Reproductive Health of Bisexual Women, Girls Needs Greater Attention

Beyond the Carolinas

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Over 48 million people of reproductive age who were assigned as female at birth currently use contraceptives, including up to 3.9 million cisgender sexual minority women and transgender adults, according to new analyses by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

More than one in 10 (13.1 percent) of high school girls and 6.2 percent of women ages 18-49 self-identify as bisexual. Research shows that unplanned pregnancies are more common among bisexual women than their heterosexual peers. Among women ages 15-44, the odds of an unwanted pregnancy are 1.75 times greater for bisexually identified women than their heterosexual peers.

“Comprehensive sexual health assessments that ask all patients about partners, practices, and protections are critical to prevent unplanned pregnancies for many in the LGBT community,” said lead study author Kerith J. Conron, the Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and research director at the Williams Institute. “Access to free or low-cost contraceptives is particularly important to groups within the community that disproportionately experience poverty — including bisexual women, transgender people, and LGBT people of color, as well as LGBT youth who are economically dependent on caregivers.”

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The Supreme Court recently found unconstitutional a law requiring doctors who provide abortions in Louisiana to have hospital admissions privileges.

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Researchers estimate that the recent court decision ensured access to abortions for an estimated one million people of reproductive age assigned female sex at birth (15-49) in Louisiana, including approximately 86,000 cisgender sexual minority women and transgender adults — the majority of whom are bisexual and people of color.

An estimated 2.7 million cisgender sexual minority women and transgender adults live in the 21 states that require doctors to have admissions privileges at local hospitals; have enacted requirements for admitting privileges that are not currently in effect, or have a governor and legislature opposed to abortion.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.

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