SGA partners with Favor, expands student’s access to contraceptives
As access to reproductive care continues to face legal challenges nationwide, students at UH have partnered with a company to help continue access to contraceptives.
Called Favor, the company’s mission is to provide an affordable and accessible platform for distributing birth control. The partnership came about as a result of efforts made by SGA Speaker of the Senate Ariana Azizi, who initially reached out after becoming concerned about her fellow student’s access to health care.
“College students are a demographic that generally does not prioritize their health care as much as they should,” Azizi said. “Especially as it relates to reproductive health care, this is something that’s been a problem on college campuses for a long time.”
In addition to already running several similar programs on other campuses, Favor’s emphasis on discretion and affordability made the company an easy first choice, Azizi said.
Favor’s focus on discreet delivery can fit the needs of some of UH’s student population.
Another concern for Azizi when it came to choosing a company to partner with was finding one that would suit the unique needs of the UH commuter population.
“70 percent of the student body commutes to school, and because of that we don’t necessarily know what their home life might look like,” Azizi said. “So we’ve teamed up with the Wellness Center to provide a safe pickup zone for those who may be concerned about shipping it directly to their homes.”
Both the Wellness Center and the Women and Gender Resource Center will serve as designated safe pickup zones for students seeking discretion.
Though the University does offer contraceptives through the Student Health Center, Azizi said that restrictions with regard to insurance can create a barrier for students.
“They only accept University insurance,” Azizi said. “So it’s basically just like going to any primary care provider, and it has all the headaches and complications that come with that.”
While Favor does accept insurance, it differs from the University in that it accepts a myriad of different providers, as well as offers subsidized costs for those without insurance.
In terms of cost, Favor director of communications Sarah Abboud said that the company offers prices as low as $7 a pack without insurance. In addition, the company hopes to expand to other universities and institutions in the Houston area.
“Prices can be as low as $6.99/pack for 1 year supply or $10.66/pack for 3 month supply (dependent on brand, but we strive to keep out-of-pocket cost low),” Abboud said. “We’re always looking for partners and would love to explore other opportunities in the area to ensure women and people who menstruate have access to contraception at this critical time.”
Favor is already available at UH, and students can transfer their prescriptions to Favor’s digital pharmacy.
Sarah Sommers, a spokesperson for the company, said that the company is dedicated to ensuring women have access to birth control, regardless of their home situation.
“Generally speaking, women are holding off on seeking out the basic health care that they need and deserve when they shouldn’t have to, often because of family, job or school obligations,” Sommers said. “So supporting college students on campus who need a health care option that meets them wherever they are is a priority for us right now.”