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Los Angeles

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OVERVIEW

As the second largest city in the United States, Los Angeles has an incredible variety of resources. The city is renowned for its large and thriving artist/entertainment, LGBT and immigrant communities, and California overall tends to have progressive laws compared to many other US states. Generally speaking, Los Angeles is a progressive city that is pro-choice, and it has many options to help the uninsured. However, the political scene in Southern California is a more complex picture. There are pockets of the SoCal region, especially in Orange County, that are quite religious and conservative, and this is something to bear in mind.

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In California, the laws around contraception (birth control) recently changed in 2016. You can now purchase birth control pills from a pharmacist without a prescription. However, in reality, most pharmacists in California refuse to sell birth control without a prescription.[1] In Los Angeles, birth control pills are legal for both minors (under 18 years old) and adults. Minors do not need parental permission to obtain birth control.[2] While you do need a prescription for birth control, this prescription can be obtained at a pharmacy. Unlike many other US states, which require that you actually visit a physician for a prescription, California (as of April 2016) does not require that you visit a physician for self-administered hormonal contraception, which includes patches, pills and vaginal rings. For birth control that requires a physician, like IUDs, you will still need to visit a doctor.

If you want to be on the safe side, there are some confidential and Title X clinics that you can visit. Title X clinics are completely confidential, which means that your appointment and billing will be confidential. At Title X Clinics, teens and adults can receive sexual and reproductive health care. They charge on a sliding-scale basis. They may be able to give you a prescription to birth control pills, as well as condoms and sexual health counseling. If you pay for their services with family health insurance and you're a teenager, your parents may see that you visited the clinic in their bills.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Birth control sold in the USA
Condoms
  • You can get condoms in grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores (like CVS, Rite-Aid and Walgreens) and online. There are no age restrictions for purchasing condoms. Typically, a 12-pack of condoms costs around $12. Internal condoms (also known as "female condoms") cost around $2 to $4 per condom. You can also get free condoms at health centers (like Planned Parenthood), HIV testing centers and local health departments. Call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) to learn where you can get free condoms in your area. If you live in LA, you can also have 10 free condoms mailed to your home address (click here for details), or you can find free condoms distributed at locations throughout LA, including at UCLA LGBT Campus Resource Center, nightclubs in West Hollywood (like Rage), Saban Community Clinic, Westside Family Health, AIDS Project Los Angeles and many more locations. For a full list of where to find free condoms in LA, click here.
  • If you want birth control pills, you will probably still need a prescription. While you technically can buy birth control pills without a prescription in California, most pharmacists don't seem to honor this. In other words, they still require a prescription. You can get a 12-month prescription for birth control through the Planned Parenthood app (available for Android or iPhone). If you're uninsured, you can also get a low-cost prescription directly at a Planned Parenthood office. Once you have a prescription, you can fill it at LA pharmacies, such as CVS or Rite-Aid. Note that, if you don't have health insurance, the costs can be pretty expensive to fill a prescription (so you may want to go through a low-cost clinic).
  • If you are insured under your employer in California, there is also a very good chance that you are insured under Kaiser Permanente. Their main Kaiser site in LA, including the pharmacy, is found at 4867 Sunset Blvd.
  • Planned Parenthood, which has over 10 locations in LA, provides many lower-cost birth control services, including birth control implant, birth control patch, birth control pill, birth control shot, birth control vaginal ring (NuvaRing), diaphragm, external condom (known as the "male condom"), internal condom (also known as the "female condom"), fertility awareness method, IUD (hormonal), IUD (copper), etc. For a relatively low cost, Planned Parenthood writes and fulfills birth control prescriptions. If you don't have a prescription, you can receive the prescription and pills in the same day.
  • FPA Women's Health offers free services if you are a California resident, have no other health coverage for the procedure you need and meet specific income requirements. They have Mirena, Paragard, Nexplanon, Skyla, Essure, tubal sterilization, the depo shot, the pill and the vaginal ring. They have locations in Downtown LA, Santa Monica, San Fernando Valley, etc.

Costs[edit]

If you are an American citizen, your birth control exam/consultation may be covered for free, with no copay. As for birth control prices, there is no one standard price, as this greatly depends on which method is used. But, if you are uninsured, you can expect to pay between $20-$150/month supply of pills. For IUD insertion, you can expect to pay $175-600 if uninsured (or $10-$30 copay if insured). There are some clinics that offer free coverage (FPA Women's Clinic) if you fall under specific criteria.

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

Generally, anyone (no matter their age) can buy Plan B One-Step without a prescription. For other brands, like Next, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel, you can buy them without a prescription if they are 17 or older. If you want the ella pill, you'll need a prescription (regardless of age).

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

In the United States, you'll generally be able to find Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One-Dose and My Way in pharmacies. Here's a full breakdown of what you can expect to find, thanks to the Princeton EC Website:

Dedicated Products / Anti-Progestin Take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex:

  • ella

Dedicated Products / Progestin Only Take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex:

  • My Way
  • Next Choice One Dose
  • Plan B One-Step
  • Take Action

Take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex:

  • Levonorgestrel Tablets (available from a pharmacist without a prescription)

If you can't access emergency contraception, many oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC. The list of potential contraceptives that can be used for this purpose is very long, and instructions vary according to the specific brand. So, to find specific instructions based on the brands you may have available, please check out the Princeton EC Website. You can search for EC under "United States" and see recommended pills and dosages on that site.

Important Note: If you have been raped and want emergency contraception, you can get it at an emergency room or hospital. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), which is open 24 hours and will let you know where you can get EC. For more information, you can also visit the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) website.

Costs[edit]

Plan B pills typically cost between $35-$60/pill. If you can't afford Plan B, call up your local hospitals and Planned Parenthood. Some hospitals offer free pills, and Planned Parenthood does give free pills to some people in need. Also, consider seeing if Medicaid can cover the pill. There's also AfterPill, which is a cheaper morning after pill, which costs $20 and can be bought online. Since you usually want to take the morning after pill as quickly as possible, it's recommended to only purchase AfterPill as backup for future events -- not if you're currently in need of a pill.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • AHF Wellness Center Hollywood: Free testing services. They have HIV Antibody Testing, HIV DNA/RNA Testing, Chlamydia Urine Testing, Chlamydia Oral Testing, Chlamydia Anal Testing, Gonorrhea Urine Testing, Gonorrhea Oral Testing, Gonorrhea Anal Testing and Syphilis Testing. They also offer treatment. Address: 1300 N Vermont Ave Los Angeles , CA, 90027. Phone: (866) 339-2525
  • [1]: They have 2 locations in LA and provide low-cost services, including testing for the following treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): STD testing, diagnosis and treatment, including: bacterial vaginosis (BV), chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV (testing and diagnosis only), syphilis, trichomoniasis (trich). Other STD testing, diagnosis and treatment services are also available. Address: 1014 1/2 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Phone: 800.576.5544. Here's the location information:
  • Hollywood Walk-in Clinic -- Offers an urgent care visit, which includes an STD evaluation, for $79. Address: 6430 Selma Avenue, 1st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States.
  • Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic: You should be able to get low-cost or free STI tests at this clinic. Address: 3324 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Phone: +1 0323 6607959. Email: hollywoodsunsetfreeclinic.1968@gmail.com

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you think you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), you'll need to visit a doctor, who will give you a check-up and test to see if you have a UTI. If you do have a UTI, you will be prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection. You cannot get UTI antibiotic medication without a prescription.
  • If you have a yeast infection, you can get treatment over-the-counter (no prescription needed). The most common yeast infection treatment in the United States is called "Monistat." There are different treatment plans (for example, 1 day, 3 days and 7 days). It's recommended to do more than 1 day to completely clear the infection.
  • You can get the HPV vaccine, like Gardasil, in Los Angeles. Contact your health provider for details.
  • You can access PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) in Los Angeles. For a list of providers, click here.
  • You can access PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) in Los Angeles. For a list of providers, click here.

Costs[edit]

For yeast infections, Monistat 7 at Walgreens is $14.99 while Walgreens generic brand is $11.49 (which seems just as effective). For UTIs, you can expect to pay about $60 for the antibiotics. Chlamydia medication generally costs $10 but can go up to $50. Gonorrhea medication usually costs about $17 for a single dose. For uninsured consumers, some medications may be steep, so you may want to seek out sliding-scale clinics.

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Hollywood Walk-In Clinic gives pap smears for $135 or pap smears with HPV test for $185. No appointment needed -- just walk in. The clinic is mostly for the uninsured but they do accept Blue Shield PPO and Anthem Blue Cross PPO. They're located on the corner of Selma and Wilcox Avenues with adjacent parking. Our address is 6430 Selma Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028. 323.848.4522.
  • Women's Health Services: They provide affordable (sometimes free) gynecological exams to low-income individuals. Address: 1233 N Vermont Ave #2, Los Angeles, CA 90029.
  • FPA Women's Health has locations in Downtown LA, Santa Monica, San Fernando Valley, etc. (877) 883.7264.

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In the United States, the National Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave for women. But the FLMA has loopholes (for example, it doesn't apply to companies with less than 50 employees). So, for this reason, many women don't actually receive 12 weeks of maternity leave, and many women (even if their employers do qualify) can't take off 12 weeks of unpaid work. There is currently no comparable federal paternity leave policy in the United States.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In the United States, abortion has been fully legal since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision (1973). If you're a minor (under 18 years old), you don't need permission from your parents to receive an abortion in California, and you don't need to notify them either.[3]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • My Choice Medical Center: Offers surgical and medical abortions. "My Choice Medical Center is the only private abortion practice in Los Angeles that is certified by the National Abortion Federation (NAF)." Address: 4903 W. Pico Blvd #202. Los Angeles, CA, 90019. Phone: (866) 397-3070
  • Planned Parenthood Hollywood Health Center: Offers medical abortions (the abortion pill). Address: 1014 1/2 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. p: 800.576.5544 | f: 323.664.3602.
  • FPA Women's Health: It appears that they offer medical and surgical abortions. The clinic was established in 1969, shortly after abortion became legal in California. They have multiple locations in LA (and other parts of California) so check out the website to find which location is best for you.
  • Her Medical Clinic: There doesn't seem to be a website but they have positive reviews on Yelp. "Her Medical Clinic is a family planning and abortion clinic offering confidential care in Los Angeles. Here at Her Medical Clinic, we pride ourselves on our confidential, individualized approach in offering birth control and family planning programs." Address: 1414 S Grand Ave #400, Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA. Phone: +1 213-747-4391.

Important Note: Be careful -- there are some places that advertise themselves as abortion clinics, but they're actually anti-abortion clinics, typically run by pro-life Christian conservatives. They're known as crisis pregnancy centers (PRC). The main issues with these centers are that 1) They often falsely advertise themselves as abortion clinics and 2) They don't allow people to make choices for themselves (they only accept one choice). For these reasons, if you're looking for an abortion provider, we urge you to carefully select a trusted service. For more information on PRC, click here.

Costs[edit]

Nationwide, the abortion pill can cost $800, but often less. For an in-clinic procedure, abortions can cost $1500, but often less. You can often find cheaper options at Planned Parenthood or some clinics. For low-income women (regardless of citizenship status), there are a variety of program in Chicago that can help pay for these costs.

From Planned Parenthood: "Abortion services may be covered by your insurance. If you want to use your insurance, please be sure to bring in your insurance information at the time of your visit. Medi-cal accepted. If you are uninsured, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance for your procedure. You can confidentially find out if you qualify by calling us at 800.576.5544."

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • For emergencies, call 911 to get police and an ambulance.
  • If you're dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline Number at 1-800-787-3224. "Our highly-trained advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. "
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255. "We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals."
  • If you have been abused and are in need of support, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) may be able to provide help and counseling. Visit their website call their 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
  • The Trevor Project (Lifeline): Call: 866-488-7386. This is a 24/7 hotline for LGBT youth. "Our trained counselors are here to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the Trevor Lifeline now at 866-488-7386."
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender National Hotline: Toll-free: 1-888-843-4564. HOURS: Monday thru Friday from 1pm to 9pm, pacific time (Monday thru Friday from 4pm to midnight, eastern time). Saturday from 9am to 2pm, pacific time. (Saturday from noon to 5pm, eastern time). "All of our services are free and confidential.We speak with callers of all ages about coming-out issues, relationship concerns, bullying, workplace issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety and safer-sex information, and lots more!"

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Law Allows Women to Obtain Birth Control Without Prescription, But Few Pharmacies Offer Service
  2. Sex in the States - California
  3. Sex in the States - California