You Can’t Talk About The Economy Without Talking About Abortion

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Politics

Democrats have focused too much on abortion as they make their final midterm pitch ― at least, that’s what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), of all people, recently argued. Instead, he said, politicians need to be focusing on the economy.“Democrats shouldn’t focus only on abortion in the midterms. That’s a mistake,” Sanders wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian last month. “America has long faced structural economic crises. Democrats must win on the economy and present a pro-worker agenda.” AdvertisementYes, the economy is critically important. And yes, abortion shouldn’t be the only focus of any politician. But thinking of these as two separate issues is a mistake ― one that many politicians and talking heads are making right now. Framing abortion as a culture war issue, separate from bread-and-butter economics, erases the very real experiences of tens of millions of women and people with the capacity for pregnancy in the United States. It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: The right to bodily autonomy is inextricably linked to economic concerns. Multiple studies have shown that being denied an abortion leads to increased rates of poverty and debt, a decrease in employment that lasts for years, a higher likelihood of eviction or foreclosure, and years spent trying to raise a child without enough money for basic necessities like food, housing and transportation.And 75% of women who seek abortion care are already low-income, which means the people who are denied abortions will only be thrust further into poverty, according to a 2014 study from the Guttmacher Institute, a science-based research group that supports abortion rights.“For the people who are affected, it’s a huge economic issue,” said Dr. Diana Greene Foster, author and head researcher of the Turnaway Study, which followed 1,000 women over 10 years and analyzed the long-term effects of being able to access an abortion versus being denied an abortion.Advertisement“Taking away access to an abortion means people have kids before they have the resources to do it, and then are less likely to have children later under better circumstances,” Foster said. “It’s not even pro-child. The result of this is to raise more kids in economic hardship.” There can even be serious economic consequences for people who are able to obtain abortions in the current landscape. There’s a patchwork of states that still offer access to abortion, meaning many people seeking care now have to travel long distances to get it. That may mean paying for gas, food and lodging, as well as taking unpaid time off from work and finding child care for their other children. People may need time to save up for these expenses, which would mean they’re seeking care later in their pregnancy, when abortions are often more costly.But let’s go back to Sanders’ pro-worker agenda. If voters are unbothered by how abortio …

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