Abstract

This article reviews the methods used by Blake and Das Gupta (1972) to estimate need for contraceptive protection among single (never-married) and previously married women below the near-poverty line in 1966. More recent data than those used by Blake and Das Gupta to estimate coital activity and protection by contraception allow calculation of alternative estimates of the number of single and previously married women in need in 1966. To assess the relative accuracy of the two estimates, we introduce a validity check. Using vital data from the National Natality Survey and other sources, we calculate a birth rate and a pregnancy rate for low-income single and previously married women, using the two estimates of the number of women in need—i.e., the population at risk of these vital events. If the two estimates of the number in need of contraceptive protection are either excessively low or high, this should be apparent in the resulting birth and pregnancy rates.

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