Magazine

The Devastating Cost of Restricting Women’s Healthcare

By Sallie Krawcheck

At Ellevest, we believe that only good things happen when women have more money. Not just for women themselves, but for everyone (their families, the economy, and the men in their lives, to name a few).

The inverse of that, of course, is that negative things can (actually, do) happen when women have less money … and thus less power and autonomy.

And it’s been tough-going of late, with the pandemic and the Andrew Cuomo allegations. But nothing feels quite as pit-in-our-stomach for the well-being of women+ as what’s going on in Texas.

The anti-abortion law in Texas is many things, covered in detail by many dedicated journalists. But one thing I want to emphasize is that this law is a regressive tax on people who can give birth: Data shows that it will cost women more than men (to state the obvious), and it will cost women with less money even more by snowballing their financial hardship. In a 2018 study, researchers found that women who were refused abortions were nearly four times as likely to live below the federal poverty line four years later as women who had them. (And that was without the pandemic making things worse.)

When women have less money (and power and autonomy), it costs us all.

This will be true for Texas, perhaps especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. According to one study, 56% of women and 54% of men say they would be discouraged from taking a job in a state that has restricted access to abortion. And that can have a direct, negative impact on the economy of the state.

Acts of financial self-care, such as saving and investing, can be subversive acts for women: Having been socialized that “women aren’t good with money” and “women buy too many lattes,” taking control of one’s financial life flies in the face of these norms.

But it’s also — of course — self-preservation.


Sallie Krawcheck Signature

PS: If you’re looking for ways to help women’s rights organizations in Texas, here’s a list to research and consider supporting.


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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-Founder & CEO of Ellevest. Her life’s mission is to help women to reach their financial and professional goals.