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How Roe could trigger investment

Jun 28, 2022
Illustration of a caduceus turning into a gavel.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade may lead to increased investment in women's health and related tech.

What they're saying: “This is going to drive innovation by necessity,” Goodwin Procter health care attorney Delphine O’Rourke tells Axios.

  • O’Rourke adds that she's already gotten calls from folks pondering a fund dedicated to women’s health investing and innovation.

Zoom in: VC-backed DTC startups like Tia, Choix, Hey Jane, AidAccess and Just the Pill, which already prescribe abortion pills, already are seeing demand surge, per Fierce Healthcare.

  • Kelso and Juggernaut, the two PE shops behind the top-selling morning-after pills, Plan B, could see a surge in profits as women stock up on emergency contraception pills. Particularly given Justice Clarence Thomas' suggestion that rulings like Griswold (the right to contraception) be reevaluated.
  • O’Rourke also expects more investment into safe-haven states like California. If you have a fertility clinic and “can absorb those patients that will be traveling, that’s an opportunity,” she notes, adding that clinics also are navigating how to ship embryos across state borders.

Other investment areas O’Rourke cites include virtual mental health, where there could emerge a spike in demand for services tailored to postpartum depression, startups that look at the quality of embryos, and education offerings for health care companies seeking to navigate the new legal landscape.

  • Plus, technology around security and privacy that wraps around services you're already invested in.

Yes, and: Don’t assume because it’s not directly touching women’s health that there won’t be an impact, O’Rourke says.

  • For example, if you’re providing primary care for women who are on Medicaid and they are concerned about the state law, they aren’t going to come and see you. “It’s a chilling effect,” O’Rourke says.

The bottom line: “[Access to women’s health] is a super unmet need in a large market, and rational investors see that as an opportunity,” says SVB Securities banker Sasha Kelemen. “It’s a very personal mission. The best companies will still transcend."

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