In states which have either completely banned or severely restricted abortion, women will be constrained from making decisions that are right for them, their families and their financial security. The ability to decide if and when to have a child has far-reaching economic consequences not only for the people directly impacted, but also their families and communities.
Unfortunately, the states that more severely restrict access to abortion also do not have policies to support economic resilience or positive health and educational outcomes for families. The data show that in states with more restrictive abortion laws:
- women have lower median earnings,
- child poverty rates are higher,
- health insurance for the neediest families is harder to access,
- paid family leave does not exist and
- spending on K-12 education is lower.
Although metrics such as median earnings, child poverty rates and access to health insurance can never provide a complete picture of people’s lived experiences, they do offer an indication of whether states are creating the conditions for children, women and families to thrive. These metrics suggest that in addition to failing to offer comprehensive reproductive health, the states that restrict access to abortion are not promoting community health and well-being.