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Past Event

Improving opportunity through access to family planning

Past Event

Introduction & Keynote address

Summary of report “Preventing unplanned pregnancies: Lessons from the states”
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Summary of report “Preventing unplanned pregnancies: Lessons from the states”

Nearly half of the 6.1 million yearly pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. These unplanned pregnancies, whether unwanted or mistimed, can create negative outcomes for children and families. In recent years, greater access to birth control, particularly the more effective types of birth control known as long-acting, reversible contraception (LARCs), have empowered women to only have children if, when, and with whom they want. Several states and organizations have been trailblazers in increasing the availability of family planning information and access to the full range of contraceptive methods, so that women can make the best decisions for themselves and their families. Such access will be more important than ever should restrictions on abortion become more prevalent in the future.

On June 24, the Future of the Middle Class Initiative hosted an event marking the release of a new report by Brookings Senior Fellow Isabel Sawhill and Senior Research Assistant Katherine Guyot. The event featured former Governor Jack Markell, who led the path-breaking efforts in Delaware to reduce the rate of unplanned pregnancies. The panels that followed focus on state experiences and efforts, new approaches to reducing unplanned pregnancies, and what the research says about their success.



Stephanie Aaronson

Senior Associate Director, Division of Research and Statistics - Federal Reserve Board

Summary of report “Preventing unplanned pregnancies: Lessons from the states”

Keynote address

Panel 1: State experiences

John Wiesman

Secretary of Health - Washington State Department of Health

Karyl Thomas Rattay

Director, Division of Public Health - Delaware Department of Health and Social Services

David K. Turok

Associate Professor - Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah Health Care

Panel 2: New approaches


Sarah Brown

Senior Adviser and Former Chief Executive Officer - The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Panel 3: Research

Jason Lindo

Professor of Economics - Texas A&M University

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