Women of Color Hesitant to Move Forward with Childrearing Due to COVID-19

A recent survey found a third of U.S. women are planning to have fewer children and are delaying plans to start families due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Guttmacher Institute conducted the survey at the end of April during the height of the pandemic, with participants being women between the ages of 18-49. Of the women surveyed, women of color were more hesitant on the issue, with 48% of Latinas and 44% of Black women saying they would postpone growing their families compared to 28% of white women.

The pandemic has ravaged the Black community and has set a countless number of women back economically. Laura Lindberg, the survey’s lead researcher and principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, talked to the Thomas Reuters Foundation about the pandemic’s “ripple effect” on minority women. “The women who were particularly impacted by it are the same groups that already bear the brunt of existing inequalities.” She warned women will continue to face hardship if the U.S. economy remains uncertain.

The research also revealed 46% of queer women prefer to have fewer children and at a later time due to the pandemic, as compared to 33% of straight women.

The Realist Woman’s take:

I don’t know why, but even a couple of months ago I thought the U.S. would be moving past it’s worst moments with this pandemic, only to sit with the reality that things aren’t getting any better anytime soon. I had a ridiculous thought that I’d be moving past writing stories surrounding this virus but here we are.

I’ve lost count on how many headlines I’ve read regarding all the gains women have lost socially and economically due to the coronavirus shutdown. And this story speaks to those losses. Women, specifically women of color and gay women are afraid to move forward with pursuing their goals of building their families because of all of the uncertainties that come with this pandemic. They are out of work, there is still currently a high maternal mortality rate for black women, and this virus is very real and potentially harmful for pregnant women should they contract the virus.

I understand their hesitation. Could universal healthcare and women making a living wage alleviate those hesitations? I think if those ideas were policies in this country, they would.

Black women are cautious about pregnancy during the pandemic as the black community has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19