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How the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision impacts women in the workforce

Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal breaks down the economic impacts of abortion restrictions and how it is likely to affect women in the workforce.

Video transcript

- Well, we learned just a short time ago that the Supreme Court had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that had guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion access in the United States. Now, this triggers a number of abortion restrictions being enacted across the United States. It looks like Missouri was first up to do so.

What happens now? It could be a big impact for women, particularly women rejoining-- or joining the workforce, for that matter. Joining us with details, Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal. Allie, you've been looking into this issue because this was expected ever since we got the leaked draft opinion of this. So what should we be looking at here in terms of women in the workforce?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, Julie. It's clear that we're going to have a ripple effect when it comes to the economic impacts, especially for women. I had the chance to speak with C. Nicole Mason. She is the president and CEO of the Institute for Women's Policy Research. And she told me that this decision will have a detrimental impact to women that are looking to rejoin the workforce, child care being a big part of that equation.

Even to this day, there are still 2 million fewer women in the workforce now than at the start of the pandemic due in large part to those caretaking responsibilities. IWPR had some few interesting stats when it comes to the monetary fallout from all of this. According to them, they said that state-level abortion restrictions cost state economies $105 billion per year. That's due to a reduction in the labor force, a reduction in earnings levels, in addition to increased turnover and time off all for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years old. And C. Nicole told me that those numbers will only be exacerbated by this decision.

And then conversely, if we take a look at what would happen if state-level abortion restrictions were eliminated, you can see that more than 500,000 women would enter the labor force earning $3 billion annually. We'd also see Black and Hispanic women seeing an even larger impact on labor force participation rates. National GDP levels would also rise, the group estimating a boost of 0.5% on average.

So there are clearly economic benefits to this. And I think it's interesting to think, too, that there's been a lot of research done on this. And about 3/4 of women will probably find other states to get abortions. But that leaves a quarter of women, who for a variety of reasons, money, travel restrictions, won't be able to do that. And that lack of choice is going to set them back economically. And that could create a cycle of poverty.

- Allie, thank you so much. Really, important issue and something we were hearing from Dr. Ruth Shaber a little bit earlier on as well. Appreciate it. Thank you so much.

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