Getting an Abortion Helped Sarah Back Achieve Financial Stability


  • On June 24, 2022, The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending nearly 50 years of legalized abortion nationwide.
  • Studies show that people who are denied access to abortion are more likely to have poor financial outcomes.
  • Sarah Back was making $400 a week when she had her abortion at 25. Now she’s financially stable and on track to build wealth.

Friday morning, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which means millions of women and gender-diverse people will lose access to legal abortions in their state.

A 2020 study led by Sarah Miller at the University of Michigan shows that women who were denied abortions had an 81% increase in negative financial public records, such as tax liens, bankruptcy, and evictions. The study also shows that women who are denied abortions are more likely to have credit scores of 600 or less.

Sarah Back could have been one of these women. At 25, she was making $400 a week working as a waitress at a seafood restaurant in the Bronx. “I was trying to leave a relationship that was emotionally, verbally, financially abusive,” she tells Insider, adding, “I didn’t really see how I could possibly support a child in my circumstances.”

Back adds, “I had a college degree, but I was making very little money, and definitely underachieving.” Her boyfriend at the time owed thousands in court fines due to multiple DUIs.

After an unexpected pregnancy, she decided to get an abortion at Planned Parenthood, where, she says, “I felt very taken care of. They made me feel safe during the whole process.” At the time, Back was living with her parents and says, “I don’t even know how I would have been able to afford the abortion” if she hadn’t been covered by her parents’ health insurance.

After her abortion, Back started earning more

Shortly after the abortion and the breakup, Back was working out of a coworking space, where she met a mentor that taught her how to become a commercial real estate salesperson. Soon, she was earning $40,000 a year — twice what she was making as a waitress. She kept hustling, networking, and job-hopping until she landed a full-time position that paid $65,000 a year.

“A year and a half after that, at 29, I got a job at Zillow doing tech sales and I had a salary of $200,000,” Back tells Insider. She also received stock options that helped her jumpstart her investment portfolio.

She’s been able to invest and save

Back is also a self-taught investor whose portfolio is now worth $57,000 between retirement accounts, stocks, and cryptocurrency, according to records reviewed by Insider.

After receiving stock options and a 401(k) match from Zillow, she taught herself how to invest in the stock market. “I grew up in a working class family,” she says. “We weren’t destitute, but I definitely didn’t grow up learning about investments and stuff.”

Along with her investments, she started saving for her “lifelong dream” of moving to Los Angeles. According to records reviewed by Insider, she was able to save $50,000 to make her move as easy and stress-free as possible. Once she moved, Back decided to go back to school to get her master’s degree at USC. She says, “I’m able to pay my way through that from the money I had saved and invested.” She will be graduating from grad school debt-free.

Back says her abortion helped her achieve financial stability

Back tells Insider that she doesn’t regret her decision to get an abortion at all, and that it helped her live a life with financial stability. “I probably would have still been waiting, making such little money, and living with an abusive partner if I had that baby,” she says.

Her decision to get an abortion allowed for her to remain financially independent from her abuser and start fresh. “Honestly,” she continues, “I could have ended up dead if I had had a baby with this person. The abuse was progressive.”

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