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Contraceptive Practices, Preferences, and Barriers among Abortion Clients in North Carolina


Bryant, Amy G.; Speizer, Ilene S.; Hodgkinson, Jennifer C.; Swiatlo, Alison D.; Curtis, Siân L.; & Perreira, Krista M. (2018). Contraceptive Practices, Preferences, and Barriers among Abortion Clients in North Carolina. Southern Medical Journal, 111(6), 317-323. PMCID: PMC5989576


Objectives: Abortion clinics provide an ideal setting for women to receive contraceptive care because the women served may not have other contacts with the health system and are at risk for unintended pregnancies. The objective of this study was to understand practices, preferences, and barriers to use of contraception for women obtaining abortions at clinics in North Carolina.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of abortion clients and facilities at 10 abortion clinics in North Carolina. We collected data on contraceptive availability at each clinic. We collected individual responses on women’s experiences obtaining contraception before the current pregnancy and their intentions for future use of contraception.
Results: From October 2015 to February 2016, 376 client surveys were completed at 9 clinics, and 10 clinic surveys were completed. Almost one-third of women (29%) reported that they had wanted to use contraception in the last year but were unable. Approximately three-fourths of respondents (76%) stated that they intend to use contraception after this pregnancy. Approximately one-fifth of women stated that would like to use long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) after this abortion. Only the clinics that accepted insurance for abortion and other services provided LARC at the time of the abortion (40%).
Conclusions: This study provides a unique, statewide view into the contraceptive barriers for women seeking abortion in North Carolina. Addressing the relatively high demand for LARC after abortion could help significantly reduce unintended pregnancy and recourse to abortion in North Carolina.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Southern Medical Journal


Bryant, Amy G.
Speizer, Ilene S.
Hodgkinson, Jennifer C.
Swiatlo, Alison D.
Curtis, Siân L.
Perreira, Krista M.