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Mosher: Chelsea Clinton is Wrong — Abortion Has Made Us Poorer, Not Richer

Chelsea Clinton Rise Up for Roe
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Chelsea Clinton claims –wrongly – that legalized abortion has produced economic benefits for the United States.

Speaking at an event called “Rise Up for Roe,” organized to oppose the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, Bill and Hillary’s daughter reportedly said: “It is not a disconnected fact … that American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy. … The net, new entrance of women — that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973.”

You get it:  Chelsea believes that freeing women from “reproductive servitude” – as radical feminists like to refer to motherhood — enables them to become truly productive members of society.

But in touting the economic benefits of abortion, isn’t Chelsea forgetting someone? Or rather, a whole lot of someones? About 61 million someones, to be exact.

This is the number of Americans missing from the U.S. population today because they were aborted out of existence.  Half of these would have been women, of course.

These women were not only not allowed “to enter the work force,” they were not even allowed to draw their first breath.

But Chelsea doesn’t have time to mourn the loss of tens of millions of her “sisters.” For her, apparently, unborn children are not living human beings. Rather, they are just “clumps of cells” to be discarded at will for the most utilitarian reasons.

Now I believe, as an article of faith, in the infinite worth of each and every human life. And I acknowledge the scientific truth that human life begins at conception.

Chelsea, on the other hand, abandons both faith and science. Instead, she busies herself toting up the dollars and cents supposedly saved by abortions.

If she wants to do that, then I have some numbers for her to reflect on.  For it turns out that the amount of human capital that abortion destroys each year in the United States is nothing short of staggering.

Let’s start by calculating the economic value of an American baby at conception. The Department of Agriculture estimates the cost of raising an only child born in 2015 at around $233,000 over seventeen years. Of course, the per-child costs go down dramatically in larger families because of the cheaper-by-the-dozen-effect.

The future earnings of each of those children from 2035 to 2080 — assuming that wages continue to rise at their current rate — will be well over ten times this amount, probably in the neighborhood of between $4 and $5 million. Discounting these future costs and benefits to the present produces a figure of around $750,000. That’s the present future value of a baby conceived today.

How many people realize that each and every abortion is the death of a small fortune? How many people understand that America’s abortion toll – currently running at an estimated 926,000 per year — is roughly equivalent in economic terms to nuking a mid-sized American city each year? Not Chelsea Clinton, apparently.

The truth is, instead of adding $3.5 trillion to the economy, as she claims, abortion to date has subtracted $62 trillion from America’s GDP. And that number is climbing rapidly. Market researcher Dennis Howard estimates that “by 2040, that cumulative deficit [from abortion] will likely reach $400 trillion.”

To view babies solely as economic liabilities to their mothers, as Chelsea apparently does, is not only dehumanizing, it makes no economic sense whatsoever.

Chelsea may believe that eliminating people will somehow save us all money, but the numbers don’t lie. Whatever else abortion is, it is the wanton destruction of incredible amounts of human capital. And it has left America poorer in many ways, and not just economically.

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order(Regnery).

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