As we all have heard by now, last Friday the U.S. Supreme Court made the abhorrent decision to overrule Roe v. Wade. This decision directly runs counter to advancing justice and equity, values that JVS holds central to our work and our commitment to communities across California. This misguided and devastating step to eliminate the freedom to have an abortion impacts the health, well-being, and economic self-determination of millions of women, people who can become pregnant, their families, and their communities. The Court’s decision will significantly impact those most marginalized by our social and economic systems; resulting in the loss of bodily autonomy, poor health outcomes, lack of self-determination, and lifelong economic consequences.
While denial of the human right of reproductive freedom should be reason enough to condemn this decision, there are also evidence-based economic and employment ramifications. Data from the 2016 UCSF Turnaway Study found that people denied abortion were more likely to experience poor physical health, more likely to stay with abusive partners, more than four times more likely to live in poverty five years later, and three times more likely to be unemployed.
In addition to that, denying access to abortion results in a lower likelihood of being employed full-time, an inability to move into higher paying employment, and greater likelihood of carrying unpaid debts. Given existing gender-based wage disparities and lack of paid parental leave and family supports for many, the Court’s decision will only exacerbate our country’s wealth divide, especially for low-income families of color.
We know that when women, and people who can become pregnant, have autonomy over their own reproductive decisions our workforce, economy, and society benefits. JVS is committed to supporting people on their journey towards economic mobility by increasing access to quality careers, working with employers to dismantle inequities, and fighting for policies that will lead to systemic transformation of our systems.