Streams

Unintended Births in the U.S.

Monday, July 30, 2012

New York Medicaid wants women to have access to IUDs immediately after delivering a baby, to help with long-term family planning. (mr. toaster/flickr)

William D. Mosher, statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics and the lead author of a new report on unintended pregnancy, explains what it means that 37 percent of births in the US were "unintended at the time of conception."

Listeners, how does your experience compare to the findings of this report? How closely did your timeline for having a baby match when you got pregnant? Were you single, cohabiting or married? Did you think you could get pregnant? Call in 212-433-9692 at 11:25 or post below.

→ Read the Full National Center for Health Statistics Report Below

Guests:

William D. Mosher

Comments [26]

Anon

Suggestion for a follow-up segment. One caller was a healthy, athletic woman who rarely menstruated. Anecdotally, in my experience it seems that women who are not on hormonal birth control and who are otherwise healthy have far more irregular cycles than popular medical literature would indicate. What is 'normal' regarding menstruation and how much does the traditional monthly cycle reflect the fact that so many women are on the pill and have their periods regulated by artificial hormones?

Jul. 31 2012 07:17 AM
John A.

In a grid of woman's wants "vs" the man's, women have two big advantages: abortion and child support, and the men just have the possibility of love, or condoms to save them from these two buzzsaws.
-
"You are 100% in control if you reproduce or not." - Jon P.
For men, as you say, there is only abstinence for this 100%. A terrible balance.

Jul. 30 2012 01:00 PM
Caroline from Manhattan

One aspect of the report that went unexplored in the segment: the researcher described (several times) instances recorded in which women had an additional birth when they wanted one fewer. It seems pretty effing obvious to me that the incredible increase in multiples as the result of fertility treatments have resulted in twins where one birth was desired, or triplets where only one or two were desired. Please follow up and let us know if many of the women accounted for in this report desired one child and had two or more in the same pregnancy, or if this means that down the road in their lives, the women had desired to limit their families but had a subsequent pregnancy, and not another birth in the same pregnancy.

Jul. 30 2012 12:47 PM
Jon Pope from Ridge, NY

Consent for sex NOT reproduction from everywhere,

Sorry, I don't feel the least bit bad for if you get stuck with the bill. You are 100% in control if you reproduce or not. No excuses what so ever. If you don't want to have a kid and don't want to pay for it, use a rubber no matter what your partner says or for the 100% fool proof way, don't have sex. Simple as that....

Now if a man has to risk his life for 9 months to give birth to a child, then your argument might have some merit....

Jul. 30 2012 12:18 PM
RBC from Brooklyn

@considerthis: YES! I was also very annoyed at that caller. I also notice the classicism and narcissism of many people who turn up their noses at any who makes less money than they do. Its ridiculous.

People like the caller don't realize that everyone doesn't want to join the "rat race". Everyone doesn't need or want to go to the best schools, get fancy degrees and work 15 hour days on Wall St. Also, many women are willing to give up career advancement to have children. Just because the caller put her career first and has a larger salary doesn't mean that she's any happier or better off than they are.

Jul. 30 2012 12:04 PM
Jimmy's Hat

[[jgarbuz from Queens
To Jimmy Hats

Yes, treat a woman like a loaded gun or some other kind of deadly trap. I agree with you on that.

Jul. 30 2012 11:50 AM]]

Wow! So much anger. My point is, protect yourself. If you are so angry at and distrustful of women, first I don't see how you're having any sex, but second I don't see why you wouldn't always wear a condom.

Or delay sex until you got to know the woman better so she couldn't "trick" you.

You're a sick person.

Jul. 30 2012 12:01 PM
Jenni from Queens

@jgarbuz - Remember why the "patriarchy" was disintegrated... because corporations wanted cheaper labor! So they fired men and hired women and immigrants who were paid much lower. The disintegration of the traditional nuclear family wasn't due to society - it was changes in the economy!!

Jul. 30 2012 11:56 AM
Ziggy Marley Freud

[[jgarbuz from Queens
Basically, as long as Patriarchy is not restored (i.e., the old notion that the man is the titual HEAD of HIS family), or some viable alternative is not found, society will continue to disintegrate. The patriarchal family structure WAS the "atom" of civilized society, and the splitting or disintegration of these "atoms" makes the whole thing blow up.

Jul. 30 2012 11:46 AM]]

And the good news, ladies, is he's SINGLE!!!

Seriously, dude, go see a shrink about your anger towards women. If I had to guess, I'd say your parents divorced and you blame your mother for that. There was probably some addiction and abuse happening in the house that you were only dimly aware of.

Anyway, whatever. Therapy. Now.

It's not your mommy's fault.

Jul. 30 2012 11:55 AM
Considerthis from westchester, NY

The segment was on Unintended pregnancies. I was appalled at the caller Kate's assumption that her school "friends" with less education than she, and a lifestyle that she felt sorry for,had children that were Unintended ! Struck me as classism and narcissism of the first degree. WIsh Brian had asked why she felt they had not CHOSEN their kids.

Jul. 30 2012 11:54 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Jimmy Hats

Yes, treat a woman like a loaded gun or some other kind of deadly trap. I agree with you on that.

Jul. 30 2012 11:50 AM
Jimmy Hats

[[jgarbuz from Queens
How about the old trick of many women to sucker in a guy by telling him she's "safe" and then getting herself pregnant in order to either force the fool into marriage, or at least to hook him into child support payments? How come this isn't discussed? Is it taboo?]]

Are these "guys" out of their teen years? Do they have income and savings that they don't want to share with anyone?

Do you know how you are supposed to treat any gun you see? Treat it like it's loaded. Don't pick it up, fondle the trigger and look down the barrel. You might blow your head off.

Similarly, treat any casual sexual encounter as though she is fertile and trying to get pregnant. Strap it up, fellas!!!

Jul. 30 2012 11:46 AM
David Weksler from New Jersey

Fantastic interview and discussion - true sensitivity for a very delicate topic - kudos to Brian

Jul. 30 2012 11:46 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Basically, as long as Patriarchy is not restored (i.e., the old notion that the man is the titual HEAD of HIS family), or some viable alternative is not found, society will continue to disintegrate. The patriarchal family structure WAS the "atom" of civilized society, and the splitting or disintegration of these "atoms" makes the whole thing blow up.

Jul. 30 2012 11:46 AM
maggi from nyc

I am a 49 yr old woman - highly educated - I have 2 children - didn't particularly plan or not plan them (first one was born when I was 34 2nd at 38) - I suppose i was just very lucky with my pregnancies. However, I did have a pregnancy in between my 2 daughters that had to be terminated for me bc I was going to have twins - which wasn't planned! That was unacceptable for me at the time my marriage wasn't going to well and my husband was working a late night job and I felt I wasn't going to be able to handle that challenge. I am thankful that I was able to terminate this pregancy safely (in Europe, in France) where I felt I wasn't shamed about my decision. (that's another topic!! For another show!) I have never felt I made a wrong decision!

Jul. 30 2012 11:45 AM
Ann from UWS

How does the caller who went on to grad school fit in with your segments a few weeks ago about women having it all and how it might make sense to have babies first and then go on to a career

Jul. 30 2012 11:43 AM
susan from nyc

One of my favorite cartoons ever (which was framed on the wall of my doctor's office): middle-aged pregnant woman sitting on exam table, worried husband standing nearby, as she explains to doctor "we were celebrating my menopause."

Jul. 30 2012 11:43 AM
will

Perhaps in regards to education level it is worth noting that my step mom, an ob-gyn, had two unexpected pregnancies well into her life. I wonder how many of these pregnancies can be attributed to birth control failures (not just of the user variety) and how much of the disparity in education has to due with the vast number of lower class people in our society?

Jul. 30 2012 11:42 AM
Marylou from Manhattan from manhattan

I too had the same experience as last caller

Athlete, menstruated very rarely. Also a DES baby.

Assumed could never get pregnant.

My husband and I (I was 37 at the time) decided to try and were successful within one month.

Don't assume you cannot become pregnant; you may be surprised.

Jul. 30 2012 11:41 AM


Would your guest explain how reproduction is used by illegal immigrants to validate their status while using public support systems. Are statistics kept on the young women who are encouraged to produce children in the USA to support parents in their native country? Are stastics kept on undocumented unwed mothers?

Jul. 30 2012 11:40 AM
BK from NJ

This is what happens when a certain segment of society chooses to stick their collective heads in the sand and assume that at risk people will not have sex ad only teach abstinence.
Can the guest discuss how these data compare to other countries which are more progressive with sex education than the US?

Jul. 30 2012 11:39 AM
John A

Consent,
Pretty well worded, all I would question is the "all the time" statistic. But are there laws that drive family apart? Probably so, and probably this one.

Jul. 30 2012 11:39 AM
A dude

OK, Mr. Consent, first off, we're switching you to decaf. If and when a majority of men step up and admit paternity and then assume the actual burden of child rearing, THEN maybe we can talk about pursuing all those "baby mamas" for support.

Additionally, before heading for the door, most unwed fathers are having UNPROTECTED sex because it "feels better."

I wish to one day visit this magical alternative universe of yours where men - not the children - are the victims in all of this.

Jul. 30 2012 11:39 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

How about the old trick of many women to sucker in a guy by telling him she's "safe" and then getting herself pregnant in order to either force the fool into marriage, or at least to hook him into child support payments? How come this isn't discussed? Is it taboo?

Jul. 30 2012 11:37 AM

If we ask the mother the unintended rate is 37% what is the rate of unintended if u ask the dude? 57% is my unscientific guess?

but he can always protect himself if he is smart

Jul. 30 2012 11:36 AM
nama from nyc

how about religious people who are not allowed to plan their family and just allow things to happen naturally

Jul. 30 2012 11:34 AM
Consent for sex NOT reproduction from everywhere


Consider a case where a woman consent to have protected
recreational sex outside of marriage with a man. If he
then forced her to have a child with him and then took the
child raised it and had the Government force her to pay
to raise the child for 18 years - even if she has no money,
and subjected her to widespread stigma - most people would
consider this grossly unjust.

Yet it happens to MEN all the time.

Consent to have protected recreational sex outside of marriage
IS NOT consent to reproduce. FORCING someone to have a child
against their will should be a crime akin to date rape.

Rather people should get married or at least confirm PRIOR
to reproduction that they both want and will be responsible for
the child.

Instead, the Government is incentivizing the surge in
single parents - who often become parents without the
consent of their partners.

Jul. 30 2012 10:56 AM

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