A 12 month contraceptive?
A year's supply of birth control pills may help prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Right now, private and public health insurance plans in the U.S. generally limit how many months' worth of birth control pills can be prescribed at once.

But researchers found that lower-income women who got a year's supply of the Pill had fewer unplanned pregnancies than women who got only enough packages for one or three months at a time.

For every 1000 women who participated in the study, 10 in the longer-supply group became pregnant within a year, compared to 30 of those who could only get prescriptions for shorter supplies.

The study also showed that when doctors prescribed a full year's worth of pills, about two of every 1000 women had a state-funded abortion in the following year. But among women who had to come back every month or every three months for another prescription of the pills, roughly six of every 1000 had a state-funded abortion.

The findings do not prove that longer lasting Pill prescriptions will prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

But that is what the results suggest, according to lead researcher Dr. Diana Greene Foster.

"The implication of our finding is that health programs and insurance policies would likely save money and improve quality of care by dispensing a year's supply," said Foster. 

But if a woman decides to stop using them over the course of a year, then some pills will go to waste.

Foster and her colleagues estimate that giving a year's supply to all the women would prevent almost 1,300 pregnancies and 300 abortions paid for by the state.

Do you think there should be a year's supply of birth control pills?

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