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To better understand the needs of women, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked for the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a report and come up with health recommendations.

The most discussed recommendation is the elimination of co-payments for birth control, and possibly make it free for patients. The IOM projects that such steps could result in less unintended pregnancies, which account for nearly half of all pregnancies each year in the United States.

HealthDay reports that women with unintended pregnancies are less likely to receive prenatal care, are more likely to smoke and are more likely to be victims of domestic violence during pregnancy. Additionally, unintended pregnancies also increases the risk for a preterm delivery or a low birth-weight infant.

BET News Reports:

This is all good news for black women given the disproportionate rates of diabetes, HPV, STIs, HIV, and other health issues that we endure. [Our] only hope is that the recommendations are taken seriously and are amended into healthcare reform. Only time will tell.



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