National Partnership for Women & Families

Journal Review

LARC Users Have Higher Continuation Rates Than Users of Short-Acting Reversible Contraceptives, Study Finds
In this study, researchers compared three-year continuation rates of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods with those of short-acting methods. They found three-year continuation rates were 67.2% among LARC users compared with 31% among non-LARC users. The researchers said their findings called for a "paradigm shift," stating, "LARC methods should be considered first-line contraceptives for women of all ages."

At-Home Medication Abortion as Effective as In-Clinic Administration, Study Finds
For this study, researchers compared the outcomes of women who ingested both drugs involved in a medication abortion -- mifepristone and misoprostol -- at home with those of women who ingested the drugs at a clinic. The researchers found both methods to be equally effective and safe, and they suggested that physicians offer home use of mifepristone "as a part of routine medica[tion] abortion services."

Study Examines Health Care Providers' Implicit, Explicit Attitudes Toward Gay, Lesbian Patients
For this study, researchers assessed health care providers' implicit and explicit attitudes toward lesbian and gay patients. They found that heterosexual providers' implicit attitudes always favored heterosexual patients over gay and lesbian patients, although explicit attitudes were weaker than implicit attitudes across all provider groups. The researchers called for further research into how these implicit biases can affect patient care and urged providers to implement strategies to mitigate such biases.

Study Assesses Disparities in Race, Site of Care for Rates of Severe Maternal Morbidity
In this study, authors investigated racial disparity in severe maternal morbidity as it relates to the place where women received care. Noting that black women had higher rates of severe maternal morbidity than white women, the researchers found that severe maternal morbidity rates were higher among women who delivered at hospitals with a high or medium number of black patients.

Commentary: Medication Abortion Laws Undermine Providers' Professional Judgment
In this commentary, the authors write that state laws requiring physicians to adhere to FDA protocol when administering medication abortion undermine patient safety by mandating outdated practices. The authors conclude that legislative challenges to provider autonomy threaten physicians of all specialty practices, and they urge abortion-rights advocates to reframe the abortion debate as a matter of legislators putting limits on provider discretion.

Authorizing Pharmacies To Dispense Medication Abortion Could Improve Access in U.S.
In this commentary, researchers compared medication abortion regulation in Australia, where women can obtain the necessary medications via prescription at pharmacies, and in the U.S., where FDA requires that the initial medication abortion drug, mifepristone, be administered "only by physicians in clinics, offices or hospitals and cannot be dispensed in pharmacies." The researchers urged U.S. regulators to adopt policies similar to Australia's, noting that the resulting "potential improvements in access to early medical abortion could be great -- both in terms of the number and distribution of providers, as well as the expansion of the use of telemedicine."

Federally Qualified Health Centers Could Have 'Significant Role' in Meeting Adolescents' Family Planning Needs, Study Finds
In this study, authors investigated the role that community health centers play in providing family planning services to adolescents. The researchers concluded that "CHCs have the opportunity to play a significant role in providing high-quality family planning to low-income, medically underserved adolescents," although increased funding, additional resources and "a favorable policy climate" would help CHCs to better meet the needs of that patient population.