Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Guttmacher Institute can't stop making stuff up about IUD use

The Guttmacher Institute is really pushing this idea that health insurance needs to provide free contraceptives so poor women will get IUDs.  Here's Eyal Press in the New Yorker:
Thanks to publicly funded family-planning services provided to poor women under Title X—a federal program that House Republicans have repeatedly tried to eliminate—there is evidence that more low-income women have been using I.U.D.s in the past decade. But the total number of users is still small, and the cost, which can exceed a thousand dollars before insertion, remains prohibitive for many low-income women who don’t qualify for Medicaid and cannot afford private insurance. “We know that cost is a major factor in a woman’s ability to choose and access a method of contraception that works best for her, and behind the cost is access to health-insurance coverage,” Kinsey Hasstedt, a public-policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, told me.
I wonder why they don’t provide any evidence.  Is it because the percentage of women who used IUDs in 2006-2008 (table 11) hardly varied between income levels?  Also, noteworthy is that the increase in IUD use from 2002 to 2006-2008 is much higher in the 300+% of poverty level group than in the lower income groups.  IUD use went up from 1.5% in 2002 to 5.9% in 2006-2008 among women making 300+% of the poverty level while only went from 4.1% to 4.8% for women in the 0-99% of poverty level. 

Or why don't they mention that poor women are much more likely to use female sterilization (which is typically more expensive than an IUD) as their contraceptive method than their richer peers? 

It would be nice if reporters actually examined studies on contraceptive use as opposed to just parroting the Guttmacher Institute’s talking points. 

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