Thursday, May 19, 2011
Studies Show Unintended Pregnancy Costs U.S. Taxpayers Roughly $11 Billion Annually
The Guttmacher Institute: NATION PAYS STEEP PRICE FOR HIGH RATES OF UNINTENDED PREGNANCY, by Rebecca Wind:
Two new studies taking different methodological approaches arrive at the same conclusion: Unintended pregnancy costs U.S. taxpayers roughly $11 billion each year. Both estimates are conservative in that they are limited to public insurance costs for pregnancy and first-year infant care, and both studies conclude that the potential public savings from reducing unintended pregnancy in the United States would be huge. A related new study provides first-ever estimates of unintended pregnancy for each state, and a starting point for future efforts to monitor states’ progress toward reducing unintended pregnancy.
“The Public Costs of Births Resulting from Unintended Pregnancies: National and State-Level Estimates,” by Adam Sonfield and colleagues at the Guttmacher Institute, relied on state-level data from 2006 to estimate costs for each state, which were then added together to arrive at a national total. The study found that two-thirds of births resulting from unintended pregnancies—more than one million births—are publicly funded, and the proportion tops 80% in a couple of states. The cost of those births, and the potential gross saving from helping women to avert them, is estimated at $11.1 billion. . . .