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As many as 70 percent of pregnancies in the District of Columbia are unintended, according to a report released today by the Guttmacher Institute.
"We know that nationally, about half of pregnancies are unintended,” says Guttmacher Director of Domestic Research Lawrence Finer. "Rates are twice as high in some southern states compared with those in some northeastern states — a variation that likely reflects differences in demographics and socioeconomic conditions across states."
The estimated rate of unintended pregnancies in the District is the highest in the nation. There were as many as 80 unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15-44, compared to the national average of 50.
The District also had the second-highest percentage of unwanted pregnancies ending in abortion, behind Connecticut.
It's worth noting that the rate of unintended pregnancy in the District is just an estimate, based on a model that utilized Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data from 43 states. The report also shows that states with larger urban areas tend to report higher rates of unintended pregnancies, and the District is the only jurisdiction that is entirely urban.
Elsewhere in the region, Delaware has the highest rate of unintended pregnancies after the District, with 70 per 1,000 women. Both Maryland and Virginia are closer to the national average with 58 and 53 per 1,000 women, respectively.