What would happen without public funding for family planning?

March 19, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

How important is it to publicly fund family planning? Consider the following information from a mass emailing I just received from Guttmacher Institute:

Publicly funded family planning services play a crucial role in improving maternal and child health, helping women and couples achieve their fundamental childbearing goals and achieve economic security for themselves and their children. These efforts save almost $4 for every $1 invested and help avert almost two million unintended pregnancies per year, which would otherwise have resulted in 860,000 unintended births and 810,000 abortions. Without these services, the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions occurring in the United States would be nearly two-thirds higher among women overall and among teens; the number of unintended pregnancies among poor women would nearly double.

The email included this link for additional information on this topic of public funding. Consider the information provided by Guttmacher under the heading: “WHO NEEDS CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES?”

• The typical American woman, who wants two children, spends about five years pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant, and three decades—more than three-quarters of her reproductive life—trying to avoid pregnancy.

• About half of all pregnancies in the United States each year—more than three million—are unintended. By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and three in 10 will have had an abortion.

• There were 66 million U.S. women of reproductive age (13–44) in 2008.

• More than half of these women (36 million) were in need of contraceptive services and supplies; that is, they were sexually active and able to become pregnant, but were not pregnant and did not wish to become pregnant. The number of women in need of contraceptive services and supplies increased 6% between 2000 and 2008.

And consider the following, under the topic, “Who Needs Publicly Funded Service:

• Among the 17.4 million women in need of publicly funded contraceptive care, 71% (12.4 million) were poor or low-income adults, and 29% (5 million) were younger than 20. Four in 10 poor women of reproductive age have no insurance coverage whatsoever.

Guttmacher offers a wealth of statistics here.


Category: Health, Reproductive Rights, Sex

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    Majorly flawed reasoning. The assumption is that if public funding went away, that everyone who used the publicly funded options would spit out babies instead.

    Contraceptive use is universal. Abortion is cheap. Publicly funding contraception doesn’t save the country money, it saves those who use contraception and know how to get it free money.

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