In the 45 years since the United States Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the public debate in the United States on abortion has been dominated by misconceptions, misunderstandings and misinformation. Women and health care providers are vilified as cold-blooded murderers eager to find the cruelest ways possible to end pregnancies. Men are absent from the debate on whether to limit or prohibit access to abortion – a visitor from another planet might well assume that women spontaneously initiate pregnancies, without assistance.
The reality, of course, is quite different. Women do not end pregnancies casually. When women do not have access to the health care they need, there can be terrible consequences. U.S. healthcare providers are harassed, threatened with violence, and even murdered. US Politicians Freely Discuss Crime punish women for having abortions, without considering what responsibility men should bear.
When women do not have access to reproductive health care, including abortion, there is an economic cost.
But a key part of this controversial issue is rarely addressed: When women do not have access to reproductive health care, including abortion, there is an economic cost – not only to women, but to employers and employers. the entire workforce.
Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision to resign from the Supreme Court has drawn attention to the real possibility that his successor will provide a fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. If that happens, every state in the United States would be able to enact laws making abortion a felony under most circumstances.
Columbia law professor Katherine Franke predicts that “if women can’t control their … bodies – and [if] it is a crime to do so, we will… see a decline in women in the paid labor market, in politics, as business leaders. Additionally, women who do not have access to abortion when they need it are also more likely to fall into poverty. A 2018 study from the American Journal of Public Health reports that women who do not Unable to obtain an abortion were four times more likely to have a family income below the poverty line and three times more likely to be unemployed after six months.
A decision to overturn or further undermine Roe v. Wade would be a giant step backwards for women in the American workforce, and indeed as members of American society. Will companies be able to retain and recruit talented employees – men and women – in states that restrict women’s rights? Meanwhile, companies that continue to operate in these states will incur additional costs. For example, employees who become pregnant may travel to other states or countries to access the health care they need, taking time off work for the time needed to travel. Others who cannot afford to pay or obtain necessary medical care may see his health endangered, which also means time lost at work.
It is worth remembering a similar moment in 1992, when the Supreme Court seemed poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Justice Kennedy, in fact, gave a decisive vote by a narrow 5-4 majority which upheld the 1973 decision. At the time, Kennedy and two other judges explained that “a whole generation [had] become an adult free to assume Roe deerconcept of freedom to define the capacity of women to act in society and to make decisions in matters of reproduction… ”
Now, 45 years after Roe v. Wade, those words ring even truer. As they scrutinize President Donald Trump’s candidate for court, U.S. senators should weigh the economic costs of a post-Roe v. America. Wade where states can pass laws that essentially restrict women’s ability to participate in the workforce and contribute to American productivity.
Chris Edelson is Assistant Professor of Government in the School of Public Affairs at the American University. He is the author of “Unconstrained power: the post 9/11 presidency and national security(University of Wisconsin Press, 2016).
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