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6 in 10 women who have had an abortion claim childcare costs influenced their decision

Almost 1 in 5 women claim the cost of childcare was the main reason they chose to have an abortion.

Date 8TH July 2022: Pregnant Then Screwed surveyed 1,630 women who have had an abortion in the last five years. The survey found that 60.5% say that the cost of childcare influenced their decision to have an abortion and 17.4% of women said that childcare costs were the main reason they chose to have an abortion. 


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.


A total of 99 MPs voted to keep abortion illegal in Northern Ireland in 2019 with MPs and Lords continuing to make highly controversial statements more recently following the news of Roe vs Wade being overturned in the US. 


Wiltshire MP Danny Kruger said in a parliamentary debate that he disagreed that pregnant women had an ‘absolute right to bodily autonomy’ and Senior Conservative Peer Lord Daniel Moylam labeled the verdict as “a great victory for US democracy”.


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 1 in 4 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. The UK has the most expensive childcare in the OECD as a proportion of women’s earnings, and the recent Government proposal to increase ratios will have little to no impact on costs, instead it will only serve to create a lower quality system, further deterring women from using our childcare provision. The 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 1 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 child care.”


Another said: 

“I’m a student nurse. Studying full time hours and my partner works 45 hours a week. Our household income is not great but I don’t qualify for any childcare help this academic year. Next academic year we get £227 for the whole academic year to cover five days a week of childcare at £54 a day. We get no universal credit, no free hours or tax free childcare because I’m a student so classed as not working! We can not afford childcare so I have missed hours on placement or at university and this is negatively affecting my chances of qualifying. We are drowning in debt, struggling to feed our son and are unable to afford basics such as petrol, food, utilities. Before I started this degree the cost was doable. With inflation and the cost of living soaring we are crippling. I’ve had to go back on antidepressants because I just can’t cope any more. We are being pushed into poverty. But Boris and his pals won’t pay student nurses or help with childcare unless you’re super poor. We’ve already lost our house deposit, £20000 of savings gone on basics and childcare because we simply could not survive on our incomes. This government need to get their act together and help!”


On Monday, the Conservative party revealed their plans to consult on childcare, making claims that increasing the amount of children each childcare worker is responsible for could save parents £40 a week in childcare costs. A claim that has since been dismissed as “incorrect” by the Early Years Alliance and “absolute rubbish” by Pregnant Then Screwed. The calculation is based on the assumption that all providers would operate at full capacity with each worker looking after the maximum number of children; however, according to a survey of 9,000 early years settings by the Early Years Alliance, only 5% of nurseries and pre-schools would always/permanently operate to looser ratios if the government’s proposal went ahead. And just 2% of providers said that any cost savings would be passed on to parents. 


Pregnant Then Screwed are asking parents to attend a national protest on the 29th of 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. 




For further press information or case studies from Pregnant Then Screwed please contact 

Comms and Campaigns Manager, Lauren Fabianski on:

[email protected]  or phone: 07784 609797

Alternatively you can contact Joeli on: [email protected] 


Notes to Editor: 

About Pregnant Then Screwed ( Pregnant Then Screwed is a charity that seeks to protect, support and promote the rights of pregnant women and mothers. We carry out extensive research into the effects of systemic cultural and institutional discrimination during pregnancy and motherhood. Our support services include: a free employment rights helpline, pro bono legal advice and a tribunal mentor scheme that supports women who are considering legal action against their employer. We campaign for changes that will end the motherhood penalty and we support working mums to rebuild their confidence and find work that works for them.


Data overview: From 2nd July 2022 until 5th July 2022 Pregnant Then Screwed surveyed over 28,000 parents on the impact of summer holiday childcare costs.  

Of those 1,630 women had an abortion in the last five years. These are women who already have at least one child. The Pregnant Then Screwed survey was self selecting and ran via Typeform. For more information please contact us. 


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