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Survey shows young adults are worried about birth control access: What can states like New York do?

  • / Updated:
  • Edwin Viera 

Results of a new survey show many young people are worried about losing access to birth control.

The survey, by the nonprofit Power to Decide, found about seven in 10 young adults think the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which protected the right to an abortion, will also limit access to birth control.

Federal lawmakers have stepped in to try to codify rights to birth control, with the Right to Contraception Act, which passed in the House but is stalled in the Senate.

Tara Mancini, director of public policy at Power to Decide, noted there are actions which could be taken at the state level.

“We’ve seen some states work to amend constitutions to give folks the right to abortion,” Mancini observed. “Michigan was even more broad, recognizing the right to, not just abortion, but sexual and reproductive health care.”

In 2019, New York approved the Comprehensive Contraception Act, which provides insurance coverage for Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products. Mancini added providing more funding to Title 10 programs could help, so clinics and communities can offer family planning and STI testing services.

She pointed out it would also reduce the number of “contraception deserts,” including in parts of New York.

Power to Decide is hoping more people bring issues about abortion and contraception to light, so they won’t seem rare. Mancini noted there is still a stigma associated with birth control, including the myth of one method being best for everyone. Her group works to ensure people have access to a wide range of birth control options.

“Every person is different, everybody is different, and so what works for me might not work for my neighbor,” Mancini asserted. “That’s why it’s essential that folks have access to the full range of birth control methods, of which there are over 18 FDA-approved method categories.”

She added another myth is birth control is easy to get. Despite myths and stigmas, Mancini feels hopeful for the future of birth control, since the survey found it is not a controversial topic overall, and is accepted across ethnicities and the political divide.