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Women Delay Pregnancy Because of Economic Recession

According to a study released this week by the Guttmacher Institute, 45 percent of working-class women want to have fewer children or delay pregnancy because of the economic recession. The study indicates that some women have implemented cost-cutting measures at the expense of necessary health services including gynecological exams and consistent contraceptive use.

Eight percent of women surveyed do not use birth control consistently as a cost-cutting measure and 18 percent of those using the pill report inconsistent use to save money. Cost-cutting measures include skipping pills or doses, delaying prescription refills, and going off a contraceptive for at least one month.

Laura Lindberg, a senior research associate at Guttmacher, told US News & World Report that, “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.” The study itself concludes with the warning that “women who use these short-term money-saving strategies are at risk for long-term negative consequences, including unintended pregnancy.”

The study surveyed 947 women ages 18 to 34 at risk of getting pregnant and living in households with incomes less than $75,000.

Sources:

US News and World Report 9/23/09; Guttmacher Institute 9/23/09

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