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Societal Costs of Abortion

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On the surface, some might think abortion saves money. Initially, this assumption seems especially sensible to those of us who have served in health departments and social service agencies. We see a young, single, pregnant girl in the clinic and we think about what it will cost for her to parent the child rather than abort. In keeping the baby, she will face medical bills, housing and basic living costs, delay in educational plans, and the list goes on.

We then show the young woman an ultrasound picture of her developing baby and make our case for life mostly by emphasizing that the life inside her is a BABY, and that abortion destroys a baby, and that having an abortion will also harm the mother both physically and emotionally, in the long and the short term. Then we take a deep breath and we say to her, "Oh boy, we know it’s going to cost a whole lot to do this, but we will stand with you and give you all the help we can."

We would be wrong to ignore the financial burden. However, we need not concede the financial side of the argument to the pro-abortion forces.

Using well-established figures from scientific studies, some in journals and others available from standard sources on the Internet, we calculated costs and benefits for abortion compared to carrying the child to term. We then derived the "public cost fraction" for each item by dividing the public costs by the total costs of raising a child. (Read the full report and charts in PDF.)

The bottom line for the society, per person, comes out to roughly a $1.4 million benefit for a child allowed to be born, contrasted with a cost of just under $100,000 for an aborted child. To the public treasury, the estimated benefit of the birth is just over $200,000, compared to an abortion cost of $32,000.

Returning to our clinic setting, in many cases it will still be a hardship for a young woman to choose life for her infant. But at least we can assure her that when she does, she will not, as some might suggest to her, be creating a net financial liability to society.

This article was taken from CitizenLink's Focus on Social Issues

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