May 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Yellen: Eliminating abortion rights would have "very damaging" effect on economy

Eliminating a woman's right to seek an abortion would have "very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said while testifying before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

State of play: Yellen's comments come one week after a leaked draft ruling revealed that the Supreme Court is prepared to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade.

The big picture: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) asked Yellen about the economic consequences for women if the Supreme Court's draft ruling were to be realized.

  • "I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades."

What they're saying: "Roe v. Wade, in access to reproductive health care, including abortion, helped lead to increased labor force participation," Yellen said.

  • "It enabled many women to finish school, that increased their earning potential. It allowed women to plan and balance their families and careers. And research also shows that it had a favorable impact on the well being and earnings of children," she added.
  • Yellen noted that other research has also made clear that denying women access to abortions increases "their odds of living in poverty or in need for public assistance."
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