Nearly half of women in Scotland who chose abortion did so due to high childcare costs


New research from a pregnancy and motherhood advocacy group has found that nearly half of all women who underwent abortions in Scotland did so because they couldn’t afford childcare, echoing similar results found last month throughout the United Kingdom.

Pregnant Then Screwed is an organization dedicated to ending discrimination against pregnancy and motherhood, particularly in the workplace. A recent press release issued in late March announced the disturbing results of new research.

Working together with Women In Data, the research found that 4 in 10 women who had abortions say they did so because the cost of childcare was so prohibitive. The press release noted that childcare costs have become astronomical, with nearly a quarter of mothers saying it doesn’t make financial sense for them to work, and 4 in 5 saying that childcare costs as much as their entire paycheck.

“The government is desperate for families in Scotland to have more babies, but our research shows that many parents simply can’t afford to have children due to the ever-spiralling costs of childcare,” Carole Erskine, Head of Policy & Campaigns in Scotland from Pregnant Then Screwed, said. “If we do not see increased investment into the sector, more parents will be forced to make the heartbreaking decision to abort wanted children, leave work, or forgo essential items because of the cost of childcare.”

Reportedly, 94% of respondents also said they didn’t feel the government was doing enough to support families, which Erskine warned could have catastrophic consequences.

READ: UK study: Over half of women who had abortions blame cost of childcare as ‘primary reason’

“Having children is becoming a luxury item for many, and we need to nip this in the bud fast for the sake of our economy,” she said. “Parents cannot pay to go to work; it doesn’t make financial sense, but as things stand, many have no other choice. If the government is serious about supporting families in Scotland, we need to see investment that matches that vision.”

Abortion in Scotland has skyrocketed in recent years, though data such as this calls into question how many women are opting for abortions because they want to versus feeling it was their only choice.

Similar findings were announced in February across the United Kingdom, with over half of post-abortive women agreeing that the cost of childcare was the sole reason for pursuing an abortion. This is, sadly, not unusual; women largely choose abortion precisely because they feel they have no other choice, and even when childcare costs aren’t a major issue, pregnancy discrimination is still rampant.

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