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.
It wasn’t just the “free” part that led to rates far below national averages, researchers say. They also credit the long-acting highly effective methods of contraception chosen by 75% of the participants – namely intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants.
The findings come as cost-free birth control is becoming available to more women under a much-debated provision of the federal health care law. The provision was supported by many women’s health advocates but
strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and many social conservatives. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed around the country. The study also comes weeks after the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists declared IUDs and implants front-line contraceptive choices for sexually active teen girls.