By: Erica Lyon
Pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood health educator and Advocacy Board Chair of ASAFET.
Imagine a job where every day you saw young women struggling to feed their children and find a good job that could take care of themselves and their children. Imagine a job where day after day, year after year, you saw young moms, ages 14-21 struggling to find their way out of poverty. This is what Claudia Halton saw during her time as a Memphis judge. She compassionately resolved to find a solution and support system for young women struggling to get ahead in their lives. This was the beginning of A Step Ahead Foundation. A Step Ahead began in Memphis providing free long-acting birth control to any young woman who wanted it, in the hope of furthering her educational and career opportunities before staring a family.
Spreading from West to East across the state of Tennessee, A Step Ahead has grown chapter by chapter to provide this resource for women. We are excited to introduce our chapter here in East Tennessee: A Step Ahead Foundation of East Tennessee (ASAFET) and excited to bring this resource to the women and families in the area. ASAFET provides free long-acting birth control for any woman who needs or would like this resource. We partner with local clinical providers, such as Cherokee Health Systems, Interfaith Health Clinic, Knox County Health Department and local private providers, for excellent reproductive education and medical expertise to ensure a quality clinical experience.
Access to birth control, to plan for healthy and timely pregnancy instead of an unintended one, is one of the most critical tools needed for women to advance in life. Regardless of geography, education level, race, economic status or religion, all women need to know where to find and how to use birth control in order to pursue their own destiny and become the mothers and women they hope to be.
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