(Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Limiting the right to an abortion comes with a high price tag, Bryce Covert points out for Think Progress, a liberal think tank, because letting those fetuses be born and live their lives will cost taxpayers a lot of money.
Citing a Congressional Budget Office report on the House-passed bill to ban abortions after the fetus is 20 weeks old, Covert notes that the bill, if passed, is estimated to increase Medicaid costs by $75 million to $400 million over 10 years.
Republicans should be in favor of ending lives before they are born, Covert argued, because they belong to the party of fiscal responsibility. He also believes that Texas lawmakers, who are currently debating their own 20-week abortion ban, want to reinstate funding for Planned Parenthood due to the high cost of the estimated 24,000 babies that would not be a drain on Texas taxpayers today if the funding had continued.
Citing a report from George Washington University, Covert reasoned that Texas taxpayers must spend around $5.5 million to $6.6 million for those additional Texas babies that arrived due to less funding for Planned Parenthood.
Covert's analysis assumes that most of the women who would be denied a right to abort their 20-week and older fetus would be poor women, and the nation would be better off if the poor did not have children. If born rather than aborted, he explained, their children would also be poor and a net drain on taxpayers.
"Providing women who seek an abortion with the services they need doesn't just avert government spending on unwanted births. A recent study found that women who were unable to obtain an abortion were three times more likely to fall into poverty in the subsequent two years than those who succeeded. That likely means more women who need to access federal programs," he wrote.
Another liberal, Michael E. Arth, who ran for governor of Florida in 2010, argues the fertility rate should be kept at one child per family through the use of "birth credits," he explained in an interview with Vice. Each couple would be provided one credit. If they want more children they could purchase a credit from a couple who did not want children. He did not explain how the policy should be enforced, if a couple were to have a child without a government approved credit. He did, though, praise China's one-child policy, in which the government has forced women to have abortions as an enforcement mechanism.
A steady or declining birth rate is necessary, Arth explained, because within the next several decades scientists will solve the problems of aging and dying and people will be able to live indefinitely.
During the committee hearings for the 20-week abortion ban in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist who is now pro-life, described how he would perform a second trimester abortion.
"Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard – really hard," Levatino recalled. "You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs."
He then described the most difficult part – extracting the fetus' head, which is about the size of a plum.
"You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix," he said. "That was the baby's brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you."
Besides the fact that making babies are necessary for the continuation of the human race, others argue that a high birth rate is a net boon for economic growth.
In the recently published, What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster, Jonathan Last cites evidence that nations flourish when their fertility rate is above replacement level, or higher than an average 2.1 babies per female. These nations flourish because they invest resources in their young and have higher rates of innovation, Last explained.
At a recent conservative conference where Last was a panelist, he also pointed out the dilemma faced by liberals like Arth and Covert when they argue in favor of fewer babies. Many of the government programs that liberals support, such as Social Security and Medicare, depend upon a high fertility rate because they are paid for by a younger generation for the benefit of an older generation.