Disparities in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001.

Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY, USA.
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (Impact Factor: 1.41). 07/2006; 38(2):90-6. DOI: 10.1363/psrh.38.090.06
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many pregnancies are unintended, particularly in certain population groups. Determining whether unintended pregnancy rates and disparities in rates between subgroups are changing may help policymakers target reproductive health services to those women most in need.
To calculate rates of unintended pregnancy and related outcomes, data on pregnancy intendedness from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth were combined with birth, abortion and population data from federal, state and nongovernmental sources.
In 2001, 49% of pregnancies in the United States were unintended. The unintended pregnancy rate was 51 per 1,000 women aged 15-44, meaning that 5% of this group had an unintended pregnancy. This level was unchanged from 1994. The rate of unintended pregnancy in 2001 was substantially above average among women aged 18-24, unmarried (particularly cohabiting) women, low-income women, women who had not completed high school and minority women. Between 1994 and 2001, the rate of unintended pregnancy declined among adolescents, college graduates and the wealthiest women, but increased among poor and less educated women. The abortion rate and the proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion among all women declined, while the unintended birth rate increased. Forty-eight percent of unintended conceptions in 2001 occurred during a month when contraceptives were used, compared with 51% in 1994.
More research is needed to determine the factors underlying the disparities in unintended pregnancy rates by income and other characteristics. The findings may reflect a need for increased and more effective contraceptive use, particularly among high-risk groups.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The adverse effects of prenatal alcohol consumption have long been known; however, a formal description and clinical diagnosis of these effects was not introduced until 1973. Since then, the distinction of the wide range of effects that can be induced by prenatal alcohol exposure, and, consequently, the terminology to describe these effects has continued to evolve. Although much progress has been made in understanding the consequences of prenatal alcohol exposure, challenges still remain in properly identifying all affected individuals as well as their individual patterns of alcohol-induced deficits. Also, as the large numbers of women who continue to drink during pregnancy indicate, prevention efforts still require further refinement to enhance their effectiveness. In addition, the mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced damage have not yet been fully elucidated; as knowledge of the mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced deficits continues to grow, the possibility of minimizing potential harm by intervening during prenatal alcohol exposure is enhanced. Finally, researchers are exploring additional ways to improve or fully restore behavioral and cognitive functions disrupted by prenatal alcohol exposure by treating the individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, thereby reducing the heavy burden for affected individuals and their families.
    Alcohol research & health: the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 11/2010; 34(1):4-14. · 0.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Equity, social determinants and public health programmes, Edited by Anand Sivasankara Kurup, Eric Blas, 01/2010: chapter 11: pages 199-210; World Health Organization., ISBN: 978 92 4 156397 0
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examine educational differences in the intendedness of first births in Japan using data from a nationally representative survey of married women (N = 2,373). We begin by describing plausible scenarios for a negative, null, and positive educational gradient in unintended first births. In contrast to well-established results from the U.S., we find evidence of a positive educational gradient in Japan. Net of basic demographic controls, university graduates are more likely than less-educated women to report first births as unintended. This pattern is consistent with a scenario emphasizing the high opportunity costs of motherhood in countries such as Japan where growing opportunities for women in employment and other domains of public life have not been accompanied by changes in the highly asymmetric roles of men and women within the family. We discuss potential implications of this suggestive finding for other low-fertility settings.
    Population Research and Policy Review 04/2015; 34(2). DOI:10.1007/s11113-014-9348-3 · 0.76 Impact Factor


Available from