Unwanted results on unplanned pregnancies

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We were shocked and disappointed to read that an average 40 percent of pregnancies in our country are unwanted or unexpected. Based on a 2006 state-by-state pregnancy intention survey — the first of its kind ever conducted — out of 86,000 women who gave birth and 9,000 who had an abortion, the study found that the highest rates of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies occurred in the South, Southwest and in states with large urban populations. Mississippi had the highest rate, with 69 unplanned/unwanted pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, whereas New Hampshire had the lowest rate (36 per 1,000 women).

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross notes the correlation between the states with the highest rates also being those “offering the least access to family planning services, including birth control and sex education.” ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan predicts that the actual rate of unintended pregnancy is probably higher than is indicated in this study. “Most women don’t want to admit to having an unwanted pregnancy,” she notes. “And these results are based on 2006 data, so it’s possible that the numbers are growing, especially with fewer funds being allocated toward family planning services not covered by insurance.”