What's on Our Mind 6-11-2021
What's On Our Mind
This week, the Senate failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, striking an economic blow to women who already are feeling strained under COVID. The pandemic stalled gains made toward closing the pay gap because layoffs and a lack of child care forced many women out of the workforce.
This same week, Senators introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act. The Act codifies Roe v Wade and makes the 1973 ruling a federal law, thereby taking the right to an abortion out of the hands of the Supreme Court — and states.
Nearly half of U.S. states now have laws that could be used to restrict the legal status of abortion if Roe is overturned. More than 40 states prohibit some abortions after a certain point in pregnancy.
The ability of a woman to make her own reproductive healthcare choices is also linked to her economic security. Six in ten women and more than half of men would be discouraged from taking a job in a state that has tried to restrict access to abortion.
State-level abortion restrictions cost our economy $105 billion annually. These restrictions reduce women’s labor force participation and earnings levels.
The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear its first abortion case since Justice Amy Coney Barret’s confirmation. She has a long record of hostility toward reproductive health. The case’s outcome could set in motion the eventual repeal of Roe v Wade.
It is more urgent than ever that Congress act to protect women’s reproductive freedom. We cannot count on the Supreme Court with its far-right majority, nor the lower courts packed with Donald Trump’s anti-choice judges.
President Joe Biden and his Administration are firmly committed to women’s reproductive health care, but it also takes a solidly pro-choice majority in Congress.
Support JAC so we can help elect candidates that will protect and expand women’s health care rights — and their economic security.