Planned Parenthood Dr Hopes to ‘See More Women Choosing Long-Acting Forms of Contraception’

By Penny Starr | May 19, 2014 | 1:21pm EDT

Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, spoke at the Kaiser Family Foundation on May 15, 2014. ( Starr)

( – Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said she hopes the future of health care under the Affordable Care Act includes more women using “long-acting” forms of birth control, including intrauterine devices that can cause a fertilized embryo to be aborted.

“Hopefully more women will have the opportunity to get the contraception that they want with no co-pay, and hopefully, we’ll see more women that are choosing long-acting forms of contraception,” Cullins said, adding that the long-acting birth control is better, because it does not require user compliance on a daily or monthly basis.

According to WebMD, the IUD can also be used as emergency contraception “if you have had unprotected sex in the past few days and need to avoid pregnancy” and plan to continue using the device.

Cullins, who is also an obstetrician-gynecologist, made the remarks at an event on Thursday at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which released a report it prepared examining women’s health care “in the early years of the Affordable Care Act.”

As one of the panelists discussing the findings of the report, Cullins called the ACA “an important law,” and answered the moderator’s question about what she thought health care would look like in the U.S. in four years.

In a 2011 op-ed in the New York Times, Cullins wrote about her “divorced mother of three” daughter and her complaints about the high cost of birth control and why she hoped under the Affordable Care Act all contraceptives would be available for free and without a co-pay.

“Today’s system of co-payments and deductibles for birth control compromises the health of families, wastes money and sends a terrible message to women like my daughter: when it comes to planning your family, you’re on your own,” Cullins wrote. “It’s time to change that.”

Some of the key findings of the report include:

• Family planning providers and community health centers play a “major role” in providing contraceptives for uninsured women and “women of color.”

• A substantial share of sexually-active women is not using any contraception – one in five or 19 percent of women ages 15 to 44.

• In 2013, over four in 10 women (45 percent) ages 18 to 25 report being on their parents’ health insurance plan.

The survey conducted for the report was done by telephone from a sample of 3,015 women ages 15 to 64 living in the U.S. from Sept. 19 to Nov. 21, 2013.

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