More women in the US are using contraception than ever before, a new study from the Guttmacher Institute reports. The report, published in the wake of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt’s proposed regulations that would define contraception as abortion, indicates that the need for publicly funded health centers is also greater than ever before. If these regulations were accepted, they would drastically reduce access to contraceptives even though the demand for them has been steadily increasing.
Healthday News reports that from 1995 to 2002, the number of women receiving contraceptive services in the US rose from 36 percent to 41 percent.
According to the study, if federally funded clinics were able to deny services to women, unintended pregnancies among teens would increase by 45 percent and abortions in the US would increase by 48 percent.
A blogger for RH Reality Check wrote, “Health care access is already a challenge for most Americans. With federal regulations that make it more difficult for lower income, uninsured or underinsured women to access family planning services, we bring down the economic hammer again.”
Twenty-six senators, including Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have signed a letter (See PDF) to Secretary Leavitt expressing their objections to the proposed regulations.
The Guttmacher report will be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health.