New report says access to most effective birth control could save $12 billion a year
A Child Trends report, based on the study results from the national trial of the Beyond the Pill LARC training intervention, estimates that $12 billion in public health care costs could be saved if all women in the US had access to the most effective contraceptive methods.
A new report estimates that $12 billion in public health care costs could be saved if all women in the US had access to long-acting reversible contraceptive methods. The study, published by the nonprofit Child Trends, used a simulation model based on results from the 2015 study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine on the national trial of the Beyond the Pill LARC training intervention to estimate nationwide pregnancy outcomes and health care savings.
In addition to a reduction in healthcare costs, Child Trends researchers concluded that giving all American women equal access to the most effective methods would lead to a 64% drop in unintended pregnancies, a 63% drop in unintended births and a 67% drop in abortions.
Child Trends drew on the results of our randomized controlled trial at 40 Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide, and applied our findings to the simulation model, FamilyScape, to see what would happen if all US women had access to highly effective contraceptives. The Child Trends analysis suggests that if the same highly-effective contraceptive methods made available to women in our study were available to all US women ages 15-39 seeking to prevent pregnancy and these methods were used at similar rates, the unintended pregnancy rate would drop dramatically—from 62.8 per 1,000 women to 22.4 per 1,000 women.
According to this model, fewer unintended pregnancies would translate to decreases in negative maternal and child health outcomes, such as reduced maternal hypertension and gestational diabetes and fewer premature or low birthweight births. This would also reduce associated public health costs.
As noted in the report, these findings further “highlight the potential benefits of linking women who want to avoid pregnancy with high-quality reproductive health care services and the full range of contraceptive methods.”
TIME’s coverage of the report can be found here, and the full Child Trends report can be accessed here. The Lancet article on Beyond the Pill’s national trial of our LARC training can be found here, and additional information about the study can be found here.