Young women in Knox County may be eligible for free, reliable, long-lasting birth control, due to a grant-funded initiative offered through Rockland Family Planning. The initiative covers a clinic visit and insertion of a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC), such as Mirena or Nexplanon, as well as potential follow-up visits or services such as an STI screening.

The program is open to Knox County women age 20 or younger who are not covered by MaineCare or other insurance, or who would rather not use the insurance they have due to privacy concerns (ie. teens covered under a parent’s plan). Knox County includes Appleton, Camden, Cushing, Friendship, Hope, Isle au Haut, Matinicus Isle, North Haven, Owls Head, Rockland, Rockport, South Thomaston, St. George, Thomaston, Union, Vinalhaven, Warren and Washington.

According to Rockland Family Planning, LARC insertion is simple, quick and painless; LARCs are highly effective — much more so than the pill, patch or ring — and 100 percent reversible; different brands are approved for use for three to seven years, and some for as long as 10 to 12 years; and fertility returns quickly after removal of a LARC device.

For more information, call Rockland Family Planning at 594-3114 or visit mainefamilyplanning.org.