Based on a recent report published by the Associated Press, health officials think they can prevent abortions among teen women with free contraception. The belief is based on the results of a recent study published in the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, according to which women would use a long-term contraceptive method to prevent unwanted births.
The study was performed by St. Louis School of Medicine at Washington University on 9,000 women who were at risk for unintended pregnancy. After respondents were provided with free contraceptive methods, Dr. Jeffrey Peipert and his colleagues noticed that only 6.3 per 1,000 represented teen births, whereas the national rate of unintended births usually amounts to 34.1 per 1,000. Thus, the inability to pay for contraceptive methods is the main reason causing unwanted pregnancies, in doctors’ opinion.
Peipert further added that around $11-12 billion have been spent on unintended births so far in America. He thinks the money could be better used to provide free contraception for women in the U.S., such as, condoms, birth control pills, as well as longer-term methods like intrauterine devices and implants.
The researcher thinks longer-term contraception is much more effective than reversible methods, such as, birth control pill, the hormone patch and the hormonal vaginal ring. The latter can produce failings as users can forget to take medications or change devices. Peipert estimates that IUDs are 20 times more effective than traditional methods even though their price amounts to $700. However, there are many risks that should be taken into account, according to other obstetricians, who do not recommend long-term contraception because it could lead to internal injuries and further complications.
St. Louis School of Medicine suggested the introduction of long-term contraception within the insurance plans provided by the Affordable Care Act. The solution could be contested by religious-based insurance carriers and clinicians who are wary of administering long-term contraception to young women. In addition, further studies need to be performed in order to establish whether the findings are valid on a broader scale or not.