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What is ICAN!?

Illinois Contraceptive Access Now (ICAN!) is a statewide initiative to make birth control easier to get in Illinois—because we believe that everyone should have the freedom to do what they want with their own body. No matter where they live, how they identify, or how much money they make. We believe in a simple truth: that reproductive freedom is for everyone.

That’s why we’re working with community health centers across the state to make sure that every patient is given the opportunity and the information to decide for themselves if birth control is for them–regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, income, or ability.

Interested in partnering with us? Learn more here about how your health center can join the ICAN! Quality Hub network. 

Our Background

Did you know that about half a million people in Illinois don’t have coverage for birth control? Or that only 1 in 5 women accessing care at community health centers across the state are counseled on their birth control options? What about the fact that almost 80, 000 women live in counties without a single health center that provides the full range of FDA-approved birth control methods? The truth is that even though modern birth control has existed for decades//even though birth control is basic healthcare//universal access is far from reality. Multiple, overlapping systems of oppression based on race, gender, sexual orientation, income and ability have locked the most vulnerable people in our state out of healthcare access, and denied them their most basic of rights–the ability to decide, for themselves, what they want to do with their own bodies and their own reproductive lives.

ICAN!’s strategy is informed by reproductive justice theory. As such, our goal is not to direct individuals towards particular contraceptive methods but rather to create the conditions for individuals to make informed decisions about their reproductive and sexual health using a patient-centered contraceptive counseling model.​

ICAN! stands in solidarity with communities of color whose right to parent in safe and healthy environments is routinely violated by racist and xenophobic violence. Our efforts to advance contraceptive equity are one piece of the greater struggle against all forms of racial and economic oppression that adversely affect individuals’ reproductive lives.

Our Values

  • In community, for community

    We believe in the power of people coming together for a common purpose and seek to create an environment where all voices are heard and valued in our mission to advance contraceptive equity.

  • Trust as foundational

    We trust people to make their own sexual and reproductive health care decisions. We seek to build trust by supporting providers to deliver TRUER (Trauma-informed, Respectful, Unconscious-bias aware, Evidence-based, Reproductive well-being centered) care with shared decision-making at the core.

  • Learn with humility

    We seek to continuously refine our approach in response to new policies, insights from partners and community members, data analysis, and emerging research.

  • Move boldly

    We pursue our mission with tenacity and focus, and we will continue to innovate and press forward until every person can decide if, when, and under what circumstances to become pregnant and parent.

  • Build with heart

    We recognize the impacts of structural racism and oppression on sexual and reproductive healthcare access and outcomes, and our growth strategy centers the lived experiences of marginalized people to achieve fundamental culture change.

Policy Work

We will pursue and oversee implementation of cost-effective policies that leverage public dollars to expand coverage of and payment for contraceptive services. Our priorities include:

Expanding coverage eligibility for people currently in the Contraceptive Coverage Gap.

Increasing points of contraceptive care via telehealth, pharmacy dispensing, and direct to consumer delivery.

Improving health plan quality by ensuring adequate network coverage and referrals for reproductive health care, and by incorporating contraceptive counseling quality as a performance metric.

Policy Resources:

Our community partners

Communities in Schools - Chicago logo
Communities in Schools - Chicago logo

The PATH Framework

The PATH Framework is a patient-centered model designed to help providers and staff engage in conversation with patients and clients about their sexual and reproductive health. It is based around a shared-decision making model, designed to yield maximal amount of information in an efficient way and it can be used with patients of any demographic without judgement. The brief ICAN! quiz extrapolates from the PATH framework serving as a simple tool to better understand one’s contraceptive preferences prior to the appointment with the provider. Thank you to Patty Cason, founder of PATH for sharing her work with ICAN! Easy instructions on how to share the link or embed the quiz onto your website can be found here. 

ICAN! is grateful for the generous support of our funders.

© 2022 ICAN! All rights reserved.

© 2022 ICAN! All rights reserved.