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A survey of adolescents' attitudes toward over-the-counter access to oral contraceptive pills

Ruth Manski, BA, Emory University

Project abstract

Lack of access to contraception is a main reason for contraceptive nonuse among adolescents in the United States experiencing an unintended pregnancy. A growing body of evidence suggests that over-the-counter access to oral contraceptive pills may improve contraceptive access and use among adult women. However, no work to date has directly investigated how moving oral contraceptive pills over the counter would impact adolescents, a population disproportionately affected by unintended pregnancy.

This quantitative study seeks to fill this gap in the literature. Through an online survey with 345 female adolescents age 14-17, we will explore adolescents' 1) interest in and support of over-the-counter access to oral contraceptive pills; 2) perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of over-the-counter access; and 3) abilities to read and understand an oral contraceptive pill product label.

Findings from this study will address significant gaps in the existing scholarship on over-the-counter access to oral contraceptive pills and will help inform future policy decisions to move oral contraceptive pills over the counter for adolescents.


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