A new study released by the Guttmacher Institute (formerly associated with Planned Parenthood) revealed that unplanned pregnancies are on the rise, especially among low-income women. The same study also showed that 54 percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.

Planned Parenthood had been promoting offering birth control to women who came in for an abortion, but the fact that over half of women who got pregnant used a contraceptive, usually the pill or a condom, when it happened makes one question the effectiveness of that policy.

The report said: Poor women’s high rate of unintended pregnancy results in their also having high — and increasing — rates of both abortions (52 per 1,000) and unplanned births (66 per 1,000). In 2006, poor women had an unintended pregnancy rate five times that of higher-income women, and an unintended birth rate six times as high.

And it when on to say: “Analyzing US government data from the National Survey of Family Growth and other sources, Finer and Zolna found that of the 6.7 million pregnancies in 2006, nearly half (49 percent) were unintended. Although some unintended pregnancies are accepted or even welcomed, more than four in ten (43 percent) end in abortion.

We do have to wonder how valid this data is, since families who had an unplanned pregnancy that they were very happy with are less likely to turn to centers like Planned Parenthood for assistance, and may not even reveal to their doctor that the pregnancy was not exactly one they had been working on.

Its also interesting to see that birth control fails that often, and were curious about the reasons for this. Is birth control really that ineffective, or are women largely using the pill and condoms in the wrong way? What are your views on this new study?