NRL News
Page 28
February 2009
Volume 36
Issue 2

Abortion No Stimulus for Economy
By Randall K. O'Bannon, Ph.D.

Should children be thought of as an economic burden to society, or a benefit? According to pro-abortion Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.), one way to stimulate the economy is to give millions more taxpayer dollars to “family planning” groups like Planned Parenthood who ensure, often by means of abortion, that fewer children are ever born.

Defending $200 million in a proposed economic stimulus package going to “family planning services,” Pelosi told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that “family planning services reduce costs” to the state and to the federal government. Seeming to recognize the possibility of controversy, Stephanopoulos asked, “So no apologies for that?” Pelosi answered, “No apologies” (Transcript, ABC News, This Week, 1/25/09).

Stung by negative publicity associated with the revelation, the Obama administration removed the money from the nearly $1 trillion stimulus package. How much money may eventually end up in the hands of abortion promoters and performers like the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is not yet known. In its fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, Planned Parenthood received a whopping $336 million (about a third of its total revenues) in “Government Grants and Contracts” (PPFA 2006–07 Annual Report).

Planned Parenthood defended Pelosi and called the attempt to put money for “family planning” in the stimulus package a “commonsense solution” that would “invest in health care and get us out of this economic downturn.” PPFA argued, “Every public dollar spent to provide family planning services generates $4.02 in Medicaid savings in the following year alone” (PPFA release, 1/27/09).

The argument of the savings ignores a number of important economic details. Every time a child is aborted, the only “stimulus” the economy receives is through the abortionist’s pocket. When a child is born, however, money is spent on baby bottles, diapers, food, clothes, toys, etc. Whole industries benefit from, and sometimes depend upon, the existence of a steady population of newborns.

That is looking at things only in the shortest of short terms. As children grow, they not only keep farmers busy producing more food and stores selling more clothes, they also mean jobs for teachers and principals and janitors and bus drivers and lunch ladies. Public school enrollment in Washington, D.C., an area with some of the highest abortion rates in the country, has plunged since Roe. v. Wade, going from 146,000 in 1960 to 67,000 in 2000, causing the closure of several schools (Washington Post, 9/20/08).

As they get older, those kids turn into something else: taxpayers. They start by filling summer and part-time jobs and eventually go on to become workers and entrepreneurs, producing, earning, spending, saving, investing wages, and paying taxes.

This is true even for those who might be on public assistance. In The War against Population (1999), economist Jacqueline Kasun pointed out the average time a person stays on welfare is two years. Considering the amount that a child will make in his or her lifetime, and what they will pay in taxes, Kasun calculates that, over that lifetime, a child will return in taxes 3.7 times what was spent on the child and his or her mother in cash welfare for food, housing, and medical assistance.

Certain government programs are already starting to experience the effects of a shrinking or stagnant tax base. Because there are fewer and fewer workers supporting a growing retiree population, both Social Security and Medicare face the possibility of bankruptcy in a few short decades. Lawmakers can raise taxes or cut benefits, but they cannot make up for the economic impact of 50 million lives lost to abortion since 1973.

The loss of lives means not only the loss of their productivity and their taxes, but also their creativity, intelligence, and innovation. Also lost are new ideas, new inventions, new cures, new industries, new jobs, and an increased standard of living for all.

Obama, Pelosi, and Planned Parenthood have forgotten that, in the end, there is nothing more valuable, more precious, than human life. Ignore that, and all the other values get out of whack. Sound economic thinking says that, in the end, if you want to save money, save lives.