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Over One-Third of All Births in the United States Were Unintended at the Time of Conception

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

 Details of the latest findings:

  • Over one-third (37%) of all births to women age 15-44 were unintended at the time of conception, based on data for 2006-2010. note that this refers only to those pregnancies resulting in a birth.
  • The current picture of pregnancy intentions and childbearing shows many disparities by age, marital status, and race/ethnicity.

-Not surprisingly, the proportion of births that were unintended at conception is much higher for younger women, ranging from 77% among teens to 50% among women age 20-24, to 25% among women age 25-44.

-The percent unintended was similar for women with no high school diploma, a diploma but no college, and some college but no degree (ranging from 37% to 41%), while it was much lower for women with a college degree (17%).

  • Births that were unintended and/or unwanted conception are followed by greater risks to infant health, including lack of prenatal care, smoking during pregnancy, lower rates of breastfeeding, and low birthweight. In addition, these births are nearly twice as causality, they are consistent with a growing body of literature that suggests pregnancy intentions are key to infant wellbeing.

Click here to view the full report.