Megan Cuilla, Community Organizer
1-866-904-7721 x8653

Published: 06.09.11| Updated: 06.10.11

WASHINGTON, DCPlanned Parenthood today called upon all Americans to recognize the urgency of reducing the nation’s teen unintended pregnancy rate. Teen unintended pregnancy and birthrates have declined sharply since the early 1990s, but a new report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy shows that teen childbearing cost United States taxpayers $10.9 billion in 2008.


“This report is a wake-up call,” said Leslie Kantor, National Director of Education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We know what works to keep young people from becoming pregnant. Sex education works. Hundreds of studies have demonstrated that sex education is effective when it provides the information, interpersonal skills and motivation that young people need to delay sex # and use contraception and condoms when they do have sex.”


The National Campaign report links teen pregnancy to other negative consequences that increase financial costs to taxpayers. According to the report, if those giving birth during their teen years instead had their children during adulthood, U.S. taxpayers would save about $1,600 per person annually. Prior studies have found that over 80 percent of teen pregnancies are unintended.


Teen childbearing cost Washington taxpayers $151 million and Idaho taxpayers $60 million in 2008, according to the National Campaign's findings.


“It’s clear that the United States needs to make a bigger investment in prevention,” said Karl Eastlund, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho. “Coupled with other studies published recently, this report comes to a remarkably similar conclusion about the magnitude of the costs of unintended pregnancy.”


The June 2011 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health includes a study from researchers at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization, which detailed a similar $11 billion toll from unintended pregnancy. That report estimated that the government spent between $9.6 billion and $12.6 billion paying for more than 1.2 million unintended pregnancies in 2001. Two additional studies, also published in the same issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, had similar findings.


For more information, please contact Megan Cuilla at 1-866-904-7721 x8653.


PPGWNI is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization with health centers located in Ellensburg, Kennewick, Pasco, Pullman, Spokane (2 locations), Spokane Valley, Sunnyside, Walla Walla, and Yakima as well as an express health center in Wapato. PPGWNI exists to provide exceptional reproductive and complementary health care services, honest education, and fearless advocacy for all. Call 1-866-904-7721 or visit for more information.

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