United States Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen explained that if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, the country’s economy is going to suffer. Yellen was testifying to the Senate’s Banking Committee on Tuesday.

The United States Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade judgement.

Also Read: John Oliver on Roe v Wade: Supreme Court must respect ‘bodily autonomy’

“Eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades”, Treasury Secretary Yellen said.

While responding to a question from Senator Robert Menendez, Yellen explained that such a precedent from the Supreme Court increased the earning potential of women across the country. Roe v. Wade helped increase labour force participation by granting reproductive health care, Yellen said.

“It allowed women to plan and balance their families and careers. And research also shows that it has a favorable impact on the well-being and earnings of children,” the Treasury Secretary said.

Independent studies have previously reached similar conclusions. Research conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in 2021 suggested that the country’s gross domestic product, currently valued at nearly $24 trillion, may decline by $105 billion if Roe v. Wade is reversed.

Also Read: After meeting Michelle Obama, Lewis Hamilton weighs in on Roe v. Wade

A separate study conducted by UC San Francisco found that nearly 75,000 women who wished to get an abortion will give birth to a child within one year of Roe v. Wade’s reversal. 

The study also concluded that some of these women, when compared to those who got abortions, are three times as likely to be unemployed within the first six months of giving birth. The economic disparities are likely to stick around for more than five years, media reports citing the study suggest.