The Supreme Court’s conservative majority overturning decades of abortion rights isn’t just a legal and political matter.
It’s also an economic issue.
In recent testimony before Congress, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that overturning Roe v. Wade will be “very damaging” from an economic perspective.
“There are many research studies that have been done over the years looking at the economic impacts of access or lack thereof to abortion, and it makes clear that denying women access to abortion increases their odds of living in poverty or need for public assistance,” she told the Senate Banking Committee.
Not just that. Yellen observed that decades of abortion rights under Roe allowed more women to finish school, join the workforce and boost their earning potential.
“I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” she said.
Economists note that abortion bans may prevent red states from attracting talented women to their workforce.
And as some large employers, including Disney and JPMorgan Chase, commit to funding employees’ trips to states that continue offering abortions, it’s probable those costs will be passed along to customers in the form of higher prices.
There’s also unanimous agreement among economists that the people most severely impacted by the court’s ruling will be low-income women who may have limited choices after becoming pregnant.
It’s expensive to deny people healthcare. There are repercussions, not just for individuals but for society.
In the end, we all end up paying.