Are You Playing Baby Roulette?
“Veronica,* 28, was about three years into a serious relationship when she started getting less careful about taking the Pill. She didn’t necessarily want a baby, but she felt OK about rolling the pregnancy dice. ‘If it just ‘happened,’ it would have worked out,’ she says. And even though she and her boyfriend recently broke up after five years together, Veronica still thinks if she had gotten pregnant, it would have been meant to be: ‘You can have a child when you’re not 100 percent sure of things. You just work it in.’
This laissez-faire attitude about the life-changing act of becoming a mother may seem shocking, but it’s far from unusual. Nearly 50 percent of American pregnancies are unplanned, and three quarters of those are in women 29 and younger. And get this: Research shows that women with a college degree are more likely to experience an unintended pregnancy than those who haven’t attended college.
With plenty of birth control options available, you’d think those numbers would be dropping—but they’re not, says Kelleen Kaye, senior director of research for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. In fact, the number of unmarried women who had had sex in the previous three months with no contraception rose by 36 percent between 1995 and 2008.
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