Context: Published reports to date have failed to demonstrate a decrease in abortion rates with increased dispersal of levonorgestrel emergency contraception (LNG EC). Objective: To evaluate whether there is an association between statewide increases in LNG EC use and birth, fertility, and abortion rates. Design: Ecological study. The number of LNG EC doses dispensed at all Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) sites (n = 6) were obtained for 2000-2006. For this time period, birth and abortion data were obtained from the Utah Department of Health. Setting: State of Utah. Patients: Women of childbearing age. Main Outcome Measures: Birth rates were calculated as the number of live births per 1000 population; general fertility rates, abortion rates, and LNG EC rates were calculated per 1000 women of childbearing age (15-44 years). Results: Between 2000 and 2006, yearly distribution of LNG EC increased from 11,263 to 52,083 doses. Over this period, the rate of Plan B use per 1000 women age 15-44 years increased from 21.30 dosqs/1000 to 87.82 doses/1000, an increase of 312%. During the same period, there were corresponding changes in the statewide birth rate (-2.94%), general fertility rate (0.73%), and abortion rate (-6.36%). Pearson correlation coefficients were statistically significant for the association between the LNG EC rate and the birth rate (-0.9053; P = .0050) and the abortion rate (-0.8749; P < .001), but not between the Plan B rate and the general fertility rate (0.2446; P = .5970). Conclusion: This ecological study represents, to the authors' knowledge, the first statistically significant association between increasing rates of LNG EC distribution and decreasing abortion rates.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||MedGenMed Medscape General Medicine|
|State||Published - 2009|
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