The aim of this study is to better understand the links between unplanned pregnancy and risk factors such as domestic violence and sexual assault so that legal, health and policy responses can be improved. Through the analysis of two data-sets held by a Brisbane based not-for-profit organisation, Children by Choice, this project will explore the prevalence of a range of risk factors for women in Australia experiencing unplanned pregnancy. Specifically, risk factors of domestic violence, sexual assault, use of drugs/alcohol and mental health issues will be explored. The study will investigate whether there are differences between adolescent and adult mothers, whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women or women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds report different experiences to other women, as well as whether there have been any changes to trends (prevalence and risk factors) over the past nine years.  Further, the study will explore the connection between the risk factors mentioned above and poverty and pregnancy terminations for a subset of women who received financial grants from Children by Choice to procure a termination in the past 2 years. The project will make recommendations for legal, policy and health system reform.

Project members

Genevieve Dingle (School of Psychology)

Professor Heather Douglas

ARC Future Fellow
TC Beirne School of Law