Updated: Aug 26
Roe v. Wade, a legal court case that won many rights for women and prevented the government from intervening with many abortion laws, was overturned on June 24th 2022. Roe v. Wade had protected women for 50 years by allowing them to get abortions, purchase contraceptives, allow paid pregnancy leaves in regions of America, and much more. The overturning of this Supreme court decision means that abortion isn’t a constitutional right anymore and it is up to the states to determine laws relating to reproductive health. Not only will this create a drastic change in women’s lives, but it will also affect them in the workplace as well.
This major setback in America will affect women in the workplace in three significant ways. First of all, in states where abortion is banned, women might have to go through forced pregnancy, putting a strain on their professional education and career ambitions. Especially for low-income women, it is a nearly impossible task to birth a child amongst all the other duties they would need to fulfill.
In addition, the economy may see a large drop of women working in labor jobs. According to CNBC, women currently account for up to 58.3% of the nation’s labor workforce. Low-income mothers that can’t afford childcare or women that don’t have access to an abortion may have to quit their jobs or work less hours.
Finally, the gender pay gap could worsen due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Women already get paid less than men, according to Business Insider, women get paid 83 cents for every one dollar that a man gets paid. The harder it is for a woman to access an abortion, the more strain it puts on their professional life, which in turn affects how the company views a particular woman’s work ethic which in turn determines her pay. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, it was found that if women had access to less restrictive reproductive laws, their pay could increase by almost $1,600.
Overall, the overturning of Roe v. Wade has created a catastrophic domino effect, including but definitely not limited to women in the workplace. However, despite all of the negative news today, it is important to not lose hope in the fight for women’s rights. Obtaining mentorship through LevelUp can boost one’s confidence and key in on one’s true aspirations to better guide them in their life and careers post-Roe. More than ever, women have to be strong and resilient and having a mentor can help elevate their professional lives. Also, finding a sense of community is important and helping women find that is an inherent part of LevelUp’s mission.