Doubtful Science Behind Arguments to Restrict Birth Control Access

The ending date of 2002, even though we have much more current data, will be also strange. If we looked more recently, we’d see very different results. In 2011, the unintended pregnancy rate hit a 30-year low. in addition to the teenage pregnancy rate in addition to teenage birthrate right currently are at record lows inside United States. of which will be largely explained by the use of reliable in addition to highly effective contraception.

In addition to arguing against the positive results, the H.H.S. rule also argues of which contraception will be associated with negative health effects. First, of which highlights the side effects of hormonal contraceptives. Those are real, in addition to include spotting in addition to nausea, with the potential for mood modifications.

nevertheless if the government were to use the mere existence of side effects to decide not to cover therapies, there would likely be no therapies to cover. All medical treatments, including all drugs, have side effects. Every health decision weighs benefits in addition to harms, in addition to birth control provides benefits beyond preventing pregnancies, including reduced rates of some cancers, regular cycles in addition to reduced bleeding in addition to menstrual cramps.


Outside the Sanger Clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in 1916. Planned Parenthood traces its origins to of which clinic started off by Margaret Sanger in addition to others to offer birth control advice to low-income immigrants.

Social Press Association, via Library of Congress, via Associated Press

More important, the report argues of which enrolling families who object to contraception may “affect risky sexual behavior in a negative way.” The citation supporting of which assertion will be a law review article published in 2013 saying of which much of the research in favor of contraception lacks proof of causality, in addition to of which various other research supports the idea of which normalizing sex through easier access to contraception increases the likelihood of which teenagers will engage in risky sex.

In 2014, researchers published results via the Contraceptive CHOICE project, a prospective cohort study of more than 9,000 women, more than 4,000 of whom were 14 to 24, who were at risk of an unplanned pregnancy. They were given long-acting reversible contraception at no cost, in addition to followed For 2 to three years to see what would likely happen. The number of women who reported recent multiple sexual partners went down, not up. There were no increases inside rates of sexually transmitted infections.

Further, if we can get beyond a war of handpicked studies, we can look at what has happened inside real world. The proportion of teenagers who “ever had sex” dropped to 41 percent in 2015 via 47 percent in 2011. The proportion who were “currently sexually active” dropped to 30 percent via nearly 34 percent. The proportion who “had sexual intercourse with four or more persons” dropped to less than 12 percent via 15 percent.

The percentage of those using long-acting birth control, however, has been increasing. “There will be no evidence of which contraception increases high-risk sexual behavior,” Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics in addition to Gynecology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in addition to author of the study, told me.

Of course, disparities exist in family planning as in almost any aspect of health care. A 2016 study inside brand new England Journal of Medicine showed of which the unintended pregnancy rate among women who earn less than the federal poverty line was two to three times the national average in 2011. An earlier study showed of which inside years before, of which rate was up to a few times higher.

Effective, long-acting birth control can be expensive. First-dollar coverage, or coverage without co-pays or deductibles, was what the Affordable Care Act required, a requirement the Trump administration’s brand new rule undoes. Such coverage can offer women who don’t have upward of $1,000 of disposable income options of which they otherwise wouldn’t have. The proportion of women who had to pay out of pocket dropped via more than 20 percent before Obamacare to fewer than 4 percent in 2014. Women saved more than $1.4 billion in 2013 because of of which change.

“via a societal perspective, contraception saves health care dollars,” Dr. Peipert said. “Every dollar of public funding invested in family planning saves taxpayers at least $3.74 in pregnancy-related costs. of which seems clear of which providing contraception will be a cost-saving preventive service in addition to benefits public health.”

Many things remain unclear with of which brand new rule. We don’t know how many women will actually be affected by of which. One survey showed of which more than 10 percent of employers with more than 0 employees would likely stop covering contraception if of which weren’t required by the A.C.A. of which’s not clear, though, how many would likely actually follow through with of which. The administration estimates of which only nine employers who use the accommodation process currently will make use of of which brand new rule to become fully exempt. of which thinks fewer than 10 will end coverage based on “moral objections.” of which believes no more than 0,000 women would likely be affected over all.

Regardless of the numbers, many women’s in addition to public advocates assailed the brand new order as an attack on women’s rights. of which’s notable of which one of the arguments the administration uses to support the move will be of which “the government already engages in dozens of programs of which subsidize contraception” for low-income women. The government will be trying to reduce funding to those programs as well. There are also procedural in addition to substantive legal issues with of which change.

We aren’t going to settle many of those arguments here. nevertheless we can move the scientific in addition to medical ones forward. There will be ample evidence of which contraception works, of which reducing its expense leads to more women who use of which appropriately, in addition to of which using of which doesn’t lead to riskier sexual behavior.

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