With the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade, not allowing women the access they need to abort an unwanted pregnancy will have devastating economic effects in the US. This is backed by various studies and research findings. These show that not being able to abort unwanted pregnancies already has severe negative impacts on the economic well-being of the women and on the larger economy as well.
According to reports, having access to abortion gives more women the ability to be employed and also get an education. This increases their potential to earn and spend and hence benefits the larger economy as well. Backed by proof from various studies, allowing abortion helps keep a lot of women from needing public assistance. It also keeps them out of poverty.
This positively impacts the life of any children they already have and may have at a later time when their circumstances are more favorable. It also, by extension, increases the earning potential of the children in the future.
Various studies have come to the same conclusion on the economic effects of overturning Roe vs Wade. A study that was done for more than 10 years tracked 1,000 women. This included two groups of women – one that had women who could get abortions as they wanted, and the other with women who could not abort their pregnancies because they had crossed the legal cut-off period for termination.
The study, called the Turnaway Study, found that the women who were denied abortions were not able to cover even regular basic living expenses, experienced poverty, had a lot more debt, had more unpaid and past-due debts, had lower credit scores, and filed more for bankruptcy. These effects continued for up to 5 years in the lives of these women after the child was born.
As per the findings of the Turnaway Study, the women who were turned away at the abortion clinics, in comparison to the women who were able to get abortions, had an 81% increase in financial distresses such as evictions and bankruptcy. They also showed a 78% increase in the debt they owe.
These issues impact the economy of the entire country as a whole. At the state level, restrictions on abortions currently cost the states a total of $105 billion every year. This is due to the fact that the labor force reduces, earning levels drop, and there is more turnover and time taken off from work due to not having access to abortions. In fact, data from another research published in 2021, shows that if all the states eliminated their restriction on abortions, the GDP of the United States would increase by about 0.5%.
The connection between abortions and economy
Eliminating these restrictions would enable 505,000 more women between the ages of 15 and 44 years to enter the workforce. They would earn a combined total of $3 billion every year. Women already in employment will make an additional total of almost $102 billion annually. On average, women between 15 and 44 years will earn $1,610 more if current abortion restrictions don’t exist.
At present, the individual states that restrict abortions are paying the price for it economically. For example, Missouri’s GDP will grow by more than 1% if it lifts its abortion restrictions. The ban in the state of Texas costs it $14 billion every year. New York lost $4.1 billion and California lost $5.5 billion in 2020.
For more on the state of abortion legislation in America, read our blogs.