Original article| Volume 68, ISSUE 2, P364-369, February 2021

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Time Trends in Massachusetts Adolescents' Postabortion Contraceptive Uptake



      The purpose of the study was to assess uptake of postabortion contraception across changes in insurance regulations and insurance type used on the day of abortion, accounting for demographic characteristics and consent type (parental vs. judicial) for abortion among Massachusetts adolescents.


      We conducted a retrospective record review of 1,375 minors (≤17 years) presenting for their first lifetime surgical abortion at a statewide network of abortion clinics between 2010 and 2016. Postabortion contraceptive method was defined as long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) placed onsite, short-acting reversible contraception (SARC) provided onsite, or no method received.


      The proportion of minors leaving with no method dropped from 38% in 2010 to 21% in 2016, while LARC placement increased from 19% to 45%. No difference was observed by consent type. Both LARC and SARC were more prevalent among minors with Medicaid or private insurance compared to those not using insurance on the day of abortion. In a multinomial regression model accounting for consent type and demographic characteristics, minors who received care during the final epoch of the study (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 3.30; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.23–4.88) or used private insurance (RRR = 3.91; 95% CI: 2.24–6.84) or Medicaid (RRR = 5.54; 95% CI: 3.37–9.11) on the day of service had significantly higher relative risk of receiving LARC versus no method (p < .001), with similar results for LARC versus SARC.


      Postabortion contraceptive uptake changed over time. Disparately low LARC uptake among minors not using insurance to pay for their abortions highlights a need to ensure equitable access to all methods, regardless of ability to pay.


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