Reproductive Freedom

U.S. Unintended Pregnancy Rate Falls 18 Percent

But unintended pregnancies remained most common among women who were poor and cohabiting

|

UnintendedPregnancies
kidspot.au

The New England Journal of Medicine is reporting that between 2008 and 2011 (most recent data) that the U.S. unintended pregnancy rate has begun falling after being stuck on a plateau since 2001. An unintended pregnancy is defined as one that is either unwanted or mistimed. The NEJM article reports:

Less than half (45%) of pregnancies were unintended in 2011, as compared with 51% in 2008. The rate of unintended pregnancy among women and girls 15 to 44 years of age declined by 18%, from 54 per 1000 in 2008 to 45 per 1000 in 2011. Rates of unintended pregnancy among those who were below the federal poverty level or cohabiting were two to three times the national average.

Across population subgroups, disparities in the rates of unintended pregnancy persisted but narrowed between 2008 and 2011; the incidence of unintended pregnancy declined by more than 25% among girls who were 15 to 17 years of age, women who were cohabiting, those whose incomes were between 100% and 199% of the federal poverty level, those who did not have a high school education, and Hispanics. The percentage of unintended pregnancies that ended in abortion remained stable during the period studied (40% in 2008 and 42% in 2011). Among women and girls 15 to 44 years of age, the rate of unintended pregnancies that ended in birth declined from 27 per 1000 in 2008 to 22 per 1000 in 2011.

After a previous period of minimal change, the rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States declined substantially between 2008 and 2011, but unintended pregnancies remained most common among women and girls who were poor and those who were cohabiting.

This is very good news since that means that more Americans are successfully making reproductive decisions in line with their plans and values. My Reason colleagues Elizabeth Nolan Brown and Stephanie Slade have reported that a number of states that are moving toward over-the-counter availability of birth control medications. This trend needs to be encouraged and sped up.

NEXT: Human Trafficking Is the New 'Crack-Cocaine Epidemic,' Says California Lawmaker

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. fucking slackers

    1. The visibility what just occurred is five by five. Well played, Almighty.

      1. You are really good at this game.

        1. Thanks! Listening to Quilt’s new album titled Plaza. Very interesting pop reminds me of Revolver/Rubber Soul era Beatles, with great harmonies and male/female vocal blending. Also digging Wild Nothing’s new album. Dream pop, with shades of Love and Rockets, and early 90’s Britpop. College radio friendly. Check em out!

          What are you listening to?

          1. You ever listen to Pond? I dug out Beard, Wives, Denim today and have been enjoying its trippyness. A really fun record that I haven’t listened to for awhile.

            1. Right on, bro! Dig Pond. And Tame Impala. Saw them in LA back in October?

  2. This is why we pay women less.

    http://time.com/4244406/period…..h-company/

    1. Plus side, we know when to take our female co-workers out for drinks

    2. Less than half (45%) of pregnancies were unintended in 2011

      Unintended by who?

      1. Yeah, I wonder that, myself.

        The number of pregnancies that are unintended by the sperm donor, but intended by the woman, is greater than zero.

        I assume, naturally, that the completely disregard the man, and focus solely on the woman here. Even so, I wonder how many of them are just repeating what they told the sperm donor, even though they intended to get pregnant the whole time.

        1. That never happens. lol

        2. That never happens. lol

        3. Do you have reason to believe that that is widespread enough to be statistically significant?

          Keep in mind also that their numbers also wouldn’t account for men “accidentally” impregnating women (by sabotaging birth control or something), which would push the figures in the other direction.

          1. No clue. Some bitter, bitter anecdotes is all.

        4. Even so, I wonder how many of them are just repeating what they told the sperm donor, even though they intended to get pregnant the whole time.

          Motives aside the definition is relatively unclear and somewhat arbitrary/tautological. Abortions are up phenomenally, unwanted deliveries are down; science and morality win, right?

          I bet I could get an 18% shift just by clearly defining the term ‘mistimed’ or explaining that ~50% of pregnancies through history were ‘unintentional or mistimed’.

          My wife and I are more fertile than we though; 33% ‘mistimed’. Our neighbors wanted a Summer baby and delivered in Jan.; 100% mistimed. One cousin had a baby without knowing who the father was; 100% unwanted/mistimed. This was after she aborted the first one without knowing the father; 0%(?).

          1. Speaking only for myself, I assumed mistimed meant any “unexpected” pregnancy that wasn’t terminated. I’m unclear why you think this is such a big deal.

            Abortions are up phenomenally, unwanted deliveries are down; science and morality win, right

            What do you mean? According to the article abortions as a share of unwanted pregnancies is flat or rising slightly, but unwanted pregnancies themselves are down, which logically means abortions are down as well, unless I’m completely misreading the article.

            I bet I could get an 18% shift just by clearly defining the term ‘mistimed’ or explaining that ~50% of pregnancies through history were ‘unintentional or mistimed’.

            That’s not a very interesting observation, considering it was relatively very recent that people began to have anything resembling the control over their own reproduction that we take for granted today.

            1. which logically means abortions are down as well, unless I’m completely misreading the article.

              Not necessarily. Abortions could be making up such a larger percentage that they are *increasing* even as unwanted pregnancies as a whole are decreasing.

              1. Taking the stats in the article totally at face value, 40% of unwanted pregnancies were aborted in 2008, when the rate was 54 out of 1000, which means 21.6 of those 54 girls had abortions (insert tasteless joke about what .6 of an abortion means here). In 2011, when the rate was 45 out of 1000, 42% were aborted, which works out to 18.9 abortions per 1,000.

                So I don’t think there’s a workable argument that abortions are “up phenomenally” as mad.casual claimed.

                1. I’ll caveat that by saying that if there was a large population increase between 2008 and 2011, the gross total number of abortions could still be rising and make the claim “abortions are up” technically true, but that’s not really what’s being discussed.

            2. Speaking only for myself, I assumed mistimed meant any “unexpected” pregnancy that wasn’t terminated. I’m unclear why you think this is such a big deal.

              We (the royal one) can’t even decide when a person becomes a person. What makes you think the consensus is even remotely understood with regard to unintended pregnancy? A woman misses her period, takes a course of Plan B and doesn’t give birth; Pregnant? Intentional? What’s the % uncertainty in your answer? Now imagine asking the question to a group of 15-yr.-olds, a group of 35-yr.-olds, and a group of 55-yr.-olds, think you’d get a 18% difference?

              Personally, I’ve met a lot of people who were *incredulous* of the general ~50% statistic (20% wouldn’t be surprising) and a lot of the ignorance was the result of their age and/or life experience. If you asked the 15-yr-olds the questionnaire, explained that 50% of their parents and siblings might be unexpected I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the data changed 18% despite no actual change in any facts.

              1. My intention wasn’t to say that abortions are definitively on the rise but what you indicated by your breakdown; that the connection between intended pregnancy “fact” and perceived or suggested social outcome is between tenuous and fantastic fabrication.

                A little like a study indicating that women generally consider themselves to be less slutty in the past ten years represents significant progress regarding women’s rights, campus rape, or a decline in the sex trade. Not only is actual action not tied to intent behavior very well, but the verbiage and many links in the logical chain used to frame the assertion, even if taken at face value, are poor;

                More women are being forced to work more hours at low-paying jobs along side their male partners so we can all provide state-mandated birth control. Progress! Women’s Rights! Freedom to Choose!

                Libertarian moment or whatever.

    3. I would dare any dude to bring this idea up at work. Stacy seem’s a little flustered today, you know what would be a good idea?

  3. Foreseeable consequences are not unintended.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    1. Bingo

    2. Exactly. I am pretty sure that they intended to put the sperm in the vagina.

      I am not seeing Trojan sued a million times a year.

  4. Who ever was fucking that girl had amazing control.

      1. I believe that it is whoever.

    1. The model is clearly a man with a photoshopped stomach. Look at his hands and arms!

        1. would

          1. Well, duh.

            1. Be cautious, Tundrarian, I was called out earlier today for suggesting the same.

              1. Huh? By whom?

                A crazy person, no doubt.

              2. I hope you told them to eat shit and die

    2. Calligraphy of the Penis, coming soon to the Jewel Box Theatre.

  5. All while rape is on the rise? I haz a suspect.

  6. Less than half (45%) of pregnancies were unintended in 2011

    Unintended by who?

    1. The rate of unintended pregnancy among women and girls . . . Rates of unintended pregnancy among those who were below the federal poverty level or cohabiting . . . incidence . . . declined . . . among girls . . . women who were cohabiting, those whose incomes . . . those who did not have a high school education, and Hispanics. . . . Among women and girls . . .the rate of unintended pregnancies . . .

        1. *Whom talks like that?

  7. An unintended pregnancy is defined as one that is either unwanted or mistimed.

    Did everyone else read this sentence and go, “Oh, OK!!!”?

    I wonder if 18% of other people interpreted it the same way I did. I wonder, if I polled my wife and kids, then explained to one of them that they fell into the ‘mistimed’ category whether I would get an 18% difference.

  8. Super-vegan dickhole apologizes for being a super-vegan dickhole.

    1. Since I wasn’t your average, everyday plant eater, people — lots of people — heard me when I repeated over and over again: “It’s so easy to go vegan.” Many, many of them took the leap, thanks to my persuasiveness. But this choice is not easy: financially, nutritionally, psychologically, or culturally. It’s also not “natural,” not revolutionary, and it’s not for everyone. It’s just as tricky as any diet, but I chose to not acknowledge this reality.

      Good on him. I’ll reiterate what I said about the 90s. Going vegetarian is easy, going vegan takes real commitment.

    2. When asked for his thoughts as to why so many vegans think they don’t need to supplement, Norris replied: “Because they want to think that the vegan diet is natural. Many vegans believe that a vegan diet is the most natural and, therefore, the healthiest, and so everyone should stop harming animals and live an Eden-like existence. I understand the appeal of this, but the evidence that humans evolved as vegans is simply not there, not to mention the important fact that what is ‘natural’ is not necessarily what is the healthiest.

      Some ideas are so dumb, only an intellectual will believe them.

      1. We evolved to eat cooked meat. We traded intestine for brain.

        We are not cows. We aren’t even chimps.

    3. Hoo boy, the comments are derrrptastic.

      1. Like this one:

        PeterK_V ? a day ago
        As far as I’m concerned you have no business speaking to vegans bc you’ve obviously been co-opted by Big Ag. Who paid you to come up with that garbage? It’s right or of the meat eaters playbook.

        Where do I get a copy of this ‘Meat Eaters Playbook’? It sounds yummy!

        1. Its in your local library, in the same section where you’ll find the Gay Agenda and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  9. What, do you think, is the percentage of “planned and timed pregnancies” which never successful?

  10. First I hear that teen pregnancy is steadily declining and now this, It almost as if being a godless heathen has no effect on society. If my libertine hedonism isn’t gonna cause the rest of you to fuck your way into anarchy I may as well start going to church.

    1. You could try fucking in church.

      1. I thought it was pretty clear that I am not a priest.

  11. We obviously need more free abortion services, or we’ll be overrun with unintended children raised by intended parents.

    /progressive eugenicist

    1. Wow. You really demolished that straw man.

  12. Interesting that the rates started to fall around the time of widespread cell phone usage.

    NOTICE: OBAMAPHONE ANTI-FERTILITY CONSPIRACY IS OFFICIALLY THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF FIST OF ETIQUETTE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  13. Speaking of rape, this dude raped a bank employee in a downtown bank in the security deposit box vault during bank hours two days after he got out of prison. Must have really wanted to go back. Better destroy someone’s life first thought. Piece of shit.
    .
    http://nbc4i.com/2016/03/02/ba…..lion-bond/

  14. The New England Journal of Medicine is reporting

    Stop right there. The journal that gave up any pretense to scientific integrity. Why believe anything published there?

  15. You realize that the contraception mandate in ObamaCare was really just a way of getting poor women on free birth control, right?

    That’s the covert agenda – lots of free birth control to bring down population growth.
    (Not that this is a terrible idea, I just object to the means.)

    1. Except, as we’ve seen around the world, free birth-control is not an effective way to reduce population growth. Granted, the Progressives won’t admit that, nor would they admit that every nation that’s seen a significant drop in birthrate, that drop has strongly correlated with achieving a specific per capita income and not at all with the availability or cost of birth control.

      If they want to reduce the population growth – make everyone richer, don’t toss them free condoms.

      1. This is true though I’m less worried about reducing population growth than I am about reducing welfare dependence.

  16. The rate of unmarried pregnancies follows pretty closely. In fact it’s nearly identical which is probably expected. I can’t find unwanted pregnancy statistics going back very far but I can find unmarried. In 1935 it was around 4% staying steady until the sixties when it made a steady climb to about 40%. Even if women decided to want pregnancy’s unmarried it’s still a burden taxpayers will pick up more often.

    While this slight reduction is great and I hope birth control becomes OTC everywhere I’m not going to give credit to birth control when the percentage was ten times lower before birth control existed. The next step is going to be to force us all to pay for birth control on the fallacious belief that it lowers the tax burden long term from welfare. There’s no evidence of that because the cause and effect are mixed up.

    As long as their is a risk of pregnancy and a financial burden for it men and women adjust their behavior as necessary. The tax burden will not change under the current welfare policies.

    1. “Intentional” unmarried parents (such as women who can afford artificial insemination) are much less likely to be on welfare than “unintentional” unmarried parents (such as those who just can’t be bothered to use any form of birth control despite being sexually active). Unmarried pregnancies and unintended pregnancies may have been relatively synonymous in the past, but that’s certainly not the case today (and probably hasn’t been since the 1970’s).

  17. My wife and I planned to have a baby in 2015, but our daughter wasnt born until 1/5/16.

    Mistimed?

    1. For EIC? Yes definitely.

  18. A?f?ter be????in??g fir??ed from my old job 6 months ago, i’ve had luck to learn about this great company online that was a lifesaver for me… They offer online home-based w0rk. My last month payment after working with them for 6months was 9000 bucks…ZR Great thi?ng ab?out it wa?s th?at only requirement for the job is basic typing and reliable int?ernet…If you th?ink this co?uld b?e for you th?en find o?ut more he?re?….

    ?????? http://www.alpha-careers.com

  19. Most Women suffer from the spider veins pregnancy. These problems can be overcome by doing some kind of physical activities.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.