Study: Free birth control lowered abortion, teen birth rates

Published on October 6, 2012 at 7:16 AM · No Comments

A new study that gave free birth control to low-income teens and women in St. Louis has found that the free contraception dramatically lowered rates for teen births and abortions.

USA Today: Free Birth Control Project Cuts Teen Births, Abortions
An experimental project that gave free birth control to more than 9,000 teen girls and women in one metropolitan area resulted in a dramatic decrease in abortions and teen pregnancies, a new study shows (Painter, 10/5).

The Associated Press: Study: Free Birth Control Leads To Fewer Abortions
Free birth control led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births, a large study concludes. The findings were eagerly anticipated and come as a bitterly contested Obama administration policy is poised to offer similar coverage. The project tracked more than 9,000 women in St. Louis, many of them poor or uninsured. They were given their choice of a range of contraceptive methods at no cost -- from birth control pills to goof-proof options like the IUD or a matchstick-sized implant (Neergaard, 10/5).

Medpage Today: Free Birth Control Slashes Abortion Rates
Providing women with free and long-acting contraception was associated with significantly lower rates of unintended and teen pregnancies and dramatically lower abortion rates. Compared with regional and national data, St. Louis adolescents and women given free long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods had nearly four times fewer abortions -- a proxy measure of unintended pregnancies -- than the regional rate (4.4 versus 17.0 per 1,000 women), and and nearly five times fewer abortions than the national rate (4.4 versus 19.6 per 1,000 women) in 2008, according to Jeffrey Peipert, PhD, and colleagues (Petrochko, 10/4).

NBC: Free Birth Control Cuts Abortion Rate Dramatically, Study Finds
A dramatic new study with implications for next month's presidential election finds that offering women free birth control can reduce unplanned pregnancies -- and send the abortion rate spiraling downward. When more than 9,000 women ages 14 to 45 in the St. Louis area were given no-cost contraception for three years, abortion rates dropped from two-thirds to three-quarters lower than the national rate, according to a new report by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis researchers. From 2008 to 2010, annual abortion rates among participants in the Contraceptive Choice Project -- dubbed CHOICE -- ranged from 4.4 abortions per 1,000 women to 7.5 abortions per 1,000. That's far less than the 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women nationwide reported in 2008, the latest year for which figures are available (Alexander, 10/4).

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