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Unintended Pregnancy Reaches 30-Year Low, But Racial and Economic Disparities Persist


Image by Guttmacher Institute

Unintended pregnancy in the United States reached a 30-year low in 2011, according to a new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute. Among women ages 15-to-44, it fell from 51 percent of all pregnancies in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011.

The sharp decline correlates with an increase in contraceptive use over the same time period, likely from expanded access to birth control, which is supported by the2010 health-care reform law. More women have been able to delay or prevent pregnancy and build the families they want as a result of improved access to contraception, the authors suggest.

But, it’s not all good news. Long-standing racial and economic disparities remain. Low-income women and women of color are still more likely to experience an unintended pregnancy than women of higher economic status and white women.

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