A new study finds that offering women free birth control can reduce unplanned pregnancies — and send the abortion rate spiraling downward.
According to NBC News, the author of the study pushed the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology to publish the study before the Nov. 6 presidential election, knowing that the Affordable Care Act, and its reproductive health provisions, are major issues in the campaign.
When more than 9,000 women ages 14 to 45 in the St. Louis area were given no-cost contraception for three years, abortion rates dropped from two-thirds to three-quarters lower than the national rate, according to a new report by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis researchers.
From 2008 to 2010, annual abortion rates among participants in the Contraceptive Choice Project — dubbed CHOICE — ranged from 4.4 abortions per 1,000 women to 7.5 abortions per 1,000. That’s far less than the 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women nationwide reported in 2008, the latest year for which figures are available.
Among teen girls ages 15 to 19 who participated in the study, the annual birth rate was 6.3 per 1,000 girls, far below the U.S. rate of 34.3 per 1,000 for girls the same age.