Thursday, January 26, 2012

Trust women

In honor of the first ever Trust Women Week that is currently taking place via a giant virtual march (91,912 "marchers" and counting as I write this!), I thought I'd give you all some stats on abortion and contraceptive use to whip out if case anyone dares to ask you, "Why should I care about about women and their reproductive rights?"

- Virtually all American women aged 15–44 who are sexually experienced have at some point used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning (99%). This is also true of Catholic women, 98% of whom have used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning

- Most women who use the pill do so to prevent pregnancy; however, more than half also identify noncontraceptive health benefits, such as treatment for excessive menstrual bleeding, menstrual pain and acne, as reasons for use.

- Seven in 10 women of reproductive age (43 million women) are sexually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they and their partners fail to use a contraceptive method

- Among just those women who are sexually active and able to become pregnant but do not want to become pregnant, 11% are not using contraceptives. That number is much higher among teens aged 15–19 (19%) and lower among older women aged 40–44 (8%).

- About half (49%) of the 6.7 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.2 million) are unintended 

- In 2006, 43% of unintended pregnancies ended in abortion and 48% ended in birth. This was a shift from 2001, when 47% ended in abortion and 46% ended in a birth.

- In 2006, two-thirds (64%) of the 1.6 million births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public insurance programs, primarily Medicaid. In comparison, 48% of births overall and 35% of births resulting from intended pregnancies were funded by these programs.

- A broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions:
  • 58% are in their 20s;
  • 61% have one or more children;
  • 56% are unmarried and not cohabiting;
  • 69% are economically disadvantaged; and
  • 73% report a religious affiliation.
( All statistics taken directly from The Guttmacher Institute)

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