Unplanned pregnancies cost taxpayers $21B each year

More than two-thirds of women with unplanned pregnancies rely on public assistance, costing $51 billion each year, according to a new study.

Unplanned births are almost twice as likely to require public assistance than planned births, according to new research from the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute.

{mosads}A total of 38 percent of planned births use public assistance like Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), compared to 68 percent of those unplanned, according to the research.

That figure is far higher in poorer states like Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana, where about 80 percent of unplanned births rely on public assistance.

Public health programs like Medicaid and CHIP have boomed in recent years, and now make up the biggest shares of most states budgets.

The swelling costs are forcing states to decide between making cutbacks or facing deficits — a particularly big problem for conservative governors and legislatures.

Public health groups have urged the federal government and states to improve family planning to reduce pressure on their budgets. A publicly funded birth costs an average of $12,770.

Just over half of all pregnancies are unplanned in the United States and about 50 percent of those relied on public assistance. 

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