If US SC Decides to Limit Access to Abortion, Will Harm Economy, Women's Health
Reproductive health isn’t just about abortions, despite all the attention the procedures get.
The Supreme Court [of the United States] on 1 December, 2021, in a ruling that overturns Roe v. Wade.
But reproductive health isn’t , despite all the attention the procedures get. It’s also about access to family planning services, contraception, sex education and much else – all of which in recent years.
and size of their families so they have children when they are financially secure and emotionally ready and can finish their education and advance in the workplace.
After all, , a year for a middle-class family. For low-income working families, can eat up over a third of earnings.
And that’s why providing Americans with a full range of reproductive health options is good for the economy, at the same time as being essential to the financial security of women and their families.
As , I believe doing the opposite threatens not only the physical health of women but their economic well-being too.
The Economics of Contraception
A as much in 1992, stating in its Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey decision:
“The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.”
But in recent years, the right to control their reproductive health has become for many women, particularly the poor.
Given their focus on limiting access to abortion, you might assume that conservative politicians would be for policies that help women avoid unintended pregnancies. But , even though of reproductive age have used at least once.
In addition to its widely recognized health and autonomy benefits for women, contraception . In fact, research shows access to the pill for a third of women’s wage gains since the 1960s.
And this benefit . Children born to mothers with access to family planning in their own incomes over their lifetimes, as well as boosting college completion rates.
Not surprisingly, in a 2016 survey, on their lives, including 63 percent reporting that it reduces stress and 56 percent saying it helps them to keep working.
Disparities in Access
Still, there is a class divide in contraception access, as evidenced by disparities in the 2011 rate of unintended pregnancies – the latest data available.
While the fell to 45 percent that year from 51 percent in 2008, the figure for women living at or below the poverty line, although also decreasing, was at the highest income level.
One reason for this disparity is the , particularly for the most effective, long-lasting forms. For instance, over $1,000 for an IUD and the procedure to insert it, amounting to about for a minimum-wage worker lacking insurance coverage.
These costs are significant, given that the about two children and will thus need contraception for at least three decades of her life. Unfortunately, meets only 54 percent of the need, and these funding streams are under constant .
Not surprisingly, , and women with coverage are much more likely to use contraceptive care. And yet about 6.2 million women .
Further, this coverage can be denied to millions of employees and their dependents who work for employers claiming a religious or moral objection .
Sex Education and the Economic Ladder
Another key to reproductive health – and one that isn’t discussed enough – is sexual education for teenagers.
For years, the public has spent up to $110 million a year on abstinence-only programs, which not only but also reinforce gender stereotypes and are rife with misinformation. Low-income minority teens to these programs.
Teens without knowledge about their sexual health to get pregnant and less likely to work, spiraling them to the bottom of the economic ladder.
Access to Abortion
Then there’s the issue of abortion. Let’s start with the cost.
pay more than one-third of their monthly income for the procedure. The longer a woman must wait – either because state law requires it or she needs to save up the money, or both – costs rise significantly.
Studies show that women are to fall into poverty as women who obtained abortions.
In addition to the financial burden, designed to limit abortion access. These laws hit low-income women particularly hard.
Since Roe was decided, states have enacted 1,320 restrictions on abortion, including waiting periods, mandatory counseling sessions, and onerous restrictions on clinics. In 2021 alone, .
Hyde and Health
Another way in which U.S. policy on abortions , is through the ban on federal funding.
It has been so since the , which prevents federal Medicaid funds from being used for abortions except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk.
Denying poor women coverage for abortion under Medicaid contributes to the unintended birth rates that are for poor women as for high-income women.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, poor women would be affected the most. Women who are denied abortions are more likely to end up in poverty, be unemployed and turn to public assistance. By contrast, economists have established that the legalization of abortion led to improved educational, employment and earnings outcomes for women, as well as for their children.
Politicians cannot promise to grow the economy and simultaneously limit access to abortion, birth control and sexual education. America’s economic health and women’s reproductive health are linked.
This is an updated version of an on 27 April, 2016.
(Michele Gilman is the Venable Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law)
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.)
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