Birth Control Use in People who had an Abortion in the Southeast Region, 2014-15 Público

Knott, Jessica (Fall 2023)

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Access to birth control continues to be rife with complications and the prevalence of unintended pregnancies in the United States (US) remains high. Prior to the Dobbs decision, approximately half of people who experience an unintended pregnancy opted to terminate the pregnancy. Post the Dobbs decision, which severely reduced access to safe abortion care, it is imperative that people understand their options for effective birth control. It is also important to understand risk factors associated with non-use of a birth control method, which may results in an unintended pregnancy. This study focused on birth control failure and non-use in people who had an abortion in the Southeast region 2014-15, using the data from the Abortion Patient Survey (n=2,434). The results showed that among people presenting for abortion, condoms and the pill are the method most likely to fail. Long-acting birth control, such as IUDs, were the methods least likely to fail. The results also showed that over 50% of people reported not using any birth control method. Further multivariate regression analysis highlighted racial inequality and the wealth divide in birth control use. The results showed that among people presenting for abortion, Black people, people with lower educational attainment, and people below the federal poverty line were significantly more likely to have reported non-use of a birth control method. Non-black people were 1.35 (95% CI: 1.14, 1.58) times more likely to use a birth control method compared to Black people. Additionally, people who had a bachelor’s degree or higher were 2.14 (95% CI: 1.53, 2.98) times more likely to use birth control compared to people who had less than a high school diploma. Finally, people who were at 200% or above the federal poverty line were 1.65 (95% CI: 1.36, 2.01) times more likely to use birth control compared to people below the federal poverty line. Improved access and early education on options for birth control is key to reducing the prevalence of unintended pregnancies. 

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Literature Review

Chapter 2: Journal Article

Chapter 3: Public Health Implications



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