The Zika Contraception Access Network (Z-CAN) was a short-term emergency response intervention that used contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy to reduce Zika-related adverse birth outcomes during the 2016-2017 Zika virus outbreak in Puerto Rico. Strategies and safeguards were developed to ensure women who chose long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) had access to no-cost removal, if desired, after Z-CAN ended. Study Design We assessed the number of women who chose LARC at their initial Z-CAN visit who filed complaints regarding challenges with LARC removal within 30-months after the Z-CAN program ended. Complaints and program responses were categorized.
Of the 29,221 women who received Z-CAN services, 20,381 chose a LARC method at their initial visit (IUD= 12,276 and implant= 8,105). Between September 2017-February 2020, 63 patient complaints were logged, mostly due to LARC removal charges (76.2%) which were generally (71.4%) determined to be inappropriate charges. All complaints filed were resolved allowing LARC removal within an average of 28 days.
Safeguards to ensure prompt LARC removal when desired are critical to ensure women’s reproductive autonomy.
Strategies and safeguards used by Z-CAN to ensure women have access to LARC removal might be used by other contraception programs to prevent reproductive coercion and promote reproductive autonomy to best meet the reproductive needs of women.
Published by Elsevier Inc.