Removing obstacles to birth control after an abortion

Starting contraception on the day of an aspiration abortion is considered safe for most women. There have been efforts to reduce cost and remove obstacles so women can get more birth control options after abortion. However, research from ANSIRH shows that even in a state where Medicaid covers abortion and birth control for low-income women, some still face cost-related barriers.

Researchers found that women with access to California Medicaid-funded abortions were nearly four times more likely to adopt a contraceptive method on the day of the abortion compared to women who paid for their procedure out of pocket. The vast majority of Medicaid-covered patients left with some kind of birth control with a high or medium level of effectiveness. One in three women chose oral contraceptive pills and one in five chose an IUD following abortion.

Women who paid out of pocket for abortion services may not be eligible for contraceptive coverage and likely can’t afford the high up-front cost of an IUD or implant. Some might wait to get birth control from another health care provider instead of at the clinic.

Some abortion patients don’t want to discuss contraception during their appointment. It’s important that women can choose whether they want to discuss birth control and make sure they don’t feel pressured to use a method they don’t want. Women who want to discuss birth control should be able to choose from a full range of options and receive support in navigating financial barriers to getting the method that is right for them.