Janet Yellen: Rolling back abortion rights ‘would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades’

“I believe that removing women’s right to make decisions about when and if having children would have a very detrimental effect on the economy and take women back decades,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the Commission of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs of the Senate. on Tuesday.

Yellen’s made the remarks in light of a leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion last week, which suggested a possible reversal of the historic U.S. abortion decision by Roe v. Wade on 1973.

If challenged, access to abortion would be left to the decision of each state. Several states are already moving to restrict access to abortion. The Supreme Court confirmed that the leaked document is authentic but not definitive and announced an investigation into the source.

Yellen was responding to a question from Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, about the economic impact women would have if they lost access to legalized abortion. Yellen said it would have tremendous consequences for women’s labor force participation and education.

Economists have assessed the potential financial consequences of the cancellation of Roe v. They noted the direct relationship between the highest rate of labor participation and access to abortion and contraceptives in the 1970s and 1980s.

Abortion restrictions have already affected women struggling to get money for an abortion and need to travel long distances to get a termination.

According to research published last month in the journal Health Affairs, the average out-of-pocket charges for medical abortions, now estimated to account for more than half of all abortions in the United States, rose from $ 495 to $ 560. in 2017 and 2020. Nearly half of women who have abortions live below the federal poverty level, according to previous research.

“Many of us don’t realize how many people live on the edge,” Parker Dockray, CEO of All-Options, a national organization with services that include a line of conversation to help pregnant women, told MarketWatch.

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