Giving Compass' Take:
- Low-income women of color will bear the consequences of the recent Roe v. Wade decision and will continue to struggle to access affordable reproductive healthcare.
- How can funders target capital so that communities most impacted by this ruling will receive support?
- Learn more about reproductive justice.
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The news that the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, and removing a half-century of constitutional protection allowing women to obtain an abortion, did not come as a surprise. After all, some states had already imposed significant restrictions. And yet, it was still a shock.
What we do know is this: the ruling will have an especially devastating impact on women living in underserved communities and women living with economic instability. Indeed, 75 percent of women who seek abortions have low incomes; 67 percent are women of color; and nearly 60 percent already have children they are trying to support.
These are the very women who LISC and so many other community development organizations have been working with, side-by-side, for decades—helping create housing, child care, and health opportunities for their communities, helping them train for and obtain good, family-sustaining jobs, and helping them launch and grow small businesses so they can build wealth for the future. They are at the core of our mission to build resilient communities.
They are leaders and advocates, workers and students, mothers and daughters. And their struggles just got much harder.
While this ruling impacts the healthcare autonomy for many American women, those with means will still likely have options if they need them. Those who do not will be at significantly greater risk than they were a week ago.
For example, women denied an abortion are three times more likely to be unemployed than women who were able to end an unwanted pregnancy. They are more likely to experience economic hardship and insecurity that could last a lifetime.
There are also severe health implications. Abortions are one of the prime causes of maternal death in countries where they are illegal. Studies show that women who are unable to obtain an abortion fared worse in physical and mental health. The lack of access to the full range of reproductive health care will imperil the health of low-income and women of color exponentially.
Put simply, women living in or near poverty will bear the devastating brunt of this ruling. The resulting impact on their children and others who depend on them will only widen our country’s health, wealth, and opportunity gaps.
Read the full article about women of color and abortion access by Lisa Glover at LISC.