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Representative David Schweikert - Vice Chairman

The Economic Cost of Abortion

The Economic Cost of Abortion

Additional Material:

In recent weeks, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other economists have argued that restricting abortion would negatively affect the economy, particularly by diminishing the labor market outcomes of women. These arguments overlook the far greater economic cost of abortion due to the loss of lives of the unborn.

Key Findings:

  • JEC Republicans estimate that the economic cost of abortion in 2019 alone—due to the loss of nearly 630,000 unborn lives—was at least $6.9 trillion, or 32 percent of GDP.

    • This economic cost estimate relies on standard methodologies used by federal government agencies to quantify the benefits of policies that affect mortality risks. We apply the same methodology to abortion, which increases the risk of mortality to unborn babies.

  • JEC Republicans estimate that the economic cost of abortion due the loss of unborn lives is 425 times larger than the earnings loss mothers would be expected to incur when having a child.

    • Earnings of the average mother fall by approximately $26,000 over the first six years of her first child’s life. If each abortion prevents maternal earnings from falling, all abortions in 2019 could save mothers $16.2 billion in earnings over the next six years. However, the JEC’s $6.9 trillion cost of abortion estimate far outweighs these projected earnings benefits.

  • Abortion imposes external costs on society not reflected in JEC Republicans’ $6.9 trillion cost estimate. In the long run, abortion shrinks the labor force, stunts innovation, and limits economic growth. It also weakens the solvency of social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare that rely on workers to support a growing elderly population.

  • Abortion at its core is a moral issue rather than an economic one. But even in economic terms, the costs of abortion vastly outweigh any claimed benefits.

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