Contraception use has declined strikingly over the last decade, particularly among poor women, making them more likely to get pregnant unintentionally and to have abortions, according to a report released yesterday by the Guttmacher Institute. The decline appears to have slowed the reduction in the national abortion rate that began in the mid-1980’s. ‘This is turning back the clock on all the gains women have made in recent decades,’ Sharon L. Camp, the president of the institute, said. Among sexually active women who were not trying to get pregnant, the percentage of those not using contraception increased to 11 percent from 7 percent from 1994 to 2001, the latest data available, according to numbers Guttmacher analyzed from the National Survey of Family Growth, a federal study. The rise was more striking among women living below the poverty line: 14 percent were not using contraception in 2001, up from 8 percent in 1994. Better-off women - those who earned more than twice the poverty rate - were also less likely to use contraception: 10 percent did not use any in 2001, up from 7 percent in 1994. The number of white women not using contraception increased […]

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