Access To Free Birth Control Results In Dramatic Reduction Of Abortions
The participants were all uninsured, low-income, or otherwise determined to be at risk for unintended pregnancy.
Each woman was given a choice of birth control methods, ranging from long-term and more expensive contraceptive devices, such as the intrauterine device (IUD) or an implant, to more common methods, including birth control pills, the ring and the patch. Since price wasn’t an issue, about 75 percent of participants chose the implanted methods, which are more effective than short-term methods.
The results were significant: The annual birth rate among teenage girls in the study from 2008 to 2010 was only 6.3 per 1,000, compared to the much higher U.S. rate of 34.3 per 1,000 for girls the same age. And the abortion rates among among all participants ranged from 4.4 to 7.5 per 1,000 women over the two-year period, substantially lower than the national rate of 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women in 2008.
The rate of abortions in the study was even dramatically lower than the rates in the St. Louis area, which range from 13.4 to 17 per 1,000 women.
Dr. James T. Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists observes, “I would think if you were against abortions, you would be 100 percent for contraception access.”