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Almost one in five women who have had an abortion say the main reason was childcare costs, according to a new survey.
Over 60% of women who have had an abortion in the last five years say the cost of childcare influenced their decision, while nearly 18% said it was the main reason, according to a survey by Pregnant Then Screwed.
The survey of 1,630 women who have had an abortion in the last five years found the data was worse for Black women, with 76% of Black women and 70% of mixed race women stating that the cost had influenced their decision. 76% of single parents also said that childcare costs had been a factor in their consideration to terminate their pregnancy.
The survey also revealed that of 28,000 women who already had a child, or children, 62% said that childcare costs were either the main reason, or a factor in their decision, not to have more children, with a quarter stating that it was the key reason they didn’t have more children.
Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said: “Childcare costs are pushing families into poverty and forcing women to terminate wanted pregnancies. This is a crisis and the Government’s response has been wholly inadequate. The UK birth rate has hit a record low, a lack of births means a lack of future workers, which poses enormous challenges for our future economy. We know that birth rates are higher in countries that allow women to combine childcare and careers. MPs who have recently shown their disdain for women who terminate a pregnancy are doing little to fix the systems which force them to make this decision. ’’
One woman told Pregnant Then Screwed: “I have found it heartbreaking that I have had to have an abortion primarily because we could not afford the cost of childcare. If I had continued my pregnancy of a much wanted child I would have had to quit my job to care for them, this would have meant we had to sell our home as one salary would not cover the bills. This would have been detrimental to my one child. The system is a shambles and it is so upsetting. It is horrendous that myself and my husband are both professionals yet we cannot afford a second child due to the first years of their life requiring childcare.”
Pregnant Then Screwed are asking parents to attend a national protest on 29th October where they will demand that the Government invests in good quality, affordable childcare for all children as well as committing to other family friendly policies.