Since the disclosure of the draft of a Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade, there has been controversy inside and outside Washington, D.C.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in particular, has supported keeping abortion in place.
But Republican Sen. Tim Scott pressed Yellen on her arguments and noted that she was putting things in a pretty calloused light.
Yellen argued at a Senate Banking Committee hearing that banning abortion would be “very damaging” for the economy because it would reduce women’s ability to balance their careers and their families, Politico reported.
“I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” she said.
Yellen also said that Roe v. Wade was part of what helped allow women to finish school and increase their earning potential, which then led to higher participation in the workforce.
“Research also shows that it had a favorable impact on the well-being and earnings of children,” she said.
“There are many research studies that have been done over the years looking at the economic impacts of access or lack thereof to abortion, and it makes clear that denying women access to abortion increases their odds of living in poverty or need for public assistance,” Yellen added.
Do you think that Tim Scott is right?
Scott, however, called out Yellen for putting the abortion argument into rather harsh terms that made it look like she was hugely devaluing life.
“Did you say that ending the life of a child is good for the labor force participation rate?” Scott asked.
He noted that framing the issue of abortion just around labor force participation “feels calloused to me.”
“Finding a way to have a debate around abortion in a meeting for the economic stability of our country is harsh,” Scott added.
“I’m just surprised that we find ways to weave into every facet of our lives, such an important, painful reality for so many people. To make it sound like it’s just another 0.4 percent added to our labor force participation as a result of the issue of abortion, just, to me, seems harsh,” he said.
Yellen responded that taking away women’s ability to abort their babies would mean that they are less likely to be able to participate in the workforce (since they would have to care for their children) and would also likely result in more children growing up in poverty.
“It means that children will grow up in poverty and do worse themselves,” Yellen said. “This is not harsh. This is the truth.”
But Scott said there was plenty to discuss with regard to child care, financial literacy, child tax credits and other ways to improve outcomes for American kids.
“I’ll just say that as a guy raised by a black woman in abject poverty,” he said, “I am thankful to be here as a United States senator.”
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