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Idaho State News

NEW GROUP AIMS TO EDUCATE, ADVOCATE FOR ONGOING ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTIVES IN IDAHO

BOISE, Idaho (December 4, 2023) — A newly formed organization with an aim to protect and expand access to contraceptives in Idaho announced its statewide launch today. The group, called Idaho Contraceptive Education Network (ICEN), intends to enhance public education about the function of various contraceptive methods and cultivate dialogue about their importance to Idahoans.

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ICEN is spearheaded by Kelley Packer, former state representative and executive director of the Association of Idaho Cities; Tara Malek, business owner and former candidate for state senate; and Laurie Lickley, former state representative and rancher. ICEN was established to connect Idahoans and provide a platform from which to educate others, giving a voice to the majority of Idahoans who favor policies maintaining or expanding access to birth control and who believe contraceptives are essential to reducing unplanned pregnancies.

 

“The most important message we can share is that life is so important and precious, and it should be prepared for in a thoughtful way,” said Packer. “Contraceptives allow people to do that.”

 

The group says that while Idaho has laws in place protecting access to contraceptives, the issue has increasingly been intertwined with other hot-button issues that could potentially reduce access. ICEN aims to increase understanding about various methods of contraception and their function to bolster understanding of and support for ongoing and expanded access.

 

“There are some misconceptions about certain types of contraceptives and how they function,” said Malek. “Naturally, people want to be sure they are supporting policies and practices that align with their belief system. ICEN is working to fill knowledge gaps so Idahoans can feel confident in their support for protected or expanded access to contraceptives in Idaho.”

 

Many Idahoans rely on contraceptive methods to prevent, delay, or space pregnancy. Contraceptives are also commonly used to treat and manage a wide range of medical conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovarian cysts, menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea, anemia and acne. In fact, according to a recent survey, the majority of Idahoans have utilized some form of birth control. According to research, access to birth control makes it easier for women to finish their education, stay in the workforce, and plan the timing of their pregnancies.

 

“Idahoans have expressed their desire to protect our right to use contraceptives,” said Lickley. “There is nothing more pro-life than giving our families access to this important family planning resource.”

 

Idahoans interested in sharing their support of continued access to contraceptives may join the network by visiting idahocen.org/join. Members will receive information about network events and activities, have the opportunity to share their own stories about the role contraceptives have played in their own life and family planning, and receive educational resources that can be shared with friends and family.

 

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