Study: Planning Pregnancies Saves Public Money

New research shows that intended pregnancies are less likely to be covered by public insurance programs

By Akiba Solomon Oct 22, 2013

New research from the Guttmacher Institute [PDF] indicates that unintended pregnancies come at a higher public cost than those that are planned.

According to a new study of 2008 numbers, 65 percent of the 1.7 million births from unplanned pregnancies that year were covered by public programs–Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Indian Health Service. This is compared with 48 percent of all births and 36 percent of births that resulted from intended pregnancies.  

At 83 percent, Mississippi–the poorest state in the nation and the state with the highest black population–had the highest proportion of unplanned pregnancies paid for by public insurance programs.  

California and Texas had the highest public costs connected to unintended pregnancies–$1.5 billion and $1.3 billion respectively. 

The Guttmacher research underscores what some consider common sense: Unintended pregnancies come at a high cost.