U.S. Unplanned Pregnancies Highest Among Poor

A Centers for Disease Control report indicates that poor women are more likely than others to suffer unintended pregnancies due to insufficient access to healthcare and family planning services.

“Many women with Medicaid coverage during pregnancy lacked comprehensive healthcare coverage before pregnancy and became eligible for Medicaid by being pregnant,” read the report. Researchers noted that, although low-income women do have access to family-planning services, “the high numbers of unintended pregnancies among these women shows that more contraceptive services are needed.”

Forty-nine percent of all U.S. pregnancies were classified as unplanned. Among poor women enrolled in Medicaid, that percentage rose to between 59% to 65%, depending on the state in which the women lived. Unintended pregnancies were also more common in unmarried women, and among African-American women. Researchers believe these differences are spurred by differences in these women’s educational levels, socioeconomic status, cultural factors and access to healthcare and family planning services.


Reuters - February 11, 1999

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