May 3, 2022

Contact: William Lutz | | (202) 684-7534

“An Unprecedented Turning Back of the Clock on Women’s Freedom” Leaked SCOTUS Opinion Appears to Signal the End of Roe v. Wade

Washington, D.C. — News reports today revealed a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in which the Court’s conservative majority appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the nearly fifty-year-old opinion that recognized women’s reproductive freedom. Institute for Women’s Policy Research President and CEO C. Nicole Mason released the following statement, calling the potential move “an unprecedented turning back of the clock on women’s freedom.”

“The march of American history has been towards expanded freedoms for women, but not today,” said Mason. “If news reports are accurate, the Court’s conservative majority is planning to overturn Roe, turning back the clock on basic reproductive freedoms women have enjoyed for nearly half a century. Numerous state legislatures stand ready to ban abortion outright if Roe is overturned, leaving women in those states—especially low-income women and women of color—without access to this most basic of reproductive health services.”

“Women are in the fight of our lives at this moment. The gains we have made towards equality over the last few decades are slipping away on many fronts,” said Mason.

Mason also pointed to recent IWPR research showing that state bans on abortion and other restrictions on women’s reproductive health hurt women and states economically even as they imperil women’s freedom.

“Women in America are justifiably enraged at the possible loss of Roe and the threat it represents to women’s equality. But state abortion bans also have a devastating impact on the financial security of women and their families and state economies as a whole,” continued Mason.

Earlier this year, the Center on the Economics of Reproductive Health (CERH) at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) released game-changing research on reproductive health to calculate the economic cost of reproductive health restrictions on state economies. At the national level, IWPR’s research estimates that state-level abortion restrictions cost state economies $105 billion dollars per year.

“The potential overturn of Roe will inflict enormous damage to women’s equality. But it will also dramatically impact the ability of women to participate fully in the American economy by reducing their labor force participation, cutting into their earnings, and increasing turnover. Add it all up and the impact on women and their families of this dark day in history is potentially devastating,” said Mason.

IWPR’s analysis estimates that, on a national scale, if all state-level abortion restrictions were eliminated:

  • An additional 505,000 women aged 15 to 44 would enter the labor force and earn about $3.0 billion dollars annually.
  • Currently employed women aged 15 to 44 would gain $101.8 billion in higher earnings annually.
  • The income of individual women aged 15 to 44 would be $1,610 higher— with an impact from $0 in Vermont to $2,879 in Nebraska.
  • National GDP would be nearly 0.5 percent greater— ranging from zero percent in Vermont to over one percent in Missouri.


The Institute for Women’s Policy Research strives to win economic equity for all women and eliminate barriers to their full participation in society. As a leading national think tank, IWPR builds evidence to shape policies that grow women’s power and influence, close inequality gaps, and improve the economic well-being of families. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter.