The Guttmacher Institute released today a study of the recession’s affect on family planning centers. They found that the providers are struggling to meet an increasing demand for subsidized contraceptive services. The majority of centers (67%) report an increase in clients overall, and even more centers report an increase in low-to-middle income and uninsured clients. The centers do not have the funds to keep up with the increased need in the community, and as a consequence, they are keeping clients waiting longer, cutting some of the products and services they offer, and laying-off staff. Unfortunately, this news comes on the heels of a September study from the Guttmacher Institute, which showed that a large portion of women want to delay childbearing in these tough economic times.
These findings suggest tragic consequences for many women and families in the United States. According to the Guttmacher study, “more women will be unable to get the contraceptive services and reproductive health care they need and want, and some will find themselves faced with an unintended pregnancy-- unfortunate at any time, but especially so during difficult economic times when families can least afford the added costs of a new baby.”
For a more in-depth look, read the study, “A Real-Time Look at the Impact of the Recession on Publicly Funded Planning Centers” or the Guttmacher Institute’s news release on the study.