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New Study Shows Reliable Access to Contraception Reduces Abortion

March 13, 2012, 11:30 am | Posted by Tara Culp-Ressler

As Kristin noted, we’ve been working to discredit the conservative myth that greater access to contraception isn’t linked to lower abortion rates. Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum furthers the case for widely accessible contraception with an important point: studies show that women whose prescriptions includes a year’s supply of birth control pills have lower abortion rates than women who have to refill them on a monthly basis.

“But here’s an interesting thing. The El Paso study that Postrel writes about did indeed find that women who got their pills at a clinic were more likely to stop taking them than women who bought them over the counter. However, that was only for women who got monthly prescriptions. Women who got six-month supplies had discontinuation rates that were nearly identical to those who bought OTC pills.

This gibes with another study done in California that compared continuous use of contraceptives among women who got monthly supplies vs. women who got yearly supplies. Over the following 15 months, the women who got yearly supplies were less likely to run out, less likely to get pregnant, and less likely to have an abortion.”

Making oral contraceptives widely available to women – without the hassle of frequent prescription refills or the indignity of societal scorn – is a common-sense solution to mitigate unplanned pregnancies and abortion. It’s clear that faith communities can unite around this common-ground approach to the abortion and contraception debate, and the culture war rhetoric doesn’t represent the facts.

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