The COVID-19 pandemic and the recession that has followed in its wake have made it harder for growing numbers of people to afford or access birth control, all at a time when demand for birth control is likely to be higher. This issue brief examines the impact of the pandemic and economic downturn on contraceptive access and offers state and federal policymakers a roadmap for action.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the recession have created new barriers to accessing birth control and worsened existing ones, hitting Black women, indigenous women, and women of color, LGBTQ people, and disabled women hardest.
  • During this time of crisis, when more people are seeking to delay or avoid pregnancy, access to birth control is crucial to allow them to make the decisions that are right for them.
  • Federal and state policymakers must act immediately to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on birth control access, prepare for the long-lasting consequences of the recession, and pursue structural reforms that address the disparities magnified by the current crisis.
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