Over a third of women giving birth in the U.S. are having babies they did not plan to have. Between 2006 and 2010 37.1 percent of women had unintended births in the United States, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. That's up from 1995 where 30.6 percent were unintended and 2002 where 34.9 were.
The data was gleaned from interviews with 12,279 women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the given time frame and the report only takes into account pregnancies "ending in live birth." Of women who did not use contraception and had an unintended birth a majority — 35.9 percent — did not think they could get pregnant. Over at Slate, Amanda Marcotte commented:
It seems strange that so many women think they are infertile, but looking at the combination of social silence on the topic of contraception and a pop culture that portrays people having contraception-free sex with relatively few pregnancies makes it easier to understand.
Marcotte also honed in on the "ambivalence" that some women showed — 23.1 percent of the women said in they survey that they "didn't mind" if they ended up pregnant.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.