Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

August 2015 / Abell Reports / Health and Human Services
LARC Report
A proven strategy for reducing unintended pregnancy and abortion in Baltimore.

Widely recognized as the most effective birth control available, long-acting reversible contraception, also known as LARC, has failure rates of less than 1 percent.

LARCs consist of two general types of birth control devices – a hormonal implant inserted under the skin, and intrauterine devices, or IUDs. They are FDA-approved, and, in recent years, have earned the strong endorsement of the nation’s leading physicians. In Colorado, a four-year initiative to expand LARC use resulted in a 40 percent drop in teen pregnancy, a 42 percent drop in teen abortions, and a savings to the state of almost $42.5 million.

Ensuring equity of access to long-acting reversible contraception is essential, so that all women, regardless of their socio-economic status, can make informed choices about their preferred method of birth control.

Authored by public health journalist, Christine Grillo, this Abell Report explains why LARCs are so effective in reducing unintended pregnancy. It explores the current landscape of LARC use in Baltimore, barriers that currently exist, and the strategies organizations and states have deployed to promote LARC access. It offers a series of recommendations including expanded training for clinicians, counselors and clinic staff; increased funding to support clinics offering LARC devices, and a designated point person to coordinate city services and data collection.