The decision of Roe v. Wade is likely to financially harm “marginalized” women

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

Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images

The Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Lifting Wade on Friday can leave many women in financial trouble, especially those already facing economic instability, research shows.

The court’s decision, which ends 50 years of federal abortion laws, allows individual states to enact their own laws, and nearly half are expected to ban or severely restrict abortion as a result of the ruling.

“Unfortunately, it’s affecting the most marginalized women — women of color and people who don’t have economic access to abortion,” said Carolyn McClanahan, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based board-certified financial planner, physician and founder of Life Planning Partners.

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While wealthier women living in states with abortion bans can still travel for the procedure, those with fewer resources may not have that option, explained McClanahan, who also serves on CNBC’s Advisory Board.

Caitlin Myers, an economics professor at Middlebury College who began analyzing the fallout from the Roe v. Modeling Wade emphasized that many of the women most affected 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 Supreme Court’s majority opinion briefly addresses how the overthrow of Roe v. Wade could impact women’s lives, she concludes the court cannot predict the impact, Myers said.

“It just ignores a tremendous amount of credible and rigorous scientific research,” she said, citing recent evidence from the Turnaway Study, which tracked nearly 1,000 women who sought abortions at 30 clinics across the United States from 2008 to 2010.

The finances of these women were similar, “up until that pivotal moment” when some who wanted abortions were turned away, she said. Those who were denied an abortion and gave birth led to 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 received an abortion, and years later these women tended to lack the money to cover basic living expenses such as food, shelter and transportation .

In addition, refusing an abortion has lowered these women’s credit ratings, increased their debt levels and increased negative financial records such as bankruptcies and evictions, the study found.

While abortion rights may remain legal in more than half of the states, “the impact would be absolutely tremendous” if it were banned statewide, Myers said.

“This is a major setback for women’s rights, both from a health perspective and from an economic perspective,” McClanahan added. The decision of Roe v. Wade is likely to financially harm “marginalized” women

Drew Weisholtz

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