Taxpayer cost per each unintended pregnancy: $9,000

A Brookings Institution study tallied up the government cost in 2001 to support women with unintended pregnancies. The figure is useful for efforts to prevent such pregnancies.

By

  • close
    Oprah Winfrey spoken candidly about her miscarriage at age 14 during a CNN interview last January. She only became pregnant because of "bad choices and not having boundaries and the abuse, sexual abuse, from the time I was nine," she said.

    View Caption

Almost half of all pregnancies in the US are unintended, a fact well known and still much debated. But now a study by the Brookings Institution, based on 2001 data, shows that the median government cost to provide care for these mothers and their children is about $9,000.

Putting a figure to this taxpayer subsidy should help further the debate over how to prevent such pregnancies.

“Unintended pregnancy likely represents a substantial cost to taxpayers, draining already tight federal and state budget,” write the study’s authors, Emily Monea and Adam Thomas.

Recommended: Readers Write: 4 responses to an abortion op-ed

A majority of these babies were born to unmarried, low-income women who can’t afford the cost of delivery as well as prenatal and postnatal care. About 8 percent of unintended pregnancies result in abortion; in 2001, such abortions numbered 168,601 and cost the government about $567 each.

The study also estimates the total savings to taxpayers if all unintended pregnancies could be prevented: from $4.7 billion to $6.7 billion. Such a huge sum makes it compelling to spend money on pregnancy prevention – such as better education for low-income girls.

“Children whose births resulted from unintended pregnancy are less likely than other children to succeed in school and are more likely to live in poverty, claim public assistance and engage in delinquent and criminal behavior later in life,” the study notes.

Two-parent families are still considered the norm in the US. A poll earlier this year by the Pew Research Center found most Americans regard single motherhood as detrimental to society, although they look favorably toward other types of nontraditional families.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

eZ debug

Clear cache:

Quick settings:

Timing: Jul 09 2014 14:25:08
Script start
Timing: Jul 09 2014 14:25:08
Module start 'content'
Timing: Jul 09 2014 14:25:08
Module end 'content'
Timing: Jul 09 2014 14:25:08
Before parse_includes
Strict: PHP: E_STRICT Jul 09 2014 14:25:08
Non-static method MugoViewExtras::get_view_extras() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/mugo_view_extras/autoloads/template_operators.php on line 37
Warning: eZTemplate:def @ extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/override/templates/extra/archive.tpl:21[1] Jul 09 2014 14:25:08
Variable 'view_extra_node' is already defined.
Timing: Jul 09 2014 14:25:08
After parse_includes
Timing: Jul 09 2014 14:25:08
End

Timing points:

CheckpointElapsedRel. ElapsedMemoryRel. Memory
Script start 0.0000 sec0.0158 sec 1,287.3984 KB1,162.3125 KB
Module start 'content' 0.0158 sec0.0050 sec 2,449.7109 KB718.8828 KB
Module end 'content' 0.0208 sec0.0345 sec 3,168.5938 KB3,000.1484 KB
Before parse_includes 0.0553 sec0.0439 sec 6,168.7422 KB389.6328 KB
After parse_includes 0.0993 sec0.0010 sec 6,558.3750 KB-169.7891 KB
End 0.1003 sec  6,388.5859 KB 
Total runtime:0.1081 sec
Peak memory usage:6,823.2813 KB

Time accumulators:

 Accumulator Elapsed Percent Count Average
ini_load
Load cache0.0052 sec4.7008%310.0002 sec
Mysql Total
Mysqli_queries0.0380 sec34.5811%600.0006 sec
Looping result0.0017 sec1.5796%560.0000 sec
Template Total0.0569 sec 51.8% 6 0.0095 sec
Template load0.0034 sec3.0845%60.0006 sec
Template processing0.0548 sec49.7653%60.0091 sec
override
Cache load0.0015 sec1.3634%60.0003 sec
states
state_id_array0.0024 sec2.1701%50.0005 sec
state_identifier_array0.0023 sec2.0457%50.0005 sec
General
String conversion0.0000 sec0.0137%30.0000 sec
dbfile0.0003 sec0.3025%180.0000 sec
View Extra building0.0253 sec22.9536%20.0126 sec
Total script time:0.1100 sec

CSS/JS files loaded with "ezjscPacker" during request:

CacheTypePacklevelSourceFiles
01a980f93dc967c6e39d52a11ae2108b_1404899611_all.cssCSS3extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/stylesheets/normalize.css
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/stylesheets/html5b.css
design/standard/stylesheets/debug.css
extension/ezwt/design/standard/stylesheets/websitetoolbar.css
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/stylesheets/jquery-ui-1.10.3.custom.min.css
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/stylesheets/desktop.css
ede0a88fd146f1a095d27fb22227d0e5_1398846822.jsJS2extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/modernizr.js
extension/csm_base/design/standard/javascript/jquery-1.10.2.min.js
1650da1ba852ac5f9af81af07e8fa105_1404899611.jsJS2extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jquery-ui-1.10.4.min.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/json2.js
extension/csm_base/design/standard/javascript/jquery.cookie.min.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jquery.mobile.custom.min.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.arthole.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.sticky.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.csmstory.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.right_column.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.csmstory_editorspickdialog.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.sailthru_signup.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.jcarousel.min.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.history.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.mainNav.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.gallery.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.staffdialog.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jQuery.rollChildren.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/pubService_extended.js
extension/csm_base/design/standard/javascript/csm/csmNew.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jquery.quiz.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jquery.spectrumQuiz.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/global.js

Templates used to render the page:

UsageRequested templateTemplateTemplate loadedEditOverride
1pagelayout.tpl<No override>extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/templates/pagelayout.tplEdit templateOverride template
1modules/mugo_view_extras/extra_cached.tpl<No override>extension/mugo_view_extras/design/standard/templates/modules/mugo_view_extras/extra_cached.tplEdit templateOverride template
1setup/debug_toolbar.tpl<No override>design/standard/templates/setup/debug_toolbar.tplEdit templateOverride template
 Number of times templates used: 3
 Number of unique templates used: 3
 Time used to render template usage: 0.0001 secs