Women entrepreneurs see access to reproductive health as essential to their economic security

Small Business Majority
Wednesday, June 14, 2023

One year after the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, a new poll shows that women entrepreneurs believe that access to reproductive healthcare is vital to their economic well-being and to the entire small business community, and they strongly support improved access to several forms of reproductive healthcare, including abortion and birth control.  

The recent poll of 500 women small business owners nationwide, including additional oversamples of 100 Black women and 100 Latina small business owners, finds that women entrepreneurs are concerned about the impact of the overturning of Roe v. Wade on their business, their employees and their community.  

For women entrepreneurs, the freedom to decide if and when to have children is extremely important, with overwhelming bipartisan support (92% total support). It’s not surprising then that women small business owners are concerned about restrictions on reproductive healthcare and birth control, with more than half sharing they are very concerned (78% concerned/59% very concerned). This is an issue of concern that cuts across race and ethnicity and political party identification. What’s more, women entrepreneurs across the political spectrum support a federal law to ensure women have the right to abortion care (72% total support/55% Republican women support). 

Additionally, the poll reveals that the impacts of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade have been mostly negative for women small business owners. They are most concerned that the Supreme Court decision has negatively impacted the country and the people in their community. Still, more than one-quarter of respondents said that the decision has had a negative impact on their employees and on them personally. Similarly, when asked about the impacts moving forward, a majority of women entrepreneurs are concerned about the country and their community due to the decision (69% and 59% respectively), while roughly 4 in 10 are concerned about direct impacts on them, their families and their employees.  

It's no secret that women were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and women entrepreneurs continue to face challenges stemming from inflation and the current economic environment. In states where reproductive rights are being threatened or restricted, about 10% more business owners said their revenues were declining than improving. As this survey reveals, undermining access to reproductive healthcare will only further threaten women’s ability to achieve financial security and launch and grow new businesses, harming our economy overall.