Celebration meets caution: LARC's boons, potential busts, and the benefits of a reproductive justice approach

Contraception. 2014 Apr;89(4):237-41. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2014.01.027. Epub 2014 Feb 10.


Recent years have witnessed an outpouring of research and funding pertaining to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). The time is ripe to contextualize LARC’s hype within our broader reproductive health goals and tools—that is, how we can best address the needs of individuals who benefit from the reproductive health services we provide. After reviewing LARC’s major benefits, this commentary presents three potentially problematic aspects of LARC promotion: 1) the notion that increasing LARC use could singlehandedly end unintended pregnancies and their associations with poverty, 2) the clinical emphasis on LARC methods over all others, and 3) inadvertently failing to acknowledge the ways in which poor women of color will experience LARC promotion through legacies of racism and eugenics. The comment concludes by highlighting the benefits of a reproductive justice approach to LARC: an approach devoted to making LARC affordable and accessible while simultaneously respecting women’s decisions not to use LARC, their ability to have LARC removed when they wish, and their ability to determine for themselves where contraception and pregnancies fit into their lives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Contraception / ethics
  • Contraception / psychology
  • Contraception / trends*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices*
  • Social Justice


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female