State policies impact young people’s use of their preferred contraceptive method
Harper, Cynthia C.
University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center
When young people can use the contraceptive method of their choice, they are able to exercise reproductive autonomy. State policies can make it easier for young people to access the contraception of their choice by increasing insurance coverage and reducing costs barriers. California’s expansion of Medicaid provide insurance coverage to many low-income residents. Its strong family planning safety net helps to provide coverage to many uninsured residents. Texas’s more restrictive health care policy environment, including much more limited access to Medicaid and other programs for low-income and uninsured residents create more barriers for young people to access contraception. Using data from a study of community college students in Texas and California, PRC researchers Kristine Hopkins, Irene Rossetto, Audrey Sanchez, PRC faculty scholar Kari White, and colleagues from the University of California San Francisco, explored the impact of insurance coverage on use of preferred contraceptive method. They found that students in Texas were less likely to use their preferred contraceptive method than students in California, with uninsured Texas students being the least likely. The authors argue that, while it is important to expand access to preferred contraceptive methods in all states, it is especially urgent to improve young people’s access to the contraception that they want to use in states with abortion bans.
Hopkins, K., Yarger, J., Rossetto, I., Sanchez, A., Brown, E., Elmes, S., Mantaro, T., White, K., & Harper, C.C. (2023). State policies impact young people’s use of their preferred contraceptive method. PRC Research Brief 8(5).