August 8, 2022

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday mentioned eliminating girls’s entry to abortion would have “very damaging results” on the U.S. financial system, retaining some girls from finishing their educations and lowering their lifetime earnings potential and participation within the labor power.

Yellen’s feedback at a Senate Banking Committee listening to got here simply over per week after the leak of a draft Supreme Courtroom determination that might overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a constitutional proper to abortion. The pending determination has raised fears that many extra states would enact far-reaching abortion restrictions.

The difficulty dominated a listening to about Treasury’s Monetary Stability Oversight Council annual report.

Yellen, the primary feminine Treasury secretary, mentioned in response to a senator’s query that analysis has proven that Roe v. Wade had a good impression on the well-being of youngsters and that denying girls entry to abortions will increase their odds of residing in poverty or on public help.

“I imagine that eliminating the rights of ladies to make selections about when and whether or not to have kids would have very damaging results on the financial system and would set girls again a long time,” Yellen mentioned.

Yellen’s feedback drew a rebuke from Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who mentioned her framing of the financial penalties of the abortion debate had been “harsh” and inappropriate for such a painful social subject.

“I feel folks can disagree on the difficulty of being pro-life or professional abortion. However ultimately, I feel framing it within the context of labor power participation, it simply feels callous to me,” mentioned Scott, including that he was raised by a Black single mom in poverty.

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Yellen responded by saying that reproductive rights permit girls to plan “fulfilling and satisfying” lives, which incorporates having the monetary sources to boost a baby.

“In lots of instances, abortions are of teenage girls, notably low-income and sometimes Black, who aren’t ready to have the ability to care for youngsters, have sudden pregnancies, and it deprives them of the power typically to proceed their training to later take part within the workforce,” Yellen mentioned.

“So there’s a spillover into labor power participation, nevertheless it means the youngsters will develop up in poverty and do worse themselves,” Yellen mentioned. “This isn’t harsh. That is the reality,” she added.

Fellow Democrats got here to Yellen’s protection, together with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, who admonished Scott to not “impose your expertise and your circumstances on others till you stroll of their footwear.”

Senator Tina Smith, a Minnesota Democrat and one other member of the banking panel, informed CNN that Yellen was expressing a basic reality about girls’s autonomy.

“She was expressing what I imagine nearly each girl is aware of: If you do not have management over your reproductive life, you do not have management over any facet of your life, together with your financial alternative,” Smith mentioned.