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Since 2007, a program in St. Louis has offered teenagers free access to all types of birth control. They can choose pills, intra-uterine devices or any other FDA-approved contraceptive.
These St. Louis teens have had markedly lower pregnancy, abortion and birth rates than the rest of the country, new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows. This is what their pregnancy rates look like, compared to the rest of the United States.
The CHOICE Project, run out of Washington University in St. Louis, advertised the free contraceptives to local teenagers through flyers, doctors’ offices and word-of-month. The program has, so far, provided more than 9,000 teenage women with no-cost contraceptives. Lots of participants in the program choose a long-acting, reversible contraceptive (LARC) that a doctor has to implant.
These types of birth control tend to be the most effective because, once inserted by a doctor, they require no work on the part of the user.