Last year, we surveyed 240 women with two or more existing children who had ended a pregnancy since March 2020 to see how factors including financial hardship and caused by COVID-19 impacted women’s decision making in their pregnancy.
Comments from our research show a deep sense of anxiety among women about their future employment prospects. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant job insecurity, with 9.6 million people being placed on furlough and 695,000 people made redundant. Many families are currently coping with a reduced income due to being placed on furlough, leaving anxieties high around financial insecurity and job stability. Across all women we surveyed, 62% said that their decision to end their pregnancy was either due to mainly financial factors or a combination of financial and other factors.
There is particular anxiety around the future of financial support from the Government for families. Government policies, such as the two-child limit, are presenting significant difficulties for mothers during the pandemic. The two-child limit policy is based on the expectation that parents can plan their financial circumstances for the 18 years following the birth of their child. A number of women we surveyed expressed that while they could currently afford another child, they were concerned this may not be the case in the future with the job uncertainty caused by COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis, and it calls for unprecedented government support for families.
For further information please contact BPAS on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07881 265276.
BPAS is a charity which sees almost 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across the Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/
BPAS will be launching a not-for-profit fertility service in 2021 to provide ethical, evidence based, person-centred care that supports patients. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS funded care.