Better than expected
Women’s fears of the negative effects of an unplanned pregnancy are much worse than reality, according to a recent survey.
The report, “Prevalence and Perceptions of Unplanned Births” by the Urban Institute, found one-third of all U.S. women ages 18 to 44 and over six in 10 of all mothers in the same age group had experienced an unplanned birth.
And whereas more than half (52 percent) of women of reproductive age said they thought an unplanned birth would have mostly negative impacts on seven key areas of their lives, just 30 percent of mothers who had experienced an unplanned birth said it led to mostly negative effects. Mothers of unplanned births reported fewer negative responses consistently across all key areas, including education, job, income, partner relationship, physical health, mental health, and motivation.
“This may reflect women’s ability to adapt and make the best of their situation when an unplanned birth occurs, women’s reluctance to attach negative feelings to a situation that resulted in a child they love, or women’s decision to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term rather than have an abortion,” wrote the study’s authors. —K.C.