Why Is This Important?
Unintended pregnancies are associated with many negative health and economic consequences. Unintended pregnancies include pregnancies that are reported by women as being mistimed or unwanted. Almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Government expenditures on births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide totaled $21 billion in 2010.
For women, negative outcomes associated with unintended pregnancy can include:
- Delays in initiating prenatal care
- Reduced likelihood of breastfeeding, resulting in less healthy children
- Maternal depression
- Increased risk of physical violence during pregnancy
Births resulting from unintended pregnancies can have negative consequences including birth defects and low birth weight. Children from unintended pregnancies are more likely to experience poor mental and physical health during childhood, and have lower educational attainment and more behavioral issues in their teen years.