Analyzing the Impact of State Level Contraception Mandates on Public Health Outcomes
The recent mandate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requiring private health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs has generated a considerable amount of controversy. Much of the commentary and analysis has discussed whether this mandate violates the conscience rights of religious employers; however, there has been considerably less discussion as to whether these contraception mandates offer any significant public health benefit. Since the late 1990s,
approximately thirty states have required that privately bought health insurance plans cover contraception. A time series cross-sectional analysis of state level public health data offers important insights as to what impact these contraceptive mandates have on public health outcomes. Results
indicate that state contraception mandates have little impact on either unintended pregnancy rates or abortion rates.