, increasing provider knowledge and skills, and removing cost barriers to contraceptive care and birth control for women.

The initiative is 100 percent privately funded by New Morning Foundation. Choose Well has partners in all 46 South Carolina counties, including the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), federally qualified health centers, hospitals, rural health centers, community-reaching organizations, college/university health services, colleges of nursing, and other community and capacity-building organizations all with the same mission: to improve the health, development and economic stability of South Carolina's women, children and families.

"Since 2002, we've been advocating for equitable access to high-quality reproductive healthcare for all South Carolinians," said Bonnie Kapp, president and CEO of New Morning Foundation. "Our foundation has spent almost two decades quietly making great strides in reproductive education and contraceptive access through our grant-making. We are now launching our largest initiative and one that is not only significant to our state, but also the first of its kind in the Southeast. It's all about removing barriers and advancing equitable access to information and resources so that more people can take control of their reproductive health and be empowered to Choose Well."

"Choose Well is a huge step forward for South Carolina in bringing revolutionary change to contraceptive access," said Dr. Rick Foster, senior advisor for the South Carolina Hospital Association. "This program helps to ensure the coordination of family planning and reproductive health care, saving the state money and, most importantly, giving South Carolina families the healthiest start."

This year Choose Well will provide grants totaling more than $10 million to partners for additional nurses and other clinical positions, facility improvements, medical training and contraceptives. To further support health centers, a statewide public service announcement campaign has been developed to promote contraceptive care, encouraging consumers to make an appointment for contraceptive counseling at a Choose Well clinical partner location. For a complete list of participating clinical partners, please visit www.nodrama.org.

About New Morning Foundation
New Morning Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, private-sector, grant-making organization dedicated to improving reproductive health education, counseling and clinical services throughout South Carolina. It serves as the lead organization for Choose Well. For more information, visit newmorningfoundation.org or choosewellsc.org

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SOURCE New Morning Foundation