New study identifies pathways to reproductive autonomy

In the United States, about half of pregnancies are unintended, and most women of reproductive age are at risk of unintended pregnancy. Research has explored what predicts contraceptive use and unintended pregnancy, but there is a little research about access to preferred contraceptive methods and the complex pathways to these family planning outcomes.

A new study led by CORE researcher and postdoctoral scholar Laura Swan analyzed survey data from 1,036 women of reproductive age over four timepoints to document pathways to using one’s preferred contraceptive method.

They found that people’s level of knowledge about birth control, their insurance coverage, and quality of their engagement with healthcare providers predicted better access to preferred contraception.

Access to preferred contraception was also associated with use of more effective methods and decreased experience of unintended pregnancy.

Read more about this study here.