In the written opinion of Roe v. Wade, the Justices did not discuss the economic reality of having children. In his concurrence, Justice Stewart did however cite National Mutual Ins. Co. v. Tidewater Transfer Co., to explain why, even though “abortion” isn’t mentioned explicitly in the Constitution, the Court must still grapple with its Constitutional implications: “Great concepts like . . . `liberty' . . . were purposely left to gather meaning from experience,” Blackmun wrote, “For they relate to the whole domain of social and economic fact, and the statesmen who founded this Nation knew too well that only a stagnant society remains unchanged.”
The whole domain of social and economic fact includes the economic reality of having children. As we celebrate Roe v. Wade this month, against the backdrop of one of the most challenging economic times in U.S. history, the connection between reproductive freedom and women's economic status could not be more clear. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 60 percent of women who have abortions already have a child. Sixty-nine percent are economically disadvantaged and 42 percent are poor. Poor women are five times more likely than higher income women to have an abortion.