Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Economics, Morality, and Abortions

According the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a moral is defined as “of or relating to principals of right and wrong in behavior.” With that in mind, it is evident that a large part or rather most of the United States constitution is based on moral beliefs. Essentially, the belief that freedom is a right is really a moral issue. Most moral issues like this are cut and dry. We often here clichéd examples like murdering, stealing, fraud, et cetera. But, it isn’t often that people sit down and analyze both the moral and economic benefits of certain tricky subjects.

I would like to briefly discuss the issue of legalizing abortion and its economic impacts. Now, when Roe vs. Wade was passed into law and subsequently upheld in the courts of law, the judges made a clear statement when it came to morality.  But, it seems that they might not have been fully considering the economic impacts that a rise in abortions would cause.

 Since 1973, and the legalization of abortion, one in three children have been aborted. This has led to death of around 54 million babies, to date. This has caused the average rate of the U.S. population to increase more quickly than it would have had 54 million (plus or minus a few hundred thousand that would have died during childhood) children had been born. This has raised several questions about what is going to happen when all the baby boomers retire. “In 2006 Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI), warned that the aging population will produce a dangerous imbalance between those who produce (GDP) and those are dependent on them.” Additionally, it is estimated that the U.S. lost a potential $35 trillion in GDP, $47 billion in Social Security payments, $11 billion in Medicare payments. On average, a baby born in the U.S. will participate in the workforce for 47 years, earn over $1 million, and pay $400,000 in taxes.  

However, besides the negative economic impacts, there does seem to be one cultural benefit to abortion: lower crime rates. Extensive studies have been conducted, and although none of the data is concrete, many researchers believe that increased abortions lead to lower crime rates. I would definitely have to agree, because it seems like the less people there are, the less opportunities for crime there are. In fact, if everyone in New York City died, the crime rate would drop substantially. And, if all humans babies died, the crime rate would definitely drop, because current criminals would die without replacements (excuse the sarcasm). Another interesting study has found that the rate of abortions may have actually increased due to our country’s economic woes. Wouldn’t it be interesting if something that could have been avoided completely is now compounding upon itself due to its own self-inflicted economic troubles? And of course I am in no way implying that the legalization of abortion is the sole cause of the United States’ economic troubles.

Despite your personal moral beliefs regarding abortion, it is clear that there have been certain economic impacts that came with the legalization of abortion. And, I think that Roe vs. Wade should be completely re-evaluated based solely on economics, it might do our country some good in the long run. Anyways, it was very interesting researching this topic, because basically all the pro-life sources focused on the negative economic impacts while pro-choice sources focused on decreased crime, quite the conundrum.

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