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Birth control demand spikes in Arkansas after Roe v. Wade overturning

It has been almost 2 weeks since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Now some doctors have started to see a big rush for birth control.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It has been almost 2 weeks since abortions were nearly banned in Arkansas due to Roe v. Wade having been overturned. Now some doctors have seen a big rush for birth control.

Little Rock resident, Elicia Davis said she currently has access to birth control but after the new abortion regulations, she has become somewhat concerned for her future access to contraceptives.

 "It just kind of sent me in a panic," she said.

Davis has had an IUD, for years. She mentioned it is used to help with her menstrual cycle. Many people also use the birth control pill for similar reasons.

"...contraceptives do so much more than just prevent pregnancy," Davis added.

But those methods could also be used for emergency contraception, something that future laws might restrict.

"I think there's just a lot of unanswered questions. And I think women are just scared. Because like what are we going to do if they start coming for contraceptives, as well?" Davis asked.

Dr. Ananth Ranganathan with the Arkansas Women's Center said he has started to see a lot of patients with similar concerns.

"We've seen an uptick in patients requesting IUD's and long acting reversible forms of contraception," Ranganathan said.

At the Arkansas Women's Center, patients have looked for ways to avoid pregnancy; including having their tubes tied.

Ranganathan stated that the clinic has had, "a lot of patients that were maybe waffling on the decision as to whether they wanted to have a tubal ligation done, come in and request tubals."

Dr. Ranganathan especially wants to make current options for care completely clear.

 "All forms of birth control are legal in the state of Arkansas right now," he said.

But as a doctor, Ranganathan said he's still frustrated with the legal complications that could come from a new law of this magnitude.

"Late at night, you're on call at two o'clock in the morning and you get called to the ER for a patient with an ectopic pregnancy. You know, the last thing that you want to have to do is is pick up a phone and call a hospital lawyer to ask him legally, what can I do to take care of this patient right now?" Ranganathan explained as a hypothetical example.

Even though the demand for appointments has risen, Dr. Ranganathan still has open appointment times, but he expects longer wait times to build up over the next few weeks. 

Patients at other Arkansas OBGYN's said they have already seen appointments start to book up. 

"When I tried to schedule an appointment with my OBGYN, I think... a lot of women are just rushing in right now. So like, I can't even get in until like the end of August," Davis said.

Other clinics we reached out to anonymously shared that they, too, have started to see an increase in demand for birth control but they expect most of it to come in the next few weeks.

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