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When Pregnancy Is a Health Risk

To the Editor:

Re “One-Stop Access to Birth Control as a Bid to Cut Poverty” (The Upshot, Dec. 18):

Delaware’s inclusion of the question “Do you want to get pregnant in the next year?” — along with other health-related questions about smoking, drinking, seatbelt use and allergies — is a long-overdue recognition of the risk that pregnancy, particularly unintended pregnancy, presents to sexually active women’s health. It is a health risk men do not ever have to face.

As a retired ob-gyn, I know that all birth control methods give some protection against unintended pregnancy and hence this risk. The long-acting reversible contraceptive devices are more than 99 percent effective in preventing unintended pregnancies and the risk that they present to women’s health.

Dr. David Grimes, a prominent obstetrician-gynecologist, said: “When historians look back on the 20th century, the development of modern contraceptives will stand out as a public health triumph like the development of antibiotics.”

Fred W. Schnepper
Park City, Utah
The writer is the author of the coming book “The Family Planner.”