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*Editors' Note: As of January 2017, the Monthly Women's Health Research Review has been discontinued. Below are archived articles for your reference.

Commentary: SCOTUS Could Soon Re-Examine Antiabortion-Rights Laws That Make 'Mockery' of Informed Consent

May 29, 2015

In this commentary, the authors write that a recent federal court ruling striking down a North Carolina antiabortion-rights law could provide "a potential vehicle for a new Supreme Court examination" of state laws that "make a mockery of informed consent and patient autonomy." They argue that "[p]rotection of patients' rights should not be used as a pretext to promote partisan political purposes in the examining room."

Study Evaluates Assessing Gestational Age Via Last Menstrual Period for Medical Abortion

May 29, 2015

In this research review, researchers found that women's reported last menstrual period serve as adequate indicators of gestational age for providing medication abortion, which possibly reduces the need of an ultrasound to confirm GA. They encourage further research into using LMP as an indicator of GA, "[g]iven the potential benefits of omitting the screening ultrasound in decreasing the cost of abortion, enhancing comfort and efficiency, and ultimately increasing access to the service."

Survey: Most Adolescents Support OTC Access To Oral Contraceptives for Teenagers

May 29, 2015

In this survey, researchers recruited 348 girls between ages 14 and 17 to participate in an online survey. They found that nearly 75% support teenagers having over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives, concluding that "moving oral contraceptives [OTC] without age restriction may help increase adolescents' contraceptive access and use."

Review Assesses Effect of Intimate Partner Violence on Women's Contraceptive Use

April 30, 2015

In this review, researchers investigated the effect of intimate partner violence (IPV) on women's use of contraception and found an association between IPV and a decline in women's contraceptive use. The authors also noted that women who experience IPV are less likely to report condom use with male partners, suggesting that HIV prevention programs should "consider women's experiences of IPV."

Study Examines Effect of N.C. Mandatory Delay, Biased Counseling Law on State Providers

April 30, 2015

In this study, researchers examined how providers were affected by a 2011 North Carolina law (SL 2011-405) that requires women to undergo mandatory counseling at least 24 hours prior to receiving abortion care. They noted that, while proponents of the law said it aimed to bolster patient safety and knowledge, providers thought "its actual purpose was to discourage women from obtaining abortion by restricting access or providing misleading information."

Study Compares Effects of Emergency Contraception Access via Call Center, Office Visit

April 30, 2015

In this study, researchers compare reproductive health outcomes of women who accessed emergency contraception via a call center with those of women who accessed EC via an office visit. They found that there is an "increased risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in the subsequent 6-12 months among" both groups, indicating that "[i]nterventions to increase the initiation of effective, ongoing contraception" for such women "are needed."

Study Evaluates Research on Developing New Longer-Acting Injectable Contraceptives

April 30, 2015

In this study, researchers examine past and present initiatives to develop longer-acting injectable contraceptives and recommend which methods would be most likely to create a LAI that gains regulatory approval and reaches the market. They recommend that developers create a 6-month LAI with acceptable side-effects that can be self-administered or easily administered by non-physician medical professionals.

Study: Providing No-Cost Contraceptive Implants Post-Abortion Reduces Future Abortion, Pregnancy Rates for at Least Two Years

April 30, 2015

In this study, researchers examined the effect of a long-acting levonorgestrel implant on pregnancy and abortion rates in New Zealand after the method became available at no-cost in the country in August 2010. The researchers found that receiving the LNG implant immediately after an abortion reduced pregnancy rates for a minimum of two years.

Study Assesses Relationship Between Reproductive Coercion, Pregnancy Behaviors

April 30, 2015

In this study, researchers examined "women's experiences with pregnancy-promoting behaviors by male partners," particularly among low-income and African American women, who are disproportionately likely to experience unintended pregnancies. The researchers found that reproductive coercion could be a factor contributing to disparities in the rate of unintended pregnancy.

OTC Oral Contraception Access With Little or No Copay Could Increase Use, Curb Unintended Pregnancy

March 26, 2015

In this study, researchers examined how over-the-counter access to oral contraceptive pills could affect health care costs, unintended pregnancy rates, contraceptive use and other factors. They concluded that "it is in the financial interest of public healthcare programs to cover a large portion of the cost of [OTC] contraceptive pills," after finding that OTC access to the pills "could increase the use of effective methods of contraception and reduce unintended pregnancy and healthcare costs."

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