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Do Reproductive Intentions Matter?

John Bongaarts
International Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep., 1992), pp. 102-108
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2133409
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2133409
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Do Reproductive Intentions Matter?
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Abstract

Data from 18 countries with Demographic and Health Surveys show that the average fertility rate of married women who want no more children is 43% below the rate observed among women who have not yet completed their desired childbearing. These two groups of women also differ in their average level of contraceptive use--49% among the former and 24% among the latter. A systematic pattern of differences in these variables exists among countries at different stages of the fertility preference transition: In societies where relatively few women want to limit childbearing, reproductive intentions have only a modest impact on contraceptive use and fertility; in countries where large proportions of married women want no more births, most of these women practice contraception to control their fertility. The strength of a country's family planning program is also an important determinant of levels of contraceptive prevalence and of fertility among women who want to stop childbearing.

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