The new abortion law in Texas may end up costing the state a steady supply of college-educated professional workers, as a survey recently revealed the majority of workers nationwide would not apply for or accept a job in a state with such restrictive abortion laws such as the heartbeat bill passed last Wednesday in Texas.
The survey, conducted by PerryUndem, a public opinion research organization, showed that 66% of college-educated professionals would not consider taking a job in a state that placed such restrictive limitations on abortion.The survey also showed a strongly negative opinion on the Texas bill in the Gen-Z and Millennial age groups, with 73% of Gen-Z respondents and 69% of Millennial respondents saying they would not even accept a job in a state with laws that were so prohibitive.
Texas’ new law, SB 8, went into effect this week after the Supreme Court declined to rule on the bill, and effectively banned abortion procedures by disallowing abortions after six weeks of pregnancy when a heartbeat can usually be detected. The Texas bill also provides a financial incentive for anyone who reports an abortion or an attempt to have an abortion procedure.
SB 8 is unpopular with both men and women, according to the survey. 73% of women would not even apply for a job in a state with reproductive laws like the ones in Texas, and over three quarters of the women surveyed say this kind of law would discourage them from working there. About 53% of men would not apply for a job in a state like Texas based on these laws, and 58% said the near-ban on abortion procedures in a state would discourage them from working there.
As employers in Texas and nationwide struggle with a labor shortage following the COVID-19 pandemic, the new abortion laws in Texas could further complicate their problems. Texas may also see fallout from businesses that no longer wish to operate out of states whose laws don’t align with their views.
Opponents of the bill argue that six weeks is too soon, and that many women are not even aware they are pregnant yet. They also argue that most genetic or growth abnormalities are not detected until much later in a pregnancy, so the new law leaves very little room to abort an unwanted or high-risk pregnancy.
The law has raised debate and sparked protests nationwide. A women’s march is planned for October 2nd, when activists plan to protest outside all 50 state capitols and in Washington DC in protest of the new Texas law, and in anticipation of further laws that restrict reproductive rights.