Why Reproductive Freedom Is Financial Freedom for Women
It’s not every day that you read a treatise on women’s health over on the “Forbes” website. And it’s definitely not every day that the article is advocating for a women’s right to choose to have an abortion.
But after some hefty analysis, it makes perfect sense that such an issue and stance would be on a site that is dedicated to helping women be in charge of their own financial well-being. One of the biggest factors in a personal wealth, especially for women, is their own family. Each child has a distinct impact on household finance and wealth management, from career opportunities to housing to childcare expenses or insurance costs, not to mention the day to day expenses of feeding, clothing and other necessary items.
It’s those arguments that make Victoria Pynchon’s piece so powerful. ”Take away a woman’s reproductive freedoms and you plunge women back into poverty or dependence upon a working spouse. That dependence is one of the riskiest choices a woman can make in light of that statistics that nearly 44% of all mothers with custody of their minor children are either separated or divorced. In short, requiring women to carry every pregnancy to term would plunge a far greater number of women and children into poverty than are already there.”
Pynchon is advocating on the behalf of the necessity of groups like the National Network of Abortion Funds, which helps provide money for women and girls who cannot afford an abortion on their own. ”If they do not have funds for abortions, they surely are in no financial position to raise a child, or, yet another child,” she points out.
But it goes even beyond women who can’t afford an abortion if they get pregnant with a child they can’t afford. The same logic applies when it comes to birth control, which so many of our current Republican candidates seem to think is unnecessary, even supporting “personhood” amendments that would ban some forms. It applies to the ability to access Emergency Contraception at all hospitals, not just those that aren’t Catholic based, or to get it from a pharmacy without having to get approval from the pharmacist, who may not believe EC stops a pregnancy before it begins. The far right, who used to vastly accept the idea that women who have been victims of rape should not be forced to bear an attacker’s child against their will now feel that “the child shouldn’t be punished,” not considering not just the costs of raising a child but that simply delivering a baby, even one you intend to put up for adoption, costs thousands of dollars just in medical bills.
A woman who cannot control when she chooses to give birth is devoid of any ability to control her own financial future. Perhaps that is just fine to those who oppose choice in every circumstance, but to the audience of a magazine like Forbes, this is an idea that is less likely to have been discussed, and it’s wonderful to see it done openly.
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