The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy

With the assistance of a grant from University of Northern Iowa, a benefit-cost analysis of publicly funded family planning services in Iowa will be conducted. This analysis will provide current estimates of the value of family planning services in averting unplanned and unwanted births to women who voluntarily use them. The direct costs of family planning as well as the taxpayer costs averted because of family planning, have changed since the previous study, which was conducted in 1985. Costs will be calculated for all pregnancies deemed to be unintended or mis-timed that would have been averted had family planning services been used. Examples of costs include the healthcare costs of treating a mother during pregnancy, during delivery and during the 6-week post-partum period, the health care costs of infant from birth until the age of 5, and costs of family planning services. Averted costs will include those tax payer funded services averted. Examples of tax payer funded services will include Medicaid. Averted costs will be calculated for women who previously were eligible for services but their benefit level increased as a result of the unintended pregnancy, and for women who previously did not receive benefits but are now eligible as a result of the unintended pregnancy. Costs and averted costs (benefits) will be converted to determine the overall value of family planning services for the State of Iowa.