March 1, 2011 — Providing women with a one-year supply of birth control pills significantly reduces the rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions, according to a study by researchers from the University of California-San Francisco, Time's "Healthland" reports.
Researchers studied nearly 85,000 women who received birth control pills in January 2006 through California's Family Planning, Access, Care, Treatment program. The numbers were then cross-referenced with birth records and data from Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program. According to the study, abortion likelihood declined by 46% and pregnancy likelihood declined by 30% among low-income women who received a one-year supply of birth control pills through the program, compared with women who received a one- or three-month supply.
The study found that about 1,300 pregnancies and 300 abortions would have been prevented if the 65,000 women who received one- or three-month supplies of birth control pills would have had the same number of pregnancies as the group that received a year's supply. According to the study, providing a 12-month supply of birth control pills also could reduce health plans' costs for services associated with unplanned pregnancies and abortions (Rochman, "Healthland," Time, 2/25).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership