It's All Connected:  Women’s Reproductive Rights & Economic Well-being

A recent report, “IWPR Reproductive Rights Index: A State-by-State Analysis and Ranking,” released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research provides timely data to help us understand the link between women’s reproductive rights and economic well-being through a state-by state lens. In short, States that limit women’s reproductive rights and access to related services often also limit their progress in areas that impact their economic well-being, such as employment and earnings, political participation, and educational attainment. As a result, the report emphasizes the need, now more than ever, for action at the state level to address the connection between women’s reproductive rights and economic well-being. Here’s a few of the Report’s major findings:

--In the bottom five ranked states, the economic loss of abortion restrictions is approximately $8.5 billion ranging from $5.3 billion in Missouri to $362.9 million in South Dakota.

--The top-ranked state for women’s reproductive rights is New Jersey. California ranked second followed by Washington, Oregon, and Connecticut.

--The worst-ranked state for women’s reproductive rights is Missouri, ranking 51st in the Index, followed by Idaho, Nebraska, Arkansas, and South Dakota.

--In the lowest-ranked states for women’s reproductive rights, the average median income for women is $24,335 compared to $29,251 in the top five states.

--In the five top-ranked states, 33 percent of women have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In the bottom five ranked states, 26 percent of women have a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

In sum, when women’s access to reproductive health services are limited, it has an adverse effect on their economic well-being and costs state economies by reducing labor force participation and earnings. As post-Roe/Wade strategies are developed it is important that we focus our work at the state level. 

We invite you to download the full report at the organization’s website: iwpr.org as well as listen to its online seminar on this subject.