WASHINGTON -- The results of a large new study strongly suggest free birth control, a bitterly contested Obama administration policy, could have a significantly positive effect on women's health.
The project tracked more than 9,000 women in St. Louis, many of them poor or uninsured. The program led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births.
When price wasn't an issue, women flocked to the most effective contraceptives -- the implanted options, which typically cost hundreds of dollars up-front to insert. The study reports these women experienced far fewer unintended pregnancies.
And the effect on teen pregnancy was striking: There were 6.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in the study. Compare that to a national rate of 34 births per 1,000 teens in 2010.
There also were substantially lower rates of abortion.
The study is in the journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology.