The Supreme Court today will hear oral arguments on a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and that state officials have used to urge the court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision enshrining a woman’s right to choose to terminate her own pregnancy. Institute for Women’s Policy Research President and CEO, C. Nicole Mason, pointed to recent IWPR research showing that these bans and other restrictions on women’s reproductive health hurt state economies even as they imperil women’s freedom.
“We are in the fight of our lives at this moment. The gains we have made over the last few decades are slipping away as the court is poised to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive rights and freedom,” said Mason.
“Women in America are justifiably enraged by this effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and the threat it represents to women’s equality. But restrictions like these also have a devastating impact on state economies and the financial security of women and their families,” continued Mason. “Mississippi is restricting its own economic growth in its misguided quest to restrict women’s freedom.”
Earlier this year, the Center for the Economics of Reproductive Health (CERH) at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) released game-changing research that calculates the economic cost of reproductive health restrictions at the state level.
- IWPR’s research estimates that state-level abortion restrictions cost state economies $105 billion dollars per year by reducing labor force participation and earnings levels and increasing turnover and time off from work among women ages 15 to 44 years.
- In Mississippi, that translates into just over $1 billion in annual economic loss.
“The damage to women’s equality caused by these laws is well-known. But these bills also hurt women by reducing their labor force participation, cutting into their earnings, and increasing turnover—and that hurts state economies as well,” said Mason. “Add it all up and these restrictions on women’s reproductive rights are a lose-lose for women and the states in which they live.”