Interest in long-term birth control soars after Roe – FOX13 News Memphis

Adismarys Abreu, 16, discussed long-acting birth control implants with her mother for about a year as a potential solution to increasing menstrual pain.

Then Luo v. Wade was overturned, and Abreu joined the crowd of teens rushing to doctors as states began to ban or severely restrict abortion.

“I was definitely not ready to get pregnant,” said Abreu, who had Nexplanon, a reversible matchstick-sized birth control pill, implanted in her arm in August. Her home state of Florida, which bans most abortions after 15 weeks, said not having that option was “a very scary thought.”

Experts say the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling appears to be accelerating the trend toward teenage use of birth control, including long-acting, reversible forms of IUDs and implants. As doctors report demand even among sexually inactive teens, appointments have surged and Planned Parenthood boards are riddled with questions.

Some patients are particularly frightened because new abortion laws in several states do not include exceptions for sexual assault.

“Please, if I’m raped, I need some contraception,” the patient told Dr. Judith Simms-Cendan, a pediatric teen gynecologist in Miami, where state law makes no exception for rape or incest after 15 weeks.

Parents who might have been hesitant in the past now want to discuss birth control, said Simms-Cendan, president-elect of the North American Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Gynecology.

“It’s a huge change, ‘I don’t have room to play. We have to get my kids to do something,'” she said.

Laura Lindberg, a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Public Health in New Jersey, said teens have turned to more effective long-term birth control methods that have similar or even lower failure rates than sterilization. Her research found that between 2015 and 2019, the number of 15- to 19-year-olds using these methods rose to 15 percent from 3 percent between 2006 and 2010.

Lindbergh, who has worked for nearly 20 years at the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, said no national data has been available in the months since Roe was overthrown.

But she said a “significant knock-on effect” of losing access to abortion must be expected, noting that this is not the first time politics has led to a shift in contraceptive use.

In the weeks following the election of former President Donald Trump, fears of the Affordable Care Act will be repealed as women online​​​​​​ , demand for long-acting birth control increased by nearly 22% across all age groups.

In Ohio, where a judge blocked a ban on nearly all abortions this month, patients — men and women alike — are now engrossed in Dr.’s contraceptive talk. Peggy Stager has long been making routine appointments at the pediatric clinic in Cleveland.

Stager said her clinic’s slots dedicated to inserting Nexplanon implants have been filling up, with requests for contraceptive refills up 30% to 40% since Roe was overturned. Recently, she spoke with a college-going student who was not sexually active but still decided to get an IUD.

“She was really clear: ‘I want to have a great four years without any worries,'” recalls Stager, who chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Division of Adolescent Health. “It’s a change.”

Missouri was one of the first states in the country to implement a trigger law to ban abortion at any time during pregnancy. David Eisenberg saw a similar sense of urgency in college-bound teens to choose the most effective option.

“Fear is an amazing motivator,” said Eisenberg, an associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Louis had an abortion in neighboring Illinois. “They understand that the consequences of contraceptive failure can mean they become parents because they may not be able to have an abortion.”

Physician interest in contraceptive clinics is also high. Elise Berlan is overseas in Columbus, Ohio. Before the Supreme Court ruling, clinics booked appointments for new patients within a week or two.

Now, they’re months away from making their first appointment, said Berlan, an adolescent medicine specialist who saw the mother and daughter in tears in her exam room. She said demand is so high they are adding a supplier.

On the day the Supreme Court ruled against Roe, Planned Parenthood’s online chatbot for teens, Roo, received twice the normal number of birth control questions.

Same-day online birth control appointments have also skyrocketed — up 150 percent from a typical day, and IUD seekers have seen an even increase of 375 percent, said Julia Bennett, director of digital education and learning strategy for Planned Parenthood.

By mid-July, a few weeks after the ruling, birth control appointments were still up around 20 percent, although the data was not broken down by age group.

Even in states like North Carolina, where abortion is still legal, the legislature is conservative and interest is growing.

PhD. Kavita Arora, an obstetrician in Chapel Hill, said she may have seen one a month before the ruling. Now, she says, she sees them at every clinic meeting.

“They know it’s a very fluid situation where things that might not be allowed a week or a month from now are allowed at some point,” said Arora, chair of the Ethics Committee of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

An uncertain future is part of the motivation for Florida teen Abreu, whose implants will prevent pregnancy for up to five years.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen to the law in that period,” said Abreu, who was using a short-acting form of birth control before switching. “Having it on my arm already makes me feel more secure.”

Her mother, Maribys Lorenzo, said in Spanish that she also felt a little more at peace knowing her daughter would not be pregnant, and said she would recommend the implant because it does not require her daughter to remember to take birth control pills.

She said she was more or less concerned that her daughter would become sexually active because of the implant. But if that happens, she will be protected, Lorenzo said.

“I don’t think it’s fair to me or my family to not choose abortion,” said her daughter, Abreu.


Roxana Hegeman in Wichita contributed to this report. Rogers is a member of the Associated Press/US State Capitol Journalism Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit, national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.Follow her on Twitter

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