Each year nearly 3 million American women, and an unknown number of their partners, receive unexpected, even startling news: they are pregnant. What for some is an exciting — even if unplanned — development provokes in others a profound crisis of conscience. Most want to embrace the joys of raising a family — eventually — but many feel they are not yet ready. They may be unmarried, in an unhappy marriage or in school; they may be poor or already caring for young children and unable to imagine how they could cope with one more. 

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