The Economics of Abortion: Are abortion rights an intrinsic part of economic rights?

Date: June 28, 2022

Abortion rights are deeply intertwined with economic security, independence, and mobility for millions of women and other abortion patients, even though these rights are often framed as just a “culture war” issue.

Access to abortion and abortion services can have powerful impacts on abortion patients’ economic outcomes, including what kinds of jobs they can and cannot take, educational attainment, chances of being in poverty and financial distress, and so much more.

The Economic Policy Institute co-hosted a discussion with the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, on this topic, where economists, academics and advocates, laid out details on these economic outcomes, and who will feel the greatest impact, and policy actions needed at this pivotal moment in history when Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance.

Issues explored during the webinar include the following:

  • How low- and middle-income abortion patients, and Black, Hispanic, and other abortion patients of color will feel the impacts first if Roe is overturned, and the states where they will suffer most.
  • How the current abortion landscape has made it difficult for abortion patients to reach abortion providers and the economic hardships they face as a result.
  • How current abortion policies have informed us of the health and economic implications for abortion patients and their families.
  • How access, or lack thereof, to abortion care has direct impacts, with immediate costs to people who can get pregnant, and how it shapes how people plan their lives and invest in their futures.
  • How expanding access to abortion through legalization can impact the ability of abortion patients to complete education and increase labor force participation. 


  • Asha Banerjee, Economic Analyst, Economic Policy Institute
  • Kate Bahn, Director of Labor Market Policy and Chief Economist, Washington Center for Equitable Growth
  • Mayra Pineda Torres, Assistant Professor in School of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Kwajelyn Jackson, Executive Director, Feminist Women’s Health Center 
  • Emma Roth, Staff Attorney, National Advocates for Pregnant Women
  • Moderator: Naomi Walker, Vice President, Economic Policy Institute

When: Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. PT

Where: ZoomYouTube