Policy Studies Competition Policy

Economic Mobility and Contraceptive Access: Societal Effects


Courtney Joslin
Resident Fellow and Senior Manager, Competition Policy
Andrew Kim
Senior, Harvard University

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This policy brief is 2 of a 2-part series on the relationship between contraceptive access and economic mobility. This series emphasizes two lenses—the individual and the societal costs associated with varying levels of contraceptive access—that highlight how contraceptive access has a holistic effect on individuals, families and communities.


Access to effective contraception has revolutionized family planning for women. Since the introduction of the pill to American markets in the 1960s, women have gained improved education and career prospects, and a better ability to plan families around these goals as they see fit. While modern contraception has brought myriad benefits to individual women, many family planning initiatives are government-funded, so the benefits that modern contraception has on taxpayers should also be analyzed. Improving the availability of effective contraceptive methods has led to fewer unintended pregnancies, unplanned births and abortions. As such, state and federal governments have saved significant amounts of funding due to birth control access. However, this brief argues that there is still significant room to improve contraceptive access that would subsequently save governments additional funding.

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