As soon as news broke that the Supreme Court would likely overturn Roe v. Wade, the Biden administration sprung to the defense of the ruling. President Joe Biden called the Supreme Court’s potential reversal of Roe “radical,” and now, none other than his treasury secretary has weighed in. Next, we’ll be hearing from Transportation Department head Pete Buttigieg.
“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,” said Janet Yellen, economist extraordinaire and recently appointed Democratic Party spokeswoman, during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
Yellen, a mother herself, argued that motherhood would be too great a burden for some women. Research, she said, “makes clear that denying women access to abortion increases their odds of living in poverty or need for public assistance.”
If anything, rather than an argument for abortion, this is an argument for paid family leave, for increased safety nets for low-income families (whether from public or private sources), for policies that make it more appealing to have children than not to have them.
Plus, more children being born is a good thing, economically speaking. It means more people in the workforce, ultimately a win for the country, even from a utilitarian perspective — especially considering our declining birth rate.
And, at the end of the day, with few exceptions, women do have control over whether or not they engage in a certain activity known to lead to pregnancy.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) responded well to Yellen’s comments, calling her framing “callous.”
“I’ll just say that as a guy raised by a black woman in abject poverty, I am thankful to be here as a United States senator,” he said.
Rather than an argument for abortion, Yellen’s testimony should be a reminder to pro-lifers that their cause doesn’t end with the demise of Roe. Out-of-wedlock mothers (a demographic Yellen has extensively studied), low-income mothers, and others feeling unprepared for childbirth should be told that they will have support. Women are much stronger and more capable than pro-abortion feminism seems to think.