Public Costs from Unintended Pregnancies and the Role of Public Insurance Programs in Paying for Pregnancy and Infant Care: Estimates for 2008


Adam Sonfield
Kathryn Kost
The time is now. Will you stand up for reproductive health and rights?

Key Points

Key Points

• Nationally, 48% of all U.S. births in 2008 were paid for by public insurance through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Indian Health Service.

• Public insurance programs paid for 65% of the 1.7 million births resulting from unintended pregnancies that year, compared with 36% of births resulting from intended pregnancies.

• There were 2.0 million publicly funded births in 2008; of those, 1.1 million, or 53%, resulted from unintended pregnancies.

• Government expenditures on births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide totaled $12.5 billion in 2008. n In the absence of the publicly funded family planning effort, the annual public costs of births from unintended pregnancy would have been twice as high—$25 billion, rather than the $12.5 billion estimated in this report.