Roe v. Wade decision expected to financially hurt ‘marginalized’ women

Abortion rights activists raise their signs near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on June 24, 2022.

Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade can cause financial hardship for many women, especially those who already face economic instability, research shows.

Friday’s decision ends nearly 50 years of federal abortion rights. It allows each state to establish its own laws and, as a result, almost half of the states should ban or severely restrict abortion.

“This unfortunately affects the most marginalized women – women of color and economically unable people to access abortion,” said Carolyn McClanahan, certified financial planner, physician and founder of Jacksonville-based Life Planning Partners. Florida.

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While wealthier women living in states that ban abortion can still travel to other states for the procedure, those with fewer resources may not have that option, said McClanahan, who is also a board member. CNBC advisory.

Caitlin Myers, an economics professor at Middlebury College who began modeling the effects of the cancellation of Roe v. Wade, pointed out that many of the most severely affected women already have children.

More than 150 other economists and researchers, including Myers, filed an amicus brief with the courts showing the link between women’s access to abortion and economic opportunity.

Access to abortion affects women’s finances

While the majority opinion of the Supreme Court briefly addresses how the reversal of Roe v. Wade can affect women’s lives, she concludes the court cannot predict the impact, Myers said.

“It just ignores a huge body of credible, rigorous scientific research,” she said, pointing to recent evidence from the Turnaway Study, which followed nearly 1,000 women seeking abortions in 30 clinics across the United States from 2008 to 2010.

These women’s finances were trending the same “until that crucial moment” when some people wanting abortions were turned down, she said. For those who were denied an abortion and gave birth, the result was years of financial hardship, the study found.

Among those who were denied an abortion, there was an increase in household poverty for at least four years compared to those who had an abortion. Years later, women refusing an abortion were more likely to lack money to cover basic expenses such as food, housing and transportation.

Additionally, being denied an abortion lowered these women’s credit scores, increased their debt load, and increased negative financial records, such as bankruptcy and evictions, the study found.

While the right to abortion may remain legal in more than half of the states, “the impact would be absolutely huge” if it were banned nationwide, Myers said.

“This is a big setback for women’s rights, both from a health and economic perspective,” McClanahan added.

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