By Monique Gooch-Brown
NASHVILLE, TN — A Step Ahead of Middle Tennessee (ASA) is hosting a fundraising event, “Brunch and Bubbly” on April 9, 2022 at Millennium Maxwell House from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The fundraising event allows ASA to place Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) devices in women who request the service.
It costs A Step Ahead about $350 to serve one client with an implant or IUD (lasting 3-10 years). Out of pocket, the procedure would cost upwards of $1,500. It is estimated that for every $1 spent on preventing unplanned pregnancies, that taxpayers are saved $7.
Jenny Matthews, Executive Director of ASA says, “we cover LARC as it is the most effective (other than abstinence) form of contraception, but the most costly. We want to take cost out of the equation. About 72% of women would choose a LARC if cost was removed, but only about 11% of women of reproductive age use a LARC (due to cost).”
Matthews added, “We are all about opportunities for women to plan their future. We know that not every woman has access to the resources necessary for effective family planning, and we want to change that. Preventing unplanned pregnancy means: more stable families, better educational and economic outcomes, and increased health and happiness for women and children.”
ASA’s goal is to serve 100 women. One of the things that is not as popular as ASA members thought it would be is providing Lyft or Uber for the women to get to their appointment. Revida Rahman, Board President of ASA says, “That’s something that we offer but hasn’t been utilized as much, but it is something we provide.” ASA also works with certain clinics in the area. “We have about eight clinics in Middle Tennessee that provide services for us. We’ve served over 1,600 clients since we’ve been doing this in this area.” Rahman says.
Women served by ASA average around age 28 but that is getting lower and lower. On average, the typical client has two children when they receive services from ASA. About 45 percent of the agency’s clients are Latina and close to 25 to 30 percent are Caucasian while roughly 15 percent are African American. More than 75 percent of clients are not married and most of them fall below the poverty line.
“We’re really addressing a need in the community since so many clients are coming to us where finances are a stressor and also insurance is a stressor as well. We’re really filling a GAP that exist and addressing a need that otherwise isn’t met,” Matthews says.
This is ASA’s second fundraising event. “The first event happened right before the pandemic; this is actually our second event and we do plan to do this annually. This will be our first in-person event in a while. We’ve gotten approval on some advertisements. We’ll be able to utilize on how it will affect pregnancy rates here in TN.”
Rahman invites everyone to support the organization. “We’re very excited about being able to come and share this with the community. We’re really looking to engage with more families of color and really excited about the opportunity and hope we can make an impact.”
To donate or learn more about A Step Ahead, please visit: www.astepaheadofmiddletn.org.