Report: US Could Save $12B Annually If Women Had Access to Most Effective Birth Control

A new report from the nonprofit Child Trends suggests that if effective contraceptives were made available for all women, rates would drop even further than they have in past decades, saving $12 billion in public health care costs.

The new report was commissioned by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and used results from a 2015 University of California study on birth control access. The report used the data to create a model that showed what the U.S. would be like if women had access to "the full spectrum" of birth control options, TIME reports.

"We're at a thirty-year low for unintended pregnancy, and the number of abortions is also at a record low — and it's because of improved access to effective birth control," Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told TIME.

The new report found that there would be a 64 percent drop in unintended pregnancies, a 63 percent drop in unintended births, and a 67 percent drop in abortions, in addition to the $12 billion annual savings in public health care costs if women had used the most effective forms of contraception, TIME reports.

This is not the first report to show U.S. savings due to access to contraceptives. The Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization focused on reproductive health, revealed through a 2015 report that unintended pregnancies cost American taxpayers $21 billion annually.

"Improving women's access to and use of effective contraception can be linked to a whole host of positive outcomes," Jennifer Manlove, director of reproductive health and family formation at Child Trends, told TIME.

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