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Roe v. Wade decision expected to financially hurt ‘marginalized’ women

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Abortion rights activists hoist their signs near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on June 24, 2022.

Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade may cause financial hardship for many ladies, especially those already facing economic instability, research shows.

The ruling Friday ends almost 50 years of federal abortion rights. It allows individual states to set their very own laws, and nearly half the states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion because of this. 

“It sadly affects probably the most marginalized women — women of color and people who find themselves economically unable to access abortion,” said Carolyn McClanahan, a Jacksonville, Florida-based certified financial planner, physician and founding father of Life Planning Partners. 

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While wealthier women living in states with abortion bans should still travel to other states for the procedure, those with fewer resources may not have that option, said McClanahan, who can also be a member of CNBC’s Advisor Council.

Caitlin Myers, an economics professor at Middlebury College who three years ago began modeling the results of Roe v. Wade being overturned, emphasized that lots of the women most severely affected have already got children.

Greater than 150 other economists and researchers, including Myers, filed an amicus temporary with the courts showing the connection between women’s access to abortion and economic opportunity.

Abortion access affects women’s funds

While the Supreme Court’s majority opinion briefly addresses how overturning Roe v. Wade may affect women’s lives, it concludes the court cannot predict the impact, Myers said.

“That just ignores an infinite body of credible and rigorous scientific research,” she said, pointing to recent evidence from the Turnaway study, which tracked nearly 1,000 women searching for an abortion at 30 clinics across the U.S. from 2008 to 2010.

These women’s funds were trending similarly “until that crucial moment” when some who wanted abortions were turned away, she said. For many who were denied an abortion and gave birth, the result was years of monetary hardship, the study found.  

Amongst those denied an abortion, there was a rise in household poverty for at the least 4 years relative to those that had an abortion. Years later, the ladies denied an abortion were more more likely to lack the cash to cover basic living expenses reminiscent of food, housing and transportation. 

What’s more, being denied an abortion lowered these women’s credit scores, boosted their debt and increased negative financial records, reminiscent of bankruptcies and evictions, the study found.

While the best to abortion may remain legal in greater than half the states, “the impact could be absolutely enormous” if it’s banned nationwide, Myers said.

“It is a big setback for girls’s rights, each from a health and an economic standpoint,” McClanahan added.

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