Unintended Pregnancy Down in Majority of States

LARCs Found Effective at Combating High Rates of Unintended Pregnancy

According to a new report from Guttmacher Institute, from 2006 through 2010, the rate of unintended pregnancy is down in a majority of states. In 28 of the 41 states studied, the rate of unintended pregnancy decreased by at least 5%. During the studied period unintended pregnancy rates held steady in 12 states. West Virginia was the only state where the rate of unintended pregnancy rose by nearly 5%.  This report also revealed that rates of unintended pregnancy “remain twice as high in some southern and densely-populated states.” The study’s author Kathryn Kost explained that this “likely reflects differences in demographic characteristics and socioeconomic conditions across states.” The United States still has one of the highest rates of unintended and teen pregnancy in the developed world, with nearly half of all pregnancies being unplanned. The drop in rates of unintended pregnancy in the studied states is largely attributed to increased access to evidence-based sex education and affordable family planning care. Significantly, this report revealed that the decrease in rates of unintended pregnancy was in double digits in Colorado, Iowa and Missouri, all states that began campaigns highlighting long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) within the time of the study.

Colorado’s Teen pregnancy rates in Colorado are at their lowest point in 20 years due to the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, a privately funded state health initiative to reduce teen pregnancies by providing access to affordable contraceptives. has led to a 40 percent drop in teen birth rates over five years and millions of dollars in healthcare expenditure savings for Colorado. Today, a bi-partisan group of Colorado State Representatives are introducing legislation to continue and expands this program, helping low-income women gain access to long-acting reversible contraception, such as intrauterine devices, or IUDs.

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