According to new research, women who live in jurisdictions that restrict or outlaw abortion are more economically vulnerable than those who do not.
The number of states that have enacted new abortion restrictions or outright bans after the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade has increased to 26, or nearly half of all states.
According to recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, states with more permissive abortion laws had higher rates of incarceration, states with lower minimum wages, unionisation levels, access to Medicaid, and unemployment benefits.
“All of these economic strategies reinforce one another. This financial strain and economic uncertainty only get worse when you add an abortion restriction to the mix, according to Asha Banerjee, the report’s author and an economic expert at the institute.
The Financial Oversight Council heard Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, make a similar case last year.
Yellen testified before legislators in May, saying, “I believe that abolishing the choice of women to choose whether and whether to have children would have very severe repercussions on the economy and would set women back decades.”
According to Banerjee, women of colour, particularly those who are already in desperate financial situations, are most affected financially by the lack of access to abortions.
“Many of the women who are having economic issues already are women of colour in many of these areas, especially the states which have banned abortion,” she said.
Raising the minimum wage is a potent strategy that has been proven to significantly reduce the income gaps between races. The lowest legal hourly salary for the majority of American employees is $7.25, which is the minimum wage in roughly two-thirds of states with abortion restrictions.
The 26 states’ combined average minimum wage is $8.17, which is less than the $11.92 average for states with no limitations. (However, the cost of living is generally higher in many of those states.)
“The negative economic effect is magnified if the person denied an abortion is also working a minimum wage job,” the report claims.
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