The very real cost of unintended pregnancies.

A series of studies released by the imitable Guttmacher Institute, looking at everything from rates of unintended pregnancy to who gets abortions, shows us that abortion rates for women overall have gone down 8 percent from 2000-2008. Yay, except there has been an 18 percent increase among poor women in that same time. This suggests what activists have long claimed: access to reproductive health technologies and information about contraception impacts rates of unintended pregnancies.

A state-by-state breakdown tells us even more. The states that appear to have the highest rate of unintended pregnancies carried to term also just happen to be the anti-choice, forced child birth movement hotspots.

Via the actual study by Guttmacher by way of Jezebel,

The median proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in birth was 58%, and the median proportion ending in abortion was 29% (the remainder ended in fetal loss). States where relatively low proportions ended in birth included New York (33%), New Jersey (36%), Connecticut (37%), Maryland (41%) and Massachusetts (41%). The states with the highest proportions of unintended pregnancies ending in birth were South Dakota (72%); Louisiana and Utah (71% each); and Arkansas, Kentucky and Nebraska (68% each).
As Irin points out, it is hardly a coincidence that South Dakota would have the highest rate of forced childbirth when there have been full scale attacks on abortion there, access is frighteningly limited and wait times absurd.
The public health implications and emotional costs put on women to have to carry unintended pregnancies to term notwithstanding the cost to the country is absurb. Guttmacher estimates that unintended pregnancies cost tax payers approximately 11.1 billion dollars annually.
Haven’t learned enough about the devastating economic and social implications of lack of access to reproductive health technology? Check out this informational video with some more stats on the stifling cost of forced child birth.
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One Comment

  1. Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Next time, perhaps link to the youtube from AGI, that way the count on the youtube goes up and AGI gets credit… rather than the link above? and so that we can post comments on youtube or vote up/down comments there?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-bQ6UzhNI

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