« L’interdiction de l’IVG aux Etats-Unis aurait aussi des conséquences économiques désastreuses »

« L’interdiction de l’IVG aux Etats-Unis aurait aussi des conséquences économiques désastreuses »

VSTuesday, May 10, a strange atmosphere reigns over the American Senate. That day, the upper house of Congress receives Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve. In theory, trading is about inflation. But Democratic Senator Bob Menendez is quick to throw a question unrelated to the price spike: “What economic consequences will the loss of access to abortion have for women?” »

“Eliminating women’s right to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very negative effects on the economy”answers M.me Yellen, a labor market specialist, calling such a prospect “regression of several decades” for those concerned, particularly in terms of employment. To which Republican Tim Scott immediately replies: “Did you say ending a child’s life is good for labor market participation?” »

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It would be tempting to argue that economic considerations should be secondary when women’s freedom and fundamental right to control their bodies are threatened, at a time when the Supreme Court could overturn the case law founding the right to abortion in the United States for fifty years. But it turns out that many experts have precisely looked into the subject. They have accumulated a mass of factual data drawing an indisputable conclusion: the ban on voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) would also have disastrous economic consequences.

inclination for denial

In a report published by the Brookings Institution think tank in November 2021, Caitlin Knowles Myers, an economist at Middlebury College (a university in Vermont), lists studies conducted on the subject after 1973, when Roe v. Wade of the Supreme Court legalized abortion in most of the country. These show that the effects were particularly strong for the most vulnerable women, from poor backgrounds and from the African-American community. The legalization of abortion has thus reduced teenage pregnancies by 34% and brought down the maternal mortality rate by 30% to 40% among African-American women. Those who were able to access abortion were more likely to continue their studies, to work longer, to be better paid and to have a better quality of life.

“Cases of unwanted and abused children have also fallen, as has child poverty, while the long-term prospects of generations of children have improved, thanks to the greater likelihood of attending university and escape from poverty, explains Caitlin Knowles Myers.

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