New Survey Finds Supreme Court Decision Fueling Young Adults’ Concerns Over Future of Birth Control Access

Press release

New Survey Finds Supreme Court Decision Fueling Young Adults’ Concerns Over Future of Birth Control Access

November 14, 2022

(Washington, D.C.) - A new survey released today by Power to Decide finds half (50%) of young adults (18-29) believe birth control will be harder to access in the future, including higher percentages of those who typically face greater barriers to access, such as Black and Hispanic people, and people with annual household incomes under $50,000. When asked if the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization changed their opinion, 57% (including 75% of Democrats, 32% of Republicans and 56% of Independents) reported that yes, the decision leads them to believe birth control will be harder to access. This marks a dramatic shift from the 27% (including 40% of Democrats, 17% of Republicans, and 24% of Independents) who believe it is currently difficult for people in the U.S. to access birth control.

“Millions of people across the country already live in areas without reasonable access to the full range of birth control methods, so it comes as no surprise that we find so many young adults are concerned about their ability to get birth control in the future, especially in the wake of the Dobbs decision,” said Power to Decide CEO Raegan McDonald-Mosley, MD, MPH. “We know that attacks on reproductive health and well-being don’t stop with abortion rights. This survey reinforces the urgent need to ensure that all people, regardless of who they are or where they live, have access to the reproductive services they need.”

Power to Decide’s new survey is being released ahead of the 10th annual Thanks, Birth Control Day on Wednesday, November 16. This award-winning campaign celebrates the key role contraception plays in helping people live their lives on their own terms. It is a time to celebrate all that birth control makes possible and encourages people to share their appreciation for this essential health service and everyday part of life. Each year, the campaign reaches millions of people and enjoys participation across social platforms using the hashtag #ThxBirthControl.

Thanks, Birth Control Day is also an important opportunity to share the facts and dispel the myths about contraception, the need for which is underscored by survey results showing that 38% of respondents received information about birth control from social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram or TikTok, compared to 28% who received it from a health care provider.

“We have come a long way in the past 10 years in expanding access to reproductive health care and reducing health inequities, but in some respects, the challenges are greater than ever,” said Dr. McDonald-Mosley. “We will continue to fight, to advocate – and yes, to celebrate – until everyone who wants to use contraception can say, ‘Thanks, birth control!’ with us.”

About the Survey: This study was conducted for Power to Decide via web and telephone by SSRS, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted from October 7, 2022 – October 10, 2022 among adults ages 18 to 29. A total of 1,027 interviews were conducted with a margin of error for total respondents of +/- 4.3 percentage points adjusted for design effect, at the 95% confidence level.

Power to Decide would like to thank the following partners for their support and commitment to contraceptive access: Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Nurx, Pandia Health, Clue, Twentyeight Health and the JPB Foundation.

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Power to Decide is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that works to advance sexual and reproductive well-being for all by providing trusted information, expanding access to quality services, and catalyzing culture change.