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An Assessment of Contraceptive Need in the Inner City

Stephen E. Radecki and Gerald S. Bernstein
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 22, No. 3 (May - Jun., 1990), pp. 122-127+144
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2135643
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2135643
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.
An Assessment of Contraceptive Need in the Inner City
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Abstract

A survey of low-income areas of Los Angeles County indicates that 41 percent of nonsterile women in their childbearing years who had not made a family planning visit in three years were using some means of birth control, 21 percent were not, 25 percent were not sexually active and 13 percent were pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Given that approximately 10 percent of the respondents were using unreliable means of contraception, at least one-third of respondents were in need of effective contraception. This proportion corresponds roughly to the percentage of respondents who expressed a desire to receive family planning care from a doctor or clinic (34 percent). The percentage of women who were at risk of unwanted pregnancy but not using any method of contraception was greatest among those with incomes below poverty level and among black and Hispanic women. A comparison of survey respondents to a parallel sample of low-income women who had made a family planning visit shows that those who utilized formal family planning services were substantially more likely than those who did not to be married (40 percent vs. 32 percent) and to belong to a health maintenance organization (24 percent vs. 14 percent), whereas nonusers of formal family planning services were slightly older, on average (29.6 years vs. 28.0 years), and more likely to have other types of private health insurance (47 percent vs. 25 percent). In addition, 95 percent of those who were at risk of unintended pregnancy and who had made a family planning visit were practicing contraception, compared with 67 percent of women at risk of unintended pregnancy who had not made a visit.

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