Texas providers have seen growing interest in contraception since the almost complete ban on abortion

In September, when Texas’s nearly complete abortion ban came into effect, the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Lone Star began providing information on emergency contraceptives, condoms, two pregnancy tests, as well as Senate Bill 8. We plan to distribute 22,000 “empowerment kits” this year.

“I felt it was very important for patients to have as many tools at hand as possible to meet this really annoying law,” said Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, which has 24 clinics in the north and central regions. Elizabeth Cardwell, Principal Clinician of the, said. It is a state and provides care to tens of thousands of people each year.

Most patients who tend to be uninsured and have an annual household income of less than $ 25,000 were unaware of SB8 in the first few weeks after implementation, Cardwell said. But when they learned of it, the patient seemed to have started contraception in a hurry, she said.

With SB 8, civilians in Texas or elsewhere will sue those who have had an abortion in the state or who have “supported or assisted” those who will have an abortion when fetal heart activity is detected. I can. This is generally about 6 weeks before you know that most people are pregnant. In Texas, where access to abortion was already restricted, there was a chilling effect.

Medical staff are doubling the education of patients about contraception. They recognize that this strategy is not absolutely certain, but they are desperate to prevent unintended pregnancies, nearly half of which have been aborted nationwide.

“It’s more important than ever,” says Cardwell. “I’ve been involved in abortion treatment for over 30 years, and my dependable line is,” You have enough time. You don’t have to feel in a hurry. Talk to your partner. Your partner. Talk to your family, “she said. “Now we don’t have that luxury.”

The patient also seems to feel urgency. During September, according to data from a planned parent-child relationship in Greater Texas, medical staff provided patients with some form of contraception, such as pill packs, depot prober shots, and IUD implant insertion, on more than 3,750 visits. bottom. September 2020.

Dr. Jennifer Rietke, a family doctor in western Texas, said she and her nurse practitioner explained SB 8 to all patients coming to private practice, a long-acting, reversible contraceptive method known as LARC. Said that demand increased by 20%. During September.

A category that includes intrauterine devices and hormonal implants, LARC is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and is becoming more and more attractive as it lasts for several years. It’s also easier than pills that need to be taken daily or vaginal rings that need to be replaced monthly.

Still, LARC is not the preferred method for everyone. For example, inserting an IUD can be painful.

Clinics are one of the few opportunities for reliable contraceptive education. Texas law does not require schools to teach sex education. If so, educators should emphasize abstinence as the preferred method of contraception. Some doctors choose to describe access to abortion in the state when naming contraceptive options.

Liedtke is accustomed to having to explain the new legislation passed by the Texas State Parliament. “It always happens,” she said. However, the controversy over SB 8 has further confused patients as the law passed the court system in various decisions, one of which temporarily blocked the bill. The US Supreme Court heard a related debate on November 1.

“People just don’t understand,” Liedtke said. “It was detained for 48 hours, so they’re like,’Isn’t it the law anymore?’ No, technically it is. “

Not all providers are free to talk about access to abortion. In 2019, the Trump administration banned providers participating in the federal-funded family planning program, Title X, from mentioning abortion care, even if the patients themselves asked questions. In early October, the Biden administration overturned the rule. The changes will start this month. Planned Parenthood allows Texas affiliates to discuss SB8 in Texas as they do not receive Title X $.

Dr. Lindsey Basquez of Legacy Community Health, Texas’s largest federally qualified health center and receiving the title X $, she and other staff need to coordinate various other priorities. He said he was not discussing abortion or SB8. Legacy patients are not well serviced, she said. The majority live below federal poverty levels.

Almost two years after the covid-19 pandemic, “we are literally maximizing those visits,” Basquez said. Their job goes beyond providing reproductive care. “We make sure they have food resources and their homes are stable,” she said. “We know about these types of populations, the patients we serve, so we are trying to make sure that all their needs are met. This is what we do. It may be the only moment to meet them. “

According to the state Title X-funded Everybody Texas, a professional family planning clinic that receives Title X dollars has a lively conversation about contraception.

Since these forms of contraception have a suspicious history among certain populations, primarily low-income patients, the debate over long-acting reversible contraception must be treated sensitively. In the 1990s, lawmakers in several states, including Texas, introduced legislation that provided cash aid recipients with financial incentives to require people to obtain or insert implants for the benefit of the government. Did.

“It’s important to adopt the contraceptive method of your choice,” said Mimi Garcia, Communications Director at Every Body Texas. “Some people will say,’Let’s put everyone on an IUD’ or’Let’s put everyone on a hormone implant.’ Because these are the most effective methods. … it doesn’t work [every] Individual. … They either philosophically disagree with it or don’t like how it makes their bodies feel. “

Brooching is a subtle issue for healthcare providers, so some suggest that you start the conversation by asking the patient about the future.

“The best question to ask is,’When do you want to have another baby?’” Says Liedtke. And when people say, “Oh, well, I don’t know if I want more kids,” or “five or six years from now,” I start talking about LARC. … But if you say, “Man, I really want to try it within a year,” I won’t talk about adding one of them. “

In mid-September, Secretary of Health and Welfare Xavier Besera said that as a result of the SB, local providers would experience an influx of clients, as the Biden administration expected a growing demand for contraception in Texas. All bodies have announced that they will receive additional title X funding. 8.8.

However, the provider said improving access to contraception would not slow down the law. Patients who wish to become pregnant cannot be protected, but they will eventually be diagnosed with serious complications, their relationship will change, and they will lose financial or social support, so they will eventually decide to have an abortion. increase. Rio Grande Valley and fellow doctors for assisted reproductive technology.

“That’s the best we can do,” said Cardwell, a planned parent-child relationship in Greater Texas. “There is no 100% effective method of contraception.”

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Texas providers have seen growing interest in contraception since the almost complete ban on abortion

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