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Women who have an abortion are less likely to do so again if they are provided with access to free birth control, a new study from New Zealand found. Not only are women who have access to free contraceptives less likely to terminate another pregnancy, but those who decided to use an IUD (intrauterine device, also known as a coil) were the least likely to have another abortion within two years.

Less than six percent of women who chose to use an IUD following an abortion had a repeat abortion within two years, the researchers revealed. This is compared to 13 percent of those going on the pill, and 17 percent of those opting to use condoms. The study had a total of 510 participants. Not surprisingly, the study authors suggest that promoting the use of intrauterine devices, such as the Mirena coil or the copper coil, is a worthy cause.

The women from the New Zealand study were offered a choice of several free contraceptive methods when they had an abortion, and were then contacted half a year later to find out how they were doing, and whether they were still using birth control. The IUD group had a 64 percent lower chance of going back to the abortion clinic. What does this tell us? For starters, condoms and the pill are easy to forget to use at all, even if it is "only one time". There is also a higher chance that something will go wrong while using the pill or condoms, like a condom tearing or the pill not being effective while taking antibiotics.

An IUD is long term birth control that requires a separate procedure to get the device removed, so that may well have contributed to lower follow-up unplanned pregnancy rates. What do you think about offering free birth control to women who have an abortion? Do you think the practice should be implemented more widely?

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