The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy in Iowa: A Benefit-Cost Analysis of Public Funded Family Planning Services

Udeh, B.L.; Losch, M.E.; Spies, E.


Unintended pregnancies continue to be a public health concern in the United States. An analysis of publicly funded family planning services was conducted for the state of Iowa in order to determine the benefit of averting unplanned pregnancies with the voluntary use of such services. The benefits are reported via a benefit-cost ratio with the benefit representing the potential avoided public expenditures for every dollar spent on family planning. Iowa data were used to ensure the values reported were representative of the state. The base year reported is 2009, with the scope of the study limited to women being served by publicly funded family planning clinics. An overall public perspective was adopted for the analysis wherein only avoided public expenditures were included. Results show that although costs of methods have increased, the potential avoidable cost has also increased and family planning services remain cost-effective from a public perspective.