The majority opinion of the Supreme Court reversing the Roe vs Wade guarantees will seriously impact millions of women. Asha Banerjee, an economic analyst with the Economic Policy Institute, described the economic impact of this decision. Abortion rights are interconnected with the economic security, independence and mobility of women.
While abortion is views as a culture war issue, it is not distinct from bread-and-butter economic issues. Women in the 26 states likely to ban abortion face lower wages, worker rights and access to health care. Some of the consequence of being denied an abortion are:
- a higher chance of being in poverty, even four years later.
- a lower likelihood of being employed full time, and
- An increase in unpaid debts and financial distress lasting years.
The targeted regulation of abortion providers, so-call “TRAPP” laws, have led to women in those states being less likely to move into higher-paying occupations. AT the same time , in states where abortion has been legal and accessible have lower rates of teen births and marriages. Legal abortion is also associated with reduced maternal mortality for Black women.
Banerjee also connected abortion rights to incarceration. She wrote
State likely to ban abortion are more likely to have higher incarceration rates and lag in wages, worker rights, and access to health care.
Low- and middle-income women, especially black and brown women will bear a disproportionate burden. Banerjee wrote
Many of the states with preexisting abortion bans held at bay by Roe are also states that have created an economic policy architecture of low wages, barely functional or funded public services, at-will employment, and no paid leave or parental support. In those states, the denial of abortion services is one more piece in a sustained project of economic subjugation and disempowerment.
Reproductive justice is the key to economic justice.
Reporting Courtesy of Carol Weidel
Image Courtesy of Karl Schultz from Flickr