Unintended Birth Rate Remains Steady After 30 Years

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  • New reports found that after 30 years the number of unplanned births in the United States has remained at 40 percent.

    Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics discovered that the unintended birth rate has remained steady since 1982.   

    Many doctors are not surprised at the findings but do feel a bit discouraged by its unchanging results.

    "Trying to prevent unintended births is sort of an increasingly difficult task," said William Mosher, a statistician at NCHS and the study's lead author.

    Study authors interviewed over 12,000 women who gave birth between 2006 and 2010. Although they did not find a change in the rate, researchers did see a change in who is giving birth whether it is planned or not.

    According to the study, married white women accounted for 66 percent of total births in 1982. Today, the total number of births for that group has dwindled to 43 percent.

    The report also found stark differences between the women having unplanned pregnancies:

    -About 23 percent of married women experienced unplanned pregnancies in comparison to 50 percent of unmarried women who lived with the child’s father. These numbers are also compared to 67 percent of pregnant women who did not live with the baby’s father.

    -An estimated 77 percent of teen pregnancies were unintended when compared to 50 percent of women ages 20 to 24 and 25 percent of women ages 25 to 44.

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