US Birth Control & Family Planning Decisions Impacted by Economy

A survey released this week by the Guttmacher Institute found that because of current economic concerns, nearly half of women surveyed want to delay pregnancy or limit the number of children they already have.

The report titled “A Real-Time Look at the Impact of the Recession on Women’s Family Planning and Pregnancy Decisions” found that:

• More than one in four women surveyed or their partners have lost jobs or health insurance in the past year
• 52% say they are financially worse off than they were a year ago
• Nearly one in four women have put off a gynecologic or birth control visit in the past year to save money
• 25% of women report having a harder time paying for birth control than they did in the past year
• More than half the women surveyed report more worrying about their ability to take care of their children
• Of those reporting that they are financially worse off, three-quarters report being more worried about caring for their children
It’s very possible that a result of short-term savings on birth-control among poorer women will mean higher birth rates among lower-income women while more affluent women postpone pregnancies or reduce the intended size of their families.
Conducted in July and August, the survey covered a nationally representative sample of nearly 1,000 low- and middle-income sexually active women to determine how the current economy has affected them and their families, their views of contraceptive use, their ability to access contraceptives, and their decisions on whether or when to have a child. The women were aged 18–39 and had annual household incomes of less than $75,000. Click here for the full report “A Real-Time Look at the Impact of the Recession on Women’s Family Planning and Pregnancy Decisions.”