Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claimed on Tuesday that restricting abortion access to women in the U.S. would have damaging effects on the nation’s economy.
Yellen shared her perspective during testimony to the Senate Banking Committee regarding research related to abortion access and income levels.
“I believe that eliminating the rights of women to make decisions about women, whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” Yellen said, according to a Reuters report.
“It makes clear that denying women access to abortion increases their odds of living in poverty or need for public assistance,” she added.
Yellen also emphasized the ability of women to live a fulfilling and satisfying life as a reason to support abortion access.
“What we’re talking about is whether or not women will have the ability to regulate their reproductive situation in ways that will enable them to plan lives that are fulfilling and satisfying for them,” the treasury secretary noted.
“What we’re talking about is whether or not women will have the ability to regulate their reproductive situation in ways that will enable them to plan lives that are fulfilling and satisfying for them.”
— Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on abortion pic.twitter.com/Udd3VAwSjt
— The Recount (@therecount) May 10, 2022
South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott blasted Yellen’s remarks during the hearing.
“Did you say ending the life of a child is good for the labor force participation rate?” he asked.
“Framing it in the context of labor force participation is, it just feels calloused to me,” he later added. “Finding a way to have a debate around abortion in a meeting for the economic stability of our country is harsh, and I’m just surprised that we find ways to weave into every facet of our lives such an important and painful reality for so many people.”
The debate regarding abortion access has surged in the political conversation following last week’s leak of an opinion draft from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
Alito’s draft suggested the court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, returning laws regarding abortion to individual states.
The leak has led to a demand for an investigation of the unprecedented breach of trust in the nation’s highest court.
In addition, abortion-rights activists have launched several actions following the leak. On Sunday, an attack on Wisconsin Family Action, located in Madison, included graffiti and significant damage.
As The Daily Wire reported, “No one from the organization was in the building at the time of the attack, which included a Molotov cocktail that was thrown through a window and failed to ignite. Whoever was behind the attack set another fire nearby that burned part of a wall.”
Local media reported that graffiti was left outside the building that stated, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”
Pro-abortion activists have also led protests outside of the homes of multiple justices who reportedly signaled they would vote in favor of overturning Roe. The threats and demonstrations have increased the demand for security for justices and their family members.
Despite the violence and law-breaking activities, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) applauded the “righteous anger” of abortion-rights activists in a letter sent on Monday to fellow House Democrats to encourage them to carry on the fight against the pro-life movement.
Pelosi’s letter referred to expressions by pro-abortion rights activists over the past week as righteous anger.
“While we have seen and heard extraordinary anguish in our communities, we have been moved by how so many have channeled their righteous anger into meaningful action: planning to march and mobilize to make their voices heard,” Pelosi wrote.