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Allison Schrager

No Abortion Means Poor States Will Get Poorer

The South and Southwest U.S. has only recently begun closing the prosperity gap with their neighbors to the north. Overturning Roe v. Wade would slow that progress.

Poverty is generational.

Poverty is generational.

Photographer: Chandan Khanna/AFP

Economic disparity has always been a feature of the U.S. economy, not only among households, but among regions. For the last few hundred years the North was the center of industrialization, and then later for high-skill services like finance and technology, as well. The South had less wealth and opportunity.

In more recent years, though, the two regions’ fortunes have been converging. Favorable tax treatment, better climates and cheaper housing meant many high-growth industries and their talent were moving south. This trend will probably continue, but the economic convergence faces a setback if the Roe v. Wade decision is overturned.