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Impact of Emergency Contraception

Unintended Pregnancy in the United States

Unintended pregnancy – the term researchers use to describe getting pregnant when you aren’t trying to have a baby – is a significant problem in the United States today. Despite the many types of birth control available, the United States still has a far higher of unintended pregnancy than most other industrialized countries. The 2011 National Survey of Family Growth, supplemented by data from other sources, provides the latest information on unintended pregnancy, which affects one in every 20 women in the United States each year.

  • 45% of all pregnancies were unintended
  • 2.8 million unintended pregnancies occurred in 2011
  • 58% of unintended pregnancies resulted in births and 42% ended in abortion (excluding miscarriages)
  • 46% of women with an unintended pregnancy said they were using birth control during the month they got pregnant
  • The proportion of pregnancies that were unintended increased slightly between 2001 and 2008 (from 48% to 51%), but, by 2011, it decreased to 45%.

Source: https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/unintended-pregnancy-united-states


This website is operated by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and has no connection with any pharmaceutical company or for-profit organization.

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