Op-ed submission by Project 21
There is a real economic toll related to abortion, but it’s not something Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or the Congressional Black Caucus complains about. In fact, they all support abortion.
To hear abortion proponents talk about it, infanticide is an economic boon. In 1998, a U.S. News and World Report article called a child “a high-priced consumer item with no warranty.” Less children supposedly means less welfare spending, less unemployment and generally more money to spread around.
Actually, the opposite is more likely to be true.
In a telephone interview, Mark Crutcher, president of Life Dynamics Inc., said, “The cost [of abortion to society], if calculable, would be astronomical to the point of the average person being incapable of comprehending it.” While Crutcher correctly notes one cannot accurately put a price on the opportunity costs of abortion, its effects are apparent. In fact, abortion may play a key factor in fixing our nation’s current economic crisis.
Consumer spending is the dominant facet of our economy. With the economy needing a boost and job creation jolted, a baby is a true stimulus plan. Forget TARP and the Keynesian spending schemes promoted by the Obama Administration. A baby necessitates diapers, toys, food, books, clothing and more. Meeting those needs creates jobs in the manufacturing and service sectors. Children also create jobs in the medical and educational sectors. When they grow up, babies supplement the labor force – promoting the “circle of life.” At a time when our nation relies on an influx of legal and illegal immigrants, it’s illogical to promote population control.
It’s also an issue of quality, and not just quantity. As the late economist Julian Simon noted: “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.” Around 45 million potential members of the American labor force have already been obliterated by legialized abortion. How many could have kept our auto industry solvent? How many might have developed the cure to cancer or cold-fusion energy production?
And then there’s the Social Security and Medicare crises. These two programs, once considered safety nets, are now lifelines for many elderly and impoverished Americans. The programs’ solvency relies upon large numbers of people in the workforce providing for much smaller numbers of recipients. The Baby Boom and expansions of coverage turned these calculations on their heads. More money will soon be paid out than is being paid into the programs. That means fewer benefits and/or more taxes.
For blacks in particular, Crutcher noted, “Abortion has cost blacks tremendous political power. You cannot reduce the black American population by – in some estimates – as much as 40 percent in the last 35 plus years and not have a debilitating political impact that equates further to verifiable economic loss, even if the loss is astronomical to the point of being incalculable.”
Crutcher refers to the relatively unchanged size of the black community relative to other races. While black population numbers stagnate, Hispanics are now the dominant minority group. Could this have anything to do with abortion? Yes. Susan Cohen, writing for the Guttmacher Policy Review in 2008, noted, “The abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women.”
Black Americans were brought to America in chains. After emancipation, we were subject to unfair laws restricting promised freedoms. Discrimination further robbed us of opportunity. Now, even with a level playing field, abortion is still pushing blacks into a corner. While the United States economy remains on the brink, blacks – who, as a community, are making their way up the socio-economic ladder – stand to lose the most.
In promoting abortion, there is much more to lose than just our morality. Our very futures may lie in the balance.
Mychal Massie is the chairman of the black leadership network Project 21.