April 2020: Power Updates Edition
There are plenty of articles, publications, and stories published every month. In an effort to help you distinguish fact from fiction, save time in your already busy day, and share news you may not have otherwise seen, here are six stories from the last month we thought you might find interesting:
As nearly half of all pregnancies are reported by the women themselves as unplanned, a number of organizations including The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have endorsed removing FDA restriction on hormonal contraceptive methods and allow them to be sold over the counter. This piece discusses how doing so would improve birth control access across the country.
This study details the results of in-depth interviews with 60 women age 14-21 on their perception of pharmacist prescribed contraception. It found that most expressed interest in the idea and that many found the idea particularly youth friendly. However, concerns were raised about privacy controls and a desire for additional pharmacist training.
This short brief explains why comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion services, is essential, even during a pandemic. The authors write that restricting services such as abortion will “undermine public health efforts to respond to COVID-19,” and exacerbate systemic inequities by “placing the health and economic security of pregnant people and families at risk.”
Little is known about why adolescents choose abortion. This study was conducted with teens (age 16-19) who sought judicial bypass in TX. Most chose abortion to avoid limiting their future yet kept their decision private despite needing social and emotional support. For those that disclosed their decision, some participants reported experiencing stigma, including shame and emotional abuse. Results suggest that policies mandating parental consent may not benefit adolescent decision-making and could possibly expose adolescents to greater harm.
Pregnancy and Birth
To date, the majority of measurement studies on pregnancy intention have relied on retrospective reporting, which may underestimate true intention. However, little research has compared the similarity between prospective and retrospective accounts. In this study, longitudinal data were used to assess changes between prospective and retrospective assessments of intendedness. It was found that 38% of participants reported an increase in pregnancy intendedness, while only 10% reported a decrease when assessed retrospectively (vs. prospectively). Among those who gave birth, there was an even greater change.
The reason young women visit pregnancy resource centers is not well understood. In this small study, 21 women discussed their experiences and reason for visiting. Most reported having low incomes and did not report considering an abortion prior to visiting. Rather they chose to go to these centers for free pregnancy-related services, support, and goods. Receipt of services, however, were often limited and dependent on participation in center activities.
Sexual and Reproductive Health
This report details STI rates for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, among woman who gave birth between 2016 and 2018. It found that while in certain age groups the rates decreased, overall rates for all three increased during this time. There was a 2% increase for chlamydia, 16% increase for gonorrhea, and a 34% increase for syphilis.