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Recession Has Women Rethinking Childbearing
Date:9/23/2009

But many women are cutting back on birth control to save money, survey finds,,

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Women are postponing pregnancy and having fewer children because of the recession, but just when they need birth control most, many can't pay for it, a new survey finds.

"The recession has impacted much more than people's wallets," said Laura Lindberg, a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, which issued its report Wednesday.

"Women, especially those that are facing financial difficulties, want to avoid an unintended pregnancy more than ever, and many of them are having difficulties affording their contraception to do this," she said.

For the report -- A Real-Time Look at the Impact of the Recession on Women's Family Planning and Pregnancy Decisions -- Lindberg and colleagues recently surveyed 1,000 low- and middle-income sexually active women between the ages of 18 and 39 with annual household incomes less than $75,000.

Almost half of those surveyed (44 percent) said they want to delay pregnancy or have fewer children because of economic concerns. Among those women, 31 percent said they want to delay getting pregnant, 28 percent want fewer children than previously planned, and 7 percent don't want to have any more children.

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) agreed with the statement, "With the economy the way it is, I can't afford to have a baby right now." This sentiment was more prevalent among women who were financially struggling.

"That's a substantial change in attitudes about childbearing," said Lindberg.

The researchers also found that more than one in four women or their partners had lost jobs or health insurance in the past year. In addition, 52 percent said they are worse off financially than they were a year ago.

Over half of the women were worried about their ability to take care of their children. This feelin
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