Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A lack of access to contraceptives is not a major reason why teens get pregnant

A new government study pokes another large hole in the "we need more access to birth control to dramatically reduce unplanned pregnancies" meme. Here's an MSNBC article on the study:
A new government study suggests a lot of teenage girls are clueless about their chances of getting pregnant.

In a survey of thousands of teenage mothers who had unintended pregnancies, about a third said they didn't use birth control because they didn't believe they could get pregnant......

The researchers interviewed nearly 5,000 teenage girls in 19 states who gave birth after unplanned pregnancies in 2004 through 2008. The survey was done through mailed questionnaires with telephone follow-up.

About half of the girls in the survey said they were not using any birth control when they got pregnant. That's higher than surveys of teens in general, which have found that fewer than 20 percent said they didn't use contraception the last time they had sex......

Only 13 percent said they didn't use birth control because they had trouble getting it.

Another finding: Nearly a quarter of the teen moms said they did not use contraception because their partner did not want them to.
Table 1 of the study clearly shows that a number of different reasons led teenagers not to use birth control and not having access isn't in the top 3. Interestingly, the 13% of teens not using contraceptives who say they had trouble getting them mirrors the 12% number found in the Guttmacher Institute's 2001 research of all reproductive-aged women who didn't use contraceptives.

Will these findings finally lead Planned Parenthood, AGI, etc. to stop blathering on endlessly about the desperate need for more access to contraceptives?

I wouldn't bet on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment