Unwanted Pregnancies


Unwanted Pregnancies

A great number of pregnancies are unplanned, and many of these are unwelcome or even unwanted. Unplanned and unwelcome pregnancies are usually accepted by the future parents once they have taken some time to adjust to them, but truly unwanted pregnancies are a different matter.

Involuntary First Intercourse in the USA 1995

Age at first intercourse

Number in thousands

Involuntary first intercourse in percent

Under 16 years



   Under 15 years



16 years



17 years



18 years



Source: CDC - National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

Unwanted pregnancies happen for many reasons. One of them could be rape. However, most often the case is less dramatic: Some people who engage in coitus simply do not know about contraception, or they are unable to get contraceptives, or they are young, careless and irresponsible, or the contraceptives they use do not work. Whatever the cause, an unwanted pregnancy can create very serious problems.

In the case of parents who already have difficulty supporting several children, one more birth can mean misery and despair for the whole family. An expectant mother who is physically weak or who suffers from certain diseases or drug addiction may, by her pregnancy, further endanger her own health or give birth to a sick or deformed baby. A young, unmarried woman may be totally unprepared, unfit, or unwilling to assume the responsibilities of motherhood. Thus, an unwanted birth could be a disaster not only for her but also for the child. In these and similar cases, a woman may well decide that a voluntary abortion is the only way out.

[Course 2] [Description] [How to use it] [Introduction] [Conception] [Pregnancy] [Birth] [Infertility] [Contraception] [Abortion] [Unwanted Pregnancies] [A Moral Dilemma] [Differing Views] [A Medical Issue] [A Legal Issue] [World-wide Statistics] [Historical Notes] [Abortion Methods] [Additional Reading] [Examination]