Innovation Session: Progress Pays Off: Public Savings Associated with Avoiding Unplanned Pregnancy Among Teens

Saturday, November 10, 2018: 11:30 AM-12:15 PM
Atrium - Exhibit Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Participants:  Colleen Crittenden Murray1, Kelleen Kaye2 and Alison Stewart Ng2, (1)Power to Decide(2)Formerly with Power to Decide

Description of Research: Based on our innovative measures, we estimated there were 428,000 fewer teen births across the nation in 2015 compared to the number that would have occurred had the teen birth rate not fallen. Nationally, this translates into $4.4 billion in savings in 2015 alone, when factoring in the expense for health care and economic supports. At the state level, these savings ranged from $3 million to $596 million annually. At the national level, it was projected that an additional $1.9 billion annually would be saved if all teens were able to avoid unplanned pregnancy and subsequent births. These estimates fill an important void, as most research related to public spending on childbearing is often dated and lacks detail at the state level. We anticipate that our estimates of savings related to pregnancy prevention will inform key decisions regarding the fiscal merits of investing in reproductive health services going forward. The timing could not be more critical, as the field of reproductive health are at a crossroads—a time of opportunity in the form of new initiatives being considered across the country and a time of challenge in the form of legislative debate over the merits of publicly funded reproductive health care, access to services, and the future of teen pregnancy prevention programs.

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