Overturning Roe vs Wade: The economic impact 

It is estimated that around 100,000 women who want abortions will not be able to access them. It doesn't stop there. While the ramifications are many, here's what a study found on the ground reality.

roe economic impact
Roe vs Wade is out. What are the repurcussions of overturning a ruling that has protected women's rights to abortion for over 50 years?

In this article

An estimated 75,000 Americans who are in favor of abortion and want it will give birth in just the first year alone after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs Wade, according to researchers. Now with the overturning of the landmark Roe vs Wade ruling, the Supreme Court’s new decision will have a serious economic impact on the country.

Researchers from UC San Francisco, part of the Turnaway Study, have been studying two groups of pregnant women for years. Those who got abortions and those who were not able to. They were trying to understand the economic impact of access to abortion. Here’s how the overturning of Roe vs Wade will have a deep economic impact.

The study’s findings

According to the study, unwanted births financially impact families for a long time. They also add more burden on the social safety nets in multiple states. The study particularly focused on women who came to abortion clinics during their pregnancy’s second trimester. This is around the legal cut-off limit for abortions in their states.

Women who turned up within the cut-off got an abortion as they wanted. However, those who reached the clinic after the time limit were asked to go back home without an abortion. Researchers tracked these two groups of women for years and followed up on their financial situation. 

The study found that from the very moment that one group of women gave birth, the economic differences in their well-being are clearly visible. These differences don’t fade for years to come either. 

The economic impact

Within a span of the first 6 months, the study revealed the following statistics about the women who were not able to get their abortions due to the cut-off lapsing when compared to those who were able to abort their pregnancies. They were 6 times as likely to get public assistance, about 4 times as likely to be in poverty and 3 times as likely to remain unemployed. These economic effects stayed on for a minimum of 5 years. 

The fact that these women were raising a child they did not want, impacted their lives drastically since they were not ready to have the child in the first place. This can be compared to the fact that the women who were able to abort their pregnancies were more likely to have another child within those 5 years in better circumstances than they were in the first time around. 

The economic fallout

When analyzing credit scores of both groups, women who were able to abort in time had scores similar to earlier. However, in the group that was turned away, there was a 78% increase in unpaid debt. There was also an 81% increase in evictions and bankruptcies. Foster said that about 60% of women seeking abortion are already mothers. A ban on abortion only makes life a whole lot harder for those who are already struggling to provide for their families. 

The end of the line

Now, with the overturning of Roe vs Wade by the SCOTUS, states can decide whether to allow or ban abortions. In line with this, about half of the states in the country would ban abortions. This is sure to drastically impact the most vulnerable women residing in the states that lack strong social safety nets. 

It is also estimated that around 100,000 women who want abortions will not be able to access them. Around 25% of this number will manage to order pills and carry out the abortions on their own. This means that about 75,000 women will still be going ahead and delivering a child they do not want. 

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