Evaluating Teen Options for Preventing Pregnancy: Impacts and Mechanisms

Evaluating Teen Options for Preventing Pregnancy: Impacts and Mechanisms

Published: May 01, 2021
Publisher: Journal of Health Economics, vol. 77

Dara Lee Luca

Jack Stevens

Dana Rotz

Robyn Lutz

This paper presents findings from an experimental evaluation of the Teen Options to Prevent Pregnancy (TOPP) program, an 18-month intervention that consists of a unique combination of personalized contraceptive counseling, facilitated access to contraceptive services, and referrals to social services. We find that TOPP led to large and statistically significant increases in the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), accompanied by substantial reductions in repeat and unintended pregnancy among adolescent mothers. We provide an exploratory analysis of the channels through which TOPP achieved its impacts on contraceptive behavior and pregnancy outcomes. A back-of-the-envelope decomposition implies that the increase in LARC use can explain at most one-third of the reduction in repeat pregnancy. We provide suggestive evidence that direct access to contraceptive services was important for increasing LARC use and reducing repeat pregnancy. We did not find any spillover effects on non-targeted outcomes, such as educational attainment and benefit receipt.

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