Has the 2013 French Pill Scare Led to a Redefinition of Social Inequalities in Accessing to Medical Contraceptives? Results from Three Population Based Surveys Conducted between 2010 and 2016

Mireille Le Guen, Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques
Mylène Rouzaud-Cornabas , Inserm
Panjo Henri, Inserm
Rigal Laurent, Inserm
Ringa Virginie, Inserm
Caroline Moreau, INSERM/INED and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

If the consequences of various pill scares have been relatively well documented revealing a drop in pill use and a rise in unplanned pregnancies and abortion rates, studies focusing on changes in medical contraceptive use in a pill scare context according to women's social backgrounds are few. However, the use of media tools is not the same according to the social background. Moreover, access to other medical contraceptives, which depend on access to several medical practitioners, is also socially differentiated. The determinants of contraceptive method choice also differ according to social background. For these reasons, pill scare could lead to accentuate social inequalities in accessing to medical contraception. Using data from three national surveys conducted in France between 2000 and 2016, we studied the evolution of medical contraceptive use between 2010 and 2016 according to the women’s social background. We showed that decrease in medical contraception and pill use and increase in IUD use were socially differentiated. This decline in medical contraceptive use is particularly relevant for women from lower and higher classes in which we observed a decrease in pill use since 2013, whereas it was observed only in 2016 among ‘middle class’ women. Moreover, while women from upper class switched from pill to IUD between 2010 and 2013, this is not the case for their less privileged counterparts. Consequently, it seems that the French pill scare led to redefine social inequalities in accessing to medical contraceptives.

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 Presented in Session 92. Healthcare Screening and Utilization