This morning the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, ending the federal guarantee to a right to abortion. Abortion rights advocates fear the decision will negatively affect women’s participation and success in areas of education and the workplace, while anti-abortion advocates are celebrating the decision, saying it will save lives. In May we wrote about the implications if the landmark case were to be overturned.

Thirteen states with so-called "trigger laws," including some Iowa neighbors, will immediately ban nearly all abortions. The decision does not immediately change Iowa's laws, but it clears the way for state lawmakers to pass and enforce more restrictions on abortion, the Des Moines Register reports. The Iowa Supreme Court last week reversed a decision by the court four years ago that guaranteed the right to abortion under the Iowa Constitution.

What business leaders should know

  • There will be numerous effects on medical organizations that deal with reproductive health. Forbes wrote about the impact on reproductive health care beyond abortion. Fertility companies and patients have been moving embryos and making contingency plans, anticipating that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, abortion laws in some states could extend to protect eggs fertilized in laboratories, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Leaders of some national companies have spoken out against abortion restrictions. In May, the New York Times wrote about how the issue may thrust businesses more into the political fray. JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in America, has joined a host of companies that have said they will cover the cost for employees who need to travel out of state for abortions.
  • Fortune wrote a piece about the best way to talk to employees about Roe v. Wade. Our May Power Breakfast speakers dug into how and when businesses should involve themselves in social issues.
  • The Institute for Women’s Policy Research released a study in 2021 estimating that current state-level abortion restrictions cost the U.S. about $105 billion each year due to a reduction in earning levels, increased job turnover and time off. The study also stated that if all state-level abortion restrictions were eliminated, 505,000 more women of reproductive age would be in the workforce, earning about $3 billion each year.
  • This Business Insider piece looks at why the decision could undo some of women’s economic progress.

We know the decision’s impact will be ongoing throughout the country and here in Iowa. The Business Record will continue to report on the effects of the decision on Iowans. While the Business Record is apolitical, we report on governmental decisions that affect the business community. Through Fearless, our initiative focused on women’s issues, we believe it’s imperative to talk about policy related to gender and family issues – subscribe to receive our free weekly Fearless newsletter.

– Emily Barske, Business Record editor and Emily Kestel, Fearless editor

Photos by Duane Tinkey