The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC)—led by Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA)—released a new analysis that finds states with the most restrictive abortion laws have worse economic conditions for families.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn nearly 50-years of precedent that guaranteed the right to safe and legal abortion, states have enacted laws to restrict access to reproductive freedom. In those states that 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 is not only an issue of bodily autonomy and individual agency, it also has far-reaching economic consequences for the people directly impacted, their families and their communities.
Data show that 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.
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
- Spending on K-12 education is lower
“Stripping away access to reproductive healthcare and the right to make decisions about one’s own body undermines individual freedom, and as prior JEC analysis has shown, it also threatens U.S. economic growth and stability,” said JEC Chairman Beyer. “From lower earnings among women to higher child poverty rates, from less investment in early childhood education to barriers to accessing healthcare, evidence shows the states that restrict access to abortion are also failing to ensure children, women and families can thrive. Promoting community health and well-being are essential to a strong country and a strong economy. By falling short, the very foundations of our economy are undermined.”
The JEC previously released an analysis showing that abortion access is key to economic freedom. Chairman Beyer previously voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe v. Wade protections when the House passed the bill in September 2021. He is the co-author of the Supreme Court Term Limits Act and a cosponsor of the Judiciary Act, which would add four seats to the Supreme Court.