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Most U.S. adults support school-based reproductive health care, survey says


Dr. Simon Haeder and Dr. Daniel Marthey, School of Public Health, with a colleague from Ohio University surveyed 4,196 American adults on their opinions of reproductive health care in school-based health centers (SBHCs).  

The survey asked questions to assess level of support in seven domains. The domains included pregnancy testing, over-the-counter contraceptives, prescription contraceptives, testing for and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, gynecological exams and sexual violence counseling.  

Demographic data collected included political ideology, measure of trust for public school principles, level of religiosity and housing locations. The study included control variables such as income, race and ethnicity, age and level of education.  

The researchers analyzed levels of support for the seven listed services and examine factors related to support of or opposition of those services.  

“Support for prescription contraception in the SBHCs was somewhat higher than that for gynecological exams, but still lower than other services,” said Haeder. 

The other five services had support greater than 60 percent, with sexual violence being he most supported. Demographic results from the study also showed conservatives were less supportive of providing reproductive health services in SBHCs, whereas liberals were more supportive. Respondents more involved in religion reported an overall lower levels of support.    

Understanding what drives support for these activities is critical for improving reproductive health care services for adolescents.