Poor Economy Could be Causing Unintended Pregnancy - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Poor Economy Could be Causing Unintended Pregnancy

Doctors are calling it a sign of the times. The unstable economy is leading to many unintended pregnancies. It's often a result of many local residents no longer being able to afford birth control.

A recent Gallup poll shows 3% of women stopped taking birth control all together, 6%switched to cheaper forms and 10% fear they won't be able to afford it much longer. Laura Riggins just found out she is having a baby boy, due in October. "I can't wait to decorate the room and get it all ready to go, and pick out a name."

But not every expectant mother feels the same way, especially with unintended pregnancies on the rise, often a result of women no longer being able to afford birth control. Dr. Gregory May with Panhandle OB/GYN says, "If you have a brand name pill it may cost patients 50 to 60 dollars a month, and if you have generic most places will range 25 to 30."

Kati Howard at Women's Health Associates says, "they say they can't afford their pills, or they stopped their birth control because they can't afford it anymore. My response is well it's a lot cheaper to buy generic pills than it is to have a baby."

It's estimated that a baby born this year will cost close to $239,000 by the time they're 18. Howard says, "People are realizing with the economy the way it is that it is harder and it is more expensive for deliveries, it's more expensive for them out of pocket for their child care, diapers."

 Doctors often urge patients to consider long term, reversible options, which can be more cost effective. Dr. May says, "An IUD, to place it, costs about $700 or $800 if you had no funding, but compared to a $50 a month pill it pays for itself.

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