Women’s perspectives on age restrictions for over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives
Grindlay K, Grossman D. Women’s perspectives on age restrictions for over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives. Journal of Adoloscent Health 2014: 1-6
Purpose: There is a growing movement for an over-the-counter (OTC) oral contraceptive (OC) in the United States. This study aimed to explore women's views regarding an age restriction for an OTC OC.
Methods: From November to December 2011, we administered a nationally representative survey of U.S. women aged 18–44 years who were at risk of unintended pregnancy to explore their opinions of an age restriction for an OTC OC. A total of 2,046 women completed the survey. Weighted proportions were calculated, and logistic regression was used to identify covariates associated with supporting an age restriction. Chi-square tests of potential advantages and disadvantages of OTC access to OCs by support for an age restriction were also performed.
Results: Overall, 26% of respondents supported an age restriction for an OTC OC; 28% were against an age restriction, and 46% were unsure. In multivariable analysis controlling for overall support for OTC access to OCs and for other covariates, women were more likely to support an age restriction for an OTC OC if they had less than a high school degree (odds ratio [OR], 2.5), a high school degree (OR, 1.6), or some college (OR, 1.6) compared with a college degree; if they were married compared with never married (OR, 2.1); and if they lived in the Midwest (OR, 2.1) or South (OR, 2.1) compared with the West.
Conclusions: A minority of women support an age restriction. Women's concerns about a potential OTC OC should be addressed through education and ongoing research.