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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The economic consequences of medical decisions can be enormous. One of the most financially momentous medical decisions that any doctor can make is to deny a woman an abortion.

Driving the news: A new NBER report looks at the difference in financial outcomes between women who narrowly qualified for abortions and those who narrowly didn't. The report finds "a large and persistent increase in financial distress" for the latter group.

Why it matters: It's estimated that roughly one out of every four American women will have an abortion during her reproductive years, but the procedure remains largely taboo.

A separate report from Rhia Ventures reveals just how much ignorance around the subject reigns:

  • 69% of women with health insurance currently do not know whether their coverage includes abortion.
  • Only 37% of benefits managers and human resource leaders interviewed for the Rhia report knew if their health plans covered abortion.

By the numbers: Women in the NBER study who were turned away from having an abortion were 81% more likely than their abortion-receiving counterparts to be evicted or declared bankrupt.

Of note: The NBER report was based on 1,000 women seeking abortions at 30 clinics in 21 states. Rhia based its research on different sources, including interviewing managers at 39 companies.

Go deeper: How many steps it takes to get an abortion in each state

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
36 mins ago - Health

Falling sperm counts could threaten the human race

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new book makes the case that sperm counts have been falling for decades — and a major reason is chemicals in the environment that disrupt the body's hormonal system.

Why it matters: The ability to reproduce is fundamental to the viable future of any living thing. If certain chemicals are damaging our fertility over the long term, human beings could end up as an endangered species.

2 hours ago - Health

Black churches become vaccine hubs

A woman arrives at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic outside the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in southeast D.C. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Black pastors have a new job on their plates during COVID-19: encouraging skeptical congregants to get vaccinated.

Why it matters: “There’s distrust in our community. We can’t ignore that,” Rev. James Coleman of D.C.'s All Nations Baptist told AP.

Biden names USPS board of governors nominees, as Democrats put pressure on DeJoy

United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at a Feb. 24 committee hearing. Photo: Graeme Jennings/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday nominated a former postal union lawyer, a vote-by-mail advocate, and a former deputy postmaster general to sit on the Postal Services' Board of Governors.

Why it matters: The nominations, which require Senate confirmation, come as some Democrats call for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's ouster and others push for Biden to nominate board members to name a new postmaster general.