March Repro Roundup
As usual, there has been a plethora of policy and other activity surrounding women’s health this month – some good and some bad and ugly. Here’s a summary of some key events (we'll start with the good first):
1. In 2014, we saw the largest number of pro-choice bills introduced since 1990. When women make their voices heard, good things can happen. Read more here.
2. The FDA approved a new hormonal IUD called Liletta. This new form prevents pregnancy as effectively as sterilization for up to three years. As is common, the device is being used in Europe (often new contraceptives are approved first in Europe), and is expected to be available in the U.S. in the next few months. It works to prevent pregnancy by releasing levonorgestrel, a hormone that stops the uterine lining from thickening.
Under the FDA approval, a woman can use Liletta for up to three years before needing a replacement. Research is underway to determine if it could be used for up to seven years.
Understandably, long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), are highly effective at preventing pregnancy because they don’t rely on women to take action, which can be difficult to remember and can require that the woman have an ongoing way to pay for birth control (Kareen Nair/Grover, Reuters, 2/27).
3. A research report in the American Journal of Public health was published, that correlates abortion access with decreases in infant mortality-- especially for poor women. Access to abortion is a public health issue.
In “A Woman’s Right To Know”, I discuss research I did, which showed that access to contraception is also correlated with lower infant mortality for poor women.
The Bad & Ugly:
Congress *almost* passed a bill against human trafficking. Before they could however, the Republicans slyly slipped in an unacceptable anti-abortion provision. Read about it here.
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