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On the Economy and Family Planning

September 24, 2009
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The Guttmacher Institute has a new report out, A Real-Time Look at the Impact of the Recession on Women’s Family Planning and Pregnancy Decisions [PDF, see also the press release]. The report is based on a survey of 947 women this past July and August who answered questions about their financial situation, changes in their preferences for childbearing, birth control use, and access to contraception and health care. Not too surprisingly, many women are more worried about money than they might have been a year ago. 44% said they wanted to reduce or delay childbearing, 64% said they can’t afford to have a baby right now, and 23% said they are having a harder time paying for birth control than they were.

Well, yeah.

Relatedly, I wrote a piece on this topic earlier this year for the National Women’s Health Network newsletter that came out in July. A snippet:

“Discussions about women and families who are carefully considering their reproductive and health care choices often overlook out one important fact, however: poor women have always faced this situation. (And, they have historically been targeted for coercive efforts to restrict their childbearing by forced contraception and/or sterilization efforts.) Worries about the affordability of health care and decisions about having additional children aren’t new — they’re simply being experienced by a broader range of people than usual right now.”

Other recent articles from the newsletter are available here.

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