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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Synthesis of Ideas

In preparing the devotion/prayer for this morning's staff meeting (it was my turn), I was compelled to focus both on the upcoming "anniversary" of Roe v. Wade, and the memorials for Dr. King which I heard on the news yesterday.

First, I wanted to look at the abortion issue as it relates to economics. Then, as I pondered the economic impact of abortion and the culture of death upon our communities, I wondered how the abortion industry - and it's prevalence among inner-city populations - was related to the dream Dr. King spoke about.

Below is the text (with one minor change) of what I presented to the staff before our weekly meeting today:

The abortion argument is often centered on ethics, morality, and theology (as such an important issue should be), but there are additional factors to consider. Many in our world see the “bottom line” as more important than any other consideration.

In 1998 U.S. News and World Report demonstrated this attitude when they declared: “A child, financially speaking, looks more like a high-priced consumer item with no warranty. It’s the decision to remain childless that offers the real investment opportunity.” [Emphasis added]

This is the underlying “rationale” of many pro-abortion advocates: abortion economically benefits society. This argument relies on our society’s acceptance of the “fact” that children are an economic drain, and that the relatively low cost of the “procedure” for ending a human life is dramatically offset by the savings in benefits of entitlements such as welfare, Medicaid, and public education. Further, abortion is a valued “check and balance” in the area of population growth and the costs associated with a growing population. In this model, children are so expensive that abortion of any “unwanted” child is justified. Why spend money on something no one wants? (Notice the ample use of quotes to convey my questioning of such dubious logic.)

Leaving aside the ethical, moral, and – I would argue – BASIC HUMAN reactions to such a harsh rationale, I would offer several points that directly refute the economic benefit argument:

Fewer babies mean fewer consumers, less demand for goods and services, and fewer jobs. Growing populations lead to higher levels of spending and lower unemployment. Fewer children leads to less child-centered spending. (How many times in recent years have you heard, “The Christmas shopping season was lighter than expected.”)
Abortion slows labor force growth, impacting entitlement programs such as Social Security. While the burden of one person receiving Social Security used to be spread among five or more active workers, in the next 15 years, that burden will only be shouldered by TWO workers. Without the loss of life due to abortion, over seven million additional workers would be in the labor force. That number continues to grow. Their contributions to SS and Medicare (in a conservative estimate, acknowledging that most of the losses would have been in early, low-earning years) would have totaled over $9 billion.
Abortion undermines technological innovation. It has denied us the talents, gifts, and contributions of 40 million unique individuals, and counting. Legal abortion undermines the primary source of America’s high standard of living: our innovation.
Abortion does not save tax dollars. Planned Parenthood claims that every dollar spent on abortions for poor women would save four dollars of tax money, ignoring the fact that most of the aborted children would eventually “pay back” that support through tax contributions of their own. A baby born in the U.S. in 1996 will, on average and over the course of his life, pay about $400,000 in taxes, dwarfing the tens of thousands of dollars spent on a child on welfare.

When we hear of the lack of economic and social progress of the African-American community, we have to wonder what role abortion has played in this. While black women only make up 13% of the population, they account for 34% of all abortions, a rate that is over two and a half times that of white women. That equals approximately 1,400 African-American children every day: 15 million since Roe v. Wade. The economic impacts described above hit the African-American community hard.

Such a high abortion rate also decreases political muscle. The loss of 15 million citizens in minority neighborhoods has resulted in a loss of approximately 15 to 20 seats in Congress that would have been held by African-Americans.

The writings of Planed Parenthood’s founder were rich with her desire to reduce the black population through “family planning”, and whether the modern pro-abortion advocate consciously supports racism, the effect of abortion is still devastating to the black community. One can't help but imagine the number of "little black boys and little black girls" that Dr. King mentioned in his speech that were never born and will never even have the opportunity to live "hand in hand" with their white neighbors.

Nothing infuriates pro-choice advocates more than the comparison of abortion to slavery, and yet I feel some comparison of attitudes is in order:

Spoken by someone already free…
Spoken by someone already born…

Although he may have the biological features of a human, the slave is not a legal person, as defined by the Supreme Court (Dread Scott).
Although he may have the biological features of a human, the unborn baby is not a legal person, as defined by the Supreme Court (Roe v. Wade).

A black man becomes a legal person when he is set free. Until he is free, he is of no concern to the legal system.
A baby becomes a legal person when he is born. Until that time, he is of no concern to the legal system.

No one is forcing you to own slaves, so don’t impose your morality on me.
No one is forcing you to have an abortion, so don’t impose your morality on me.

A man has a right to do as he pleases with his own property.
A woman has a right to do as she pleases with her own body.

Isn’t slavery really merciful? Isn’t it better never to be set free than to be sent unprepared and ill-equipped into a cruel world?
Isn’t abortion merciful? Isn’t it better never to be born than to be sent into the world alone, unwanted, unloved, and impoverished?

Perhaps some day, society will look back on abortion the way we now look back on slavery: a monstrous evil that was accepted as a normal, natural, institutional, and ingrained part of our culture which eventually gave way to reason, morality, and ethics.

Until then, let us pray:

Prayer for the Helpless Unborn

Heavenly Father, in your love for us,
Protect against the wickedness of the devil,
Those helpless little ones to whom you have given the gift of life.

Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today
Who are not thinking of motherhood.

Help them to see that the child they carry is made in your image – as well as theirs –
Made for eternal life.

Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them womanly hearts
To love their babies and give them birth
And all the needed care that a mother alone can give.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.



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