Stix, a reproductive and vaginal health company, teams up with local businesses to provide their emergency contraceptive pill to Texas women.
By Georgia Valles, Photos courtesy of Stix
Texas women are living in a world post-Roe v. Wade. In June of 2022, the Supreme Court overturned this five-decade-old bill that granted women the right to abortion access. Several states, including Texas, approved the bill going into action a few months after it was passed. This new reality was the catalyst for Jamie Norwood and Cynthia Plotch, co-founders of women’s health company Stix, to launch a new product.
According to statistics by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 50% of women in states with abortion bans believe the morning-after pill is illegal.
“Texas has some of the strictest abortion laws,” Norwood explains. “It’s one of the biggest states where people order from and use our educational resources.”
Stix is an online vaginal and reproductive health brand designed to provide discreet packaging, reliable sources and a safe space for women to buy and learn about reproductive health. The company started in 2019 and has grown a vast amount since then. The co-founders and their company have been greatly praised as young innovators by Forbes and Inc. Norwood and Plotch built Stix upon the want for a better, less traumatizing way for women to obtain reproductive health products like pregnancy tests and UTI infection medication.
It’s super important that young people have a place they can turn to on the internet that they can trust.Jamie Norwood
“At Stix, we’re on a mission to empower confident health decisions,” Plotch says. “We do that by this intersection of our high-quality health products and our digital education [page]RealTalk.“
RealTalk is a section on their website where trained health professionals answer questions about women’s health. They cover a wide variety of topics to give the most accurate information and provide women a safe space.
Among their various health products like vitamins, pregnancy and ovulation tests, Stix also launched an emergency contraception pill. Both Norwood and Plotch cite a rise in users on the website from Texas since last year’s court decision.
“The morning-after pill or emergency contraception is a form of birth control,” Norwood explains. “It’s available and legal in all 50 states. We really just want to should that from the rooftops.” In fact, the words “The morning-after pill is still legal” emblazon the website.
Just before the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the company began working on Restart, their own emergency contraceptive pill and a donation bank dedicated to getting free doses to those who need it. There’s a place on the Stix website where visitors can fill out a form for a free dose. People can get it delivered right to their doorstep or can order it with the option of overnight shipping. All with discrete packaging.
“As we were watching the case move through the system,” Plotch recalls, “we launched Restart [Donation Bank]. This allowed us to raise money and then provide free Restart to anybody who needs it, no questions asked.”
Restart has since raised $329,000, and the company distributed over 7,000 doses of the emergency contraceptive just days after the Dobbs decision. Since the ban on abortion pills in Texas, Stix and the donation bank have partnered with multiple Texas-based health organizations, non-profits, and local businesses to make the Restart emergency contraception pill available in public bathrooms around Austin. Their donations have been made to places like Bridge Collective and Jane’s Due Process in Centeral Texas. They have 1,8000 free doses ready to donate to these businesses.
For us, focusing on helping women understand their bodies, not even around reproductive justice and reproductive health, but their bodies in general we think is the most important work that we can be doingCynthia Plotch
Bridge Collective will also have public pickup spots where kits of emergency contraceptives and pregnancy tests are provided from partners like Stix.
“For us, focusing on helping women understand their bodies, not even around reproductive justice and reproductive health, but their bodies in general we think is the most important work that we can be doing,” Plotch says.
Stix has a goal of being national but they also have more things coming outside of Central Texas as they plan to provide similar services to places like Lubbock, College Station, and Bryan, Texas.
Recently, Stix has launched an awareness campaign. As a response to the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, where 50% of women in the U.S. believed that the emergency contraceptive pill was illegal, Sitx will be taking over billboards across college towns in places like Florida and Louisiana where it will state that the morning-after pill is still legal. Their focus is on red states and states where health care deserts.
With so much change for women’s health, Stix hopes their efforts within their company can be a place of comfort and educational resources for women and younger girls. “We really just want to provide medically verified trustworthy resources,” Norwood said. “It’s super important that young people have a place they can turn to on the internet that they can trust.”