New Threats and Opportunities for Reproductive Care

Even as the Supreme Court has struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges, women face increasingly restricted access to reproductive health care services during the pandemic.

Health and economic consequences are reinforcing existing inequities when it comes to reproductive services. Over 47 million Americans have lost their jobs due to COVID, leaving millions of people without employer-related health insurance during a global health crisis. Women are more likely than men to have lost their job, especially women of color.

During the pandemic, 39% of women reported having delayed or canceled a reproductive health care appointment and 25% report being more worried about being able to afford contraception.

These trends are even more common among women of color, low-income women and LGBTQIA+ women.

Many women are turning to telemedicine as a more affordable and safer way to access reproductive health care during the pandemic. A quarter of women using the birth control pill report switching to a telemedicine appointment with their health care provider to have their prescription refilled during the pandemic.

Advocates and a bipartisan group of legislators in Congress are calling for permanent expansions to telemedicine beyond the CARES Act’s temporary authorization.