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White House adviser: Overturning Roe would hurt economy

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Demonstrators protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in Washington.

White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein argued in a new CNN interview that the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion would have a devastating impact on the economy for women in conservative states.

“Financially, it’s like losing a job,” Bernstein told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Thursday. “It’s like being evicted, it’s like losing health insurance, it’s like going to the hospital in terms of its impact on their finances.”

He added that it would disproportionately impact lower income people.

“If you are a wealthy person in a place without access, you can probably get yourself to a place where you can access an abortion,” he said. “All of these costs will fall most severely on those who are unable to access abortion should Roe come down.”

The Supreme Court is currently weighing the Roe ruling in a Mississippi case. A draft opinion in favor of overturning the four-decade old Roe abortion decision was leaked to POLITICO this week. POLITICO reported that a majority of the Supreme Court justices privately voted in February to upend the landmark 1973 Roe case but such a decision has not be finalized by the court.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the draft opinion.

Bernstein said during the CNN interview that his research found “when you deny access to reproductive rights in general, but abortion rights in particular to women, they have persistently worse economic outcomes.”

In his draft of the majority opinion, Alito argues that abortion rights should be left to the states to decide. Notably, no other Supreme court draft decision in modern history has been leaked publicly while a case was still pending. Opinion drafts can be altered before an official decision is announced.

News of the draft has sparked protests outside the Supreme Court building and prompted officials to erect new fences for safety concerns.

POLITICO reported that the rare leak came after it received “a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi.”

The Mississippi law being challenged would effectively ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, or about two months earlier than in the original Roe decision. The state legislature passed the law in 2018. The high court heard the case in December.

The state’s lone abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, does not perform abortions after 16 weeks because of existing restrictions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent data, more than 90% of abortions in Mississippi take place before 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Tags abortion congress Jared Bernstein Roe v. Wade Samuel Alito Supreme Court white house

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