The U.S. Unintended Pregnancy Rate, Still High but Dramatically Decreasing

By Maureen Bongat, Parent Herald March 05, 05:52 am

For almost 30 years the U.S. unintended pregnancy rate has decreased dramatically, a new research has found. Experts linked the downtrend to the use of a certain effective contraceptive method.

"Less than half (45 percent) of pregnancies were unintended in 2011, as compared with 51 percent in 2008," the Guttmacher's Lawrence Finer and Mia Zolna write in their report which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. "We suggest that the decline is likely due to increases in the use of contraception," they added.

The decline of the unintended pregnancy rate has been linked to how most women use these small plastic T-shaped devices called the intrauterine devices as their contraceptive method. As noted by Gizmodo, this intrauterine device is the first-line contraceptive choice to women who have never had a baby. The contraceptive device will then be inserted to the uterus and it will only be removed once the woman is all set to start a family.

Based on the recent records, the U.S. holds one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the world, that's why experts suggest if the government and policymakers would want to lessen the rate of abortion cases in the country it is crucial that the government will focus on "increasing funding and stopping attacks on all family planning providers." "Given that we researched a period that was before that Affordable Care Act, we're interested to see what is going to happen going forward," noted Lawrence Finer, the study co-author. "We may see a continued downward trend," he added.

Meanwhile, in 2011 about 42 percent of unintended pregnancies have ended up in abortion among women aged 15 to 44 as reported by CBS News. "These findings have major implications for the U.S. abortion debate as, among other things, they validate that supporting and expanding women's access to contraceptive services leads to a lower incidence of abortion," Guttmacher added.

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