What Do 40 Million Lost Lives Mean?
The simple response to the abortion advocates’ case is that most children inevitably grow into adults. They work and pay taxes, or otherwise spend, save, invest, and innovate. Economists attest that even before these children reach adulthood, their very be-longing to a large and growing population spurs economic growth. The following four points give an overview of why abortion does not help, and in fact may be hurting, the U.S. economy.
Fewer babies mean fewer consumers, less demand for goods and services, and fewer jobs. In the eighth edition of his famous introductory economics book, Paul Samuelson notes that a growing population leads to higher levels of spending and may therefore lower unemployment.
Abortion slows labor force growth. In its long-term forecast, the Social Security Administration (SSA) predicts that the growth rate of the U.S. economy, as measured by the total of goods and services produced in the United States, will slow.
Abortion undermines technological innovation. Most significantly, abortion denies us the talents and the creativity of 40 million and counting unique human beings. Simon states that “in the long run, the most important economic effect of population size and growth is the contribution of additional people to our stock of useful knowledge.”
Abortion drives the Social Security crisis. Abortion has left fewer young people to care for the post-World War II Baby Boom generation as it prepares for retirement (see figure). The Social Security Administration admits, “The main reason for Social Security’s long-range financing problem is demographics.” Given the reduction in the work force supporting Social Security, brought on largely because of abortion, our predicament is this: unless we raise taxes, cut benefits, or overhaul the entire system, Medicare will be bankrupt in the 2020s and Social Security in the 2030s.
Abortion does not save tax dollars. Planned Parenthood frequently claims that every dollar spent on abortions for poor women saves four dollars in public money that would provide food, medical care, and cash assistance to a mother and her child. Abortion advocates who share this position do not give the child time to pay back that money through taxes on her future income.
The bottom line. The economic argument designed by pro- abortionists collapses when we examine children’s place in the economy as consumers, workers, innovators, and taxpayers. Most parents, however, and the millions of infertile couples who would love to become parents, will attest that they do not need to wait until a child reaches working age to consider her a worthwhile investment.