Reduce Unplanned Pregnancies Among Single Young Adults
Of the 3 million unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. annually, over fifty percent are to women in their twenties. Unplanned pregnancy can result in a number of negative outcomes for children and families, including late entry into prenatal care, abuse and neglect, behavioral and cognitive deficits, economic hardship, and relationship and family turmoil. unplanned pregnancies total $5 billion a year in direct medical costs alone.  but every $1 spent on publicly provided family planning services saves $4.
What can policymakers do?
Improve young adults’ access to accurate information on sex, relationships, abstinence and contraception. a recent national survey found that many young adults underestimate the effectiveness and overestimate the risks of many contraceptive methods, say they know little or nothing about common forms of contraception, and say they never had sex education in school. states can conduct public awareness campaigns, and engage partners such as physicians and community colleges to ramp up access to accurate information for young adults. the iowa initiative to reduce unintended pregnancies aims to reduce the high rate of unintended pregnancies among iowa women ages 18-30 through networking, research and public outreach. headed by iowa’s former first lady christie vilsack, the initiative is creating an open dialogue and collaborating with established providers around the state to increase access to family planning services and information.
Expand coverage and improve access to family planning services. evidence suggests that the provision or coverage of family planning services is a cost effective way to reduce unplanned pregnancy and is associated with both public and private sector savings.  states can use medicaid waivers, incorporate services and information into work support programs, pass contraceptive equity laws to expand individual’s access to affordable services, and more. the states can use medicaid waivers, incorporate services and information into work support programs, pass contraceptive equity laws to expand individual’s access to affordable services, and more. the west virginia perinatal partnership is working with the national campaign to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy to reduce unplanned pregnancies among young adults, based upon the findings of a 2008 statewide study (pdf). in addition to developing a strategic action plan, the partnership is advocating for a medicaid waiver for family planning services for up to two years after the birth of a child, and initiating a pregnancy planning component as part of pre- and post-natal home visits.
 Briefly: State and Local efforts to Reduce Unplanned Pregnancy Among Young Adults . The national campaign to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy, may 2008.
 Fast Facts: The Direct Medical Costs of Unplanned Pregnancy and Cost Effectiveness of Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy . The national campaign to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy, april 2009.
 Kaye, K., Suellentrop, K., and Sloup, C. (2009). The Fog Zone: How Misperceptions, Magical Thinking, and Ambivalence Put Young Adults at Risk for Unplanned Pregnancy. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
 Fast Facts: The Direct medical Costs of Unplanned Pregnancy and Cost Effectiveness of Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, April 2009.