Researchers at Michigan State University found that 21.6 percent of Michigans, mostly women, wanted to live “child-free” in a survey of 1,500 adults. The study was published on Monday, nearly two months after the US Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the abortion law – which has sparked controversy and discussion about birth control.
“After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, many Americans now risk being forced to have children when they don’t want to,” said Jennifer Watling Neal, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Psychology and co-author of the study, said in an academic statement.
Either way, 1.7 million people in Michigan don’t want children of their own, and if this trend persists across the country, that means nearly 50 to 60 million Americans want to be childless. “People – especially women – who say they don’t want to have children are often told they’ll change their mind,” said Neal, an associate professor in the MSU Department of Psychology and co-author of the study. , but research shows otherwise. .
“People decide not to have children early in life, usually in their teens and twenties. And it’s not just young people who declare that they don’t want to have children. Women who decide not to have children in their teens are now, on average, nearly 40 years old and still childless.
But if other precedents are overturned and birth control becomes more inaccessible, many American women who decide not to get pregnant may be forced to give birth against their will.