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Over a year ago, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that established abortion rights and left millions of women struggling – and Latinas may have been particularly affected.
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More than three million Latinas living in the 26 states where abortion is either banned or likely to be banned are economically insecure, meaning their family income is below 200% of the federal poverty level, a new study says report from the National Partnership for Women and Families and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.
That’s almost half of the nearly 6.7 million Latinas who live in these states biggest Group of women of color affected by the court decision.
Financially insecure women are more likely to be affected by state bans and restrictions because they likely lack the resources to travel to another state for abortion care, according to the report. Lack of access to abortion also increases the risk that they will be pushed into greater poverty.
“A healthy economy requires that people have freedom and access to what they need to make the best decisions,” said Lupe M. Rodríguez, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. “The economy consists of all of us.”
“The impact of people not being able to make decisions for themselves and participate fully in the economy affects everyone,” she added.
Experts say women who work low-wage jobs are less likely to have the resources to travel to another state for treatment.
“Economic insecurity is an additional barrier,” said Shaina Goodman, director of reproductive health and rights at the National Partnership for Women and Families.
According to the report, approximately 1.4 million Latinas work in service jobs in these 26 states with abortion restrictions. These jobs are less likely to offer benefits such as paid sick days, and scheduling for health appointments is not flexible, the report said.
Twenty-six states have banned or further restricted abortion services from providers such as Planned Parenthood since the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark Roe v. Wade picked up.
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Generally they are Hispanic women or Latinas overrepresented in low-wage jobs such as waiters and cleaners. This results in them having one of the largest wage gaps among women, receiving just 52 cents for every dollar earned by a non-Hispanic white man.
Overall, the average earnings of Hispanic or Latino workers are lower than those of other racial and ethnic groups. Hispanic or Latino employees 16 years of age or older will be hired $788 The US Department of Labor has determined average weekly earnings in the second quarter of 2023.
“We will continue to see the economic impact of the Dobbs decision on communities of color, particularly Latinas,” said Candace Gibson, director of government relations at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.
Low-income women who are denied abortion care are at greater risk of being “pushed further into poverty,” Goodman added.
Women who are denied an abortion are three times as likely and even four times as likely to lose their job many times more likely to fall below the federal poverty line, after to the advancing new standards in reproductive health.
However, “life should not be reduced to economics or personal finance issues,” said Rachel Greszler, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
“We cannot allow financial inconvenience to justify ending a life.”
Last year, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) Greszler said this is required by law and employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, such as time off. It applies to companies with 15 or more employees.
While the mandate does not require employers to provide paid leave or cover abortion costs, “the bill is now law and absolutely covers pregnant employees,” Greszler said.
Several lawmakers have introduced legislation to address the problems often faced by pregnant women and to provide support for prospective parents, said Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative public policy organization based in Washington. DC
“The women I represent, including many Latinas, believe that the system has already failed every woman who feels she must turn to abortion because she has no other choice,” Nance said. “Information is power, and we believe women will choose life when they know there is support for their decision.”
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