Monday, September 28, 2009

Study Shows Recession Making Women Think Again About Pregnancy

Several sources have recently covered a survey conducted by AGI, a former Planned Parenthood affiliate, which found that because of the current economy, many women want to delay pregnancy or limit the number of children they have. The poll showed that sixty-four percent of women agreed with the statement, "With the economy the way that it is, I can't afford to have a baby right now."

It's easy to see how this thought could cross the minds of couples in today's culture. "How could we care for a child in this economy when things are so unstable?" "Would we be wise to think about starting a family when the economy is in shambles?" It's funny how the voice of uncertainty can slowly creep in and start taking over.

You see, the truth of the matter is, the economy is not really the culprit here. I have heard this concern voiced to me many times...even when the economy wasn't in this shape. As young couples are just starting out, trying to "make their way in this world," they are constantly bombarded with the world's view of the proper order of things: get your life together completely, and don't have children until you have enough money and resources saved to support an entire village. If you mess up this order, you will be deemed a bad parent forever!

What IF you become pregnant and you don't have your life together by the world's standards? This particular survey was conducted of women who were conscientiously deciding that the economy was the deciding factor of whether or not to have children right now. If that's the case, what happens when they get pregnant anyway? Their minds are already made up that they can't handle it. So where do they go?

Many women who walk into pregnancy centers everyday are facing similar financial burdens. Before their visit, they are often not aware of the resources around them that can help - churches, day care co-ops, adoption support, community-based agencies, and free pregnancy center services offering parenting support and material resources - cribs, clothing, diapers, etc. Unfortunately, the lie that has been sold to them is, "You're all alone. You're weak - you can't do this. There is no help out there for you." And tragically, some women tell us later on that believing those lies caused them to choose abortion.

This is the time for pregnancy centers to step up their efforts in reaching, educating, and connecting with women in this economy. The lies are just that - lies! Women aren't alone, there is help for them out there, and they can be good parents, even in a bad economy.

So my message to the women surveyed is this: Do not be afraid! If you are pregnant, and you still have doubts and fears, find your local pregnancy center. They exist to provide free services to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies. And finally, remember that "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." (Nahum 1:7)