The current COVID-19 pandemic has provoked a shift in the decision making processes of those considering having children. Originally when the pandemic began, many suggested that there would be a “baby boom” in nine months, especially as research suggests a spike in births after certain forms of disasters, especially in cases in which individuals are forced to remain indoors. There are many that decided to have a child; however, there are also many individuals that are delaying having children.
Clinics are reporting an increase in the requests for birth control and abortion medication. Plan C, a website that provides information on how to acquire abortion pills online saw a doubling in their online traffic in March, when the shelter in place rules were first implemented. Further, as unemployment rates are increasing during the current pandemic, as well as many losing their health insurance coverage, many are deciding to delay having children.
However, it is difficult for those living in many states to access reproductive health services, such as Texas, where courts are affirming abortion restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, procedures such as in vitro fertilization for those who cannot conceive or many LGBTQ+ couples, are currently suspended, delaying the ability for them to have children.
In light of the pandemic, this uncertainty of what the future holds, of who can visit a person who just gave birth in a hospital, the structure of education and childcare, amongst other factors are all stressors that can prevent a person from deciding to have children in this unprecedented moment in history.
Sources: Vox 4/21/20; Feminist Newswire 4/20/20; Feminist Newswire 4/13/20; Vox 4/14/20