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A pregnant woman wearing a surgical mask. Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A new report shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has led a third of U.S. women surveyed to report that they want to delay childbearing or have fewer children.

Why it matters: Natural disasters and economic recessions often lead to a decline in fertility rates, and COVID-19 has aspects of both. With the pandemic and lockdown policies already putting enormous pressure on working parents, reproduction could take a major hit.

By the numbers: This week the Guttmacher Institute released a survey of over 2,000 cisgender women of childbearing age who were asked about how the pandemic has affected their sexual and reproductive health.

  • 34% of women surveyed said they wanted to delay childbearing or have fewer children because of the affects of the pandemic.
  • Those numbers were higher for Black and Hispanic women, who have been infected by COVID-19 at higher rates than white women and absorbed a bigger economic hit because of the recession.

Be smart: While these changes in fertility preferences rival those seen after the Great Recession of 2008, COVID-19 has additional elements that could make a possible baby bust even more long-lasting.

  • A recent study from the CDC found that pregnant women may be at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19, and on Thursday the agency added pregnant women to the list of those most at risk from the disease.
  • Lockdowns and fears of infection made it harder for pregnant women to get prenatal care or even have partners and family members with them during delivery.
  • With schools and many day care centers around the U.S. still closed because of coronavirus, working parents face enormous uncertainty about the future of accessible child care.

Go deeper... Deep dive: Kids + coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated Oct 5, 2020 - World

New Zealand "beat the virus again," PM Jacinda Ardern says

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern participates in early voting at the Mt. Eden War Memorial Hall in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Auckland will join the rest of New Zealand this week in enjoying no domestic coronavirus restrictions after the city's outbreak was deemed "under control," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday.

Driving the news: The second COVID-19 outbreak that began in August in New Zealand's most populous city grew to 179 cases, Ardern said at a briefing. "Only five people from the cluster are yet to recover," she said.

Oct 4, 2020 - Health

Trump's former FDA chief: Pence is "not in the clear" from coronavirus infection

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that Vice President Mike Pence is "not in the clear" from getting the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Pence is expected to hit the campaign trail hard later this week, even as President Trump is in Walter Reed Medical Center for COVID-19 treatment.

White House identifies 206 people possibly exposed to COVID at Trump fundraiser

President Trump waves as he boards Air Force One before heading to Bedminster, N.J., for a fundraiser. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The White House has given New Jersey health officials a list of at least 206 people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus at a fundraiser event attended by President Trump in Bedminster last week, the state's department of health tweeted Sunday.

Why it matters: The president has come under criticism for choosing to attend the event at the Trump National Golf Club on Thursday even after close aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus.