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Overturning Roe v. Wade will put even more of an economic burden on women, Northeastern economist says

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(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last week could have devastating economic effects for women–especially low-income women of color–that will have both short- and long-term impacts, Alicia Modestino, associate professor of public policy and urban affairs and economics, said.

Without Roe v. Wade, which provided the constitutional right to abortion during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, it is now open season for states to determine their own abortion laws. Twenty-two states have already announced plans to outlaw or restrict abortion in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling, and, Modestino said, the economic impact on women, families and even states could be significant, especially with the current state of inflation.

According to Modestino, there are direct short-term costs for those seeking to get an abortion, like travel and medical care, but also long-term impacts in terms of earnings, job loss, educational attainment and bankruptcy. Part of the cost comes from the lack of social support structures for those giving birth in the U.S. Modestino referred to the Supreme Court’s decision as an “unfunded mandate,” one that requires citizens to do something, in this case to not terminate their pregnancies, without providing financial support to do so.

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