Unplanned pregnancy

Clearinghouse Connector – June 2017


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Introduction

This Connector focuses on the experience of unplanned pregnancy in Australia and the resources available for women and health professionals to help navigate the decision making process. For information on related topic areas such as abortion, medical abortion, long acting reversible contraception, please see previous Connectors, which can be found here.

Although there is surprisingly little information available about the prevalence of unintended pregnancy in Australia,1 it has been estimated that half of all pregnancies per year in Australia are unplanned.2 Outcomes for unplanned pregnancies include parenting, miscarriage, abortion and adoption, with parenting being the most likely outcome and adoption the least likely.3

Factors influencing women’s decisions about whether or not to continue a pregnancy include the level of support they are likely to receive, the financial resources they have access to, and their own emotional readiness to become parents. Regardless of whether a woman decides to continue or terminate her pregnancy she will need access to appropriate, sensitive and non-judgmental supports and services.


WHV thanks the following expert reviewers for their input:


Overview

Unplanned pregnancy in Australia Children by Choice, 2016


Incidence

Prevalence and distribution of unintended pregnancy : the Understanding Fertility Management in Australia National Survey Australian Journal of Public Health, 2016

Unplanned pregnancy and abortion : what it means legally and socially Royal Women’s Hospital, 2011


Current policy context

Women’s sexual and reproductive health : key priorities 2017–2020 Victoria. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017

Don’t blame and shame women for unintended pregnancies The Conversation, 2015

Unplanned pregnancy and emergency contraception in Australia : unsolved dilemmas Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2014

Policy solutions for preventing unplanned pregnancy Brookings Institution, 2012 [U.S.]


Women’s experiences of unplanned pregnancy

Understanding women’s experiences of unplanned pregnancy and abortion : final report Key Centre For Women’s Health In Society, 2009

Stories from women : unplanned pregnancies Royal Women’s Hospital, 2011

What women want : when faced with an unplanned pregnancy : key findings Marie Stopes International, 2006


Decision making tools for women

Making a decision Children by Choice, 2016

For women : decision making as a couple Children by Choice, 2016

For men : decision making as a couple Children by Choice, 2016

Activities to help you : assessing your feelings and values Royal Women’s Hospital, 2011

Pregnancy options counselling Royal Women’s Hospital, 2011

About adoption or alternative care Royal Women’s Hospital, 2011

Unplanned pregnancy and relationships Royal Women’s Hospital, 2011

Unplanned pregnancies in violent or abusive relationships Royal Women’s Hospital, 2011

Pregnancy as a result of sexual assault Royal Women’s Hospital, 2011

Unintended pregnancy : continuing a pregnancy Family Planning NSW, 2015


Resources for health professionals

For professionals : supporting pregnant women Children by Choice, 2016

Unplanned pregnancy Family Planning Victoria, 2016

Decision-making concerning unwanted pregnancy in general practice Family Practice, 2014

Overview of unplanned pregnancy and abortion services in Victoria [Presentation] University of Melbourne. Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH), 2014

Contraceptive use at the time of unintended pregnancy : findings from the Contraceptive Use, Pregnancy Intention and Decisions study Australian Family Physician, 2016


Related websites

Family Planning Victoria

The Royal Women’s Hospital Unplanned pregnancy information

The Royal Women’s Hospital Activities and information for decision-making

Children by Choice


Footnotes

  1. Lucke J, Herbert D, Loxton D, et al. (2011). Unintended pregnancies : reducing rates by improving access to contraception. Australian Family Physician. 40(11): 849-849. Accessed on 26/05/2017.
  2. Children By Choice (2016). Unplanned pregnancy in Australia. Children by Choice. Accessed on 26/05/2017.
  3. WebSurvey (2006). What women want : when faced with an unexpected pregnancy : key findings. Marie Stopes International. Melbourne. Accessed on 26/05/2017.

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