Researcher: Abortion is $38.5 Trillion Drag on the Economy

In its latest estimate on the economic impact of abortion, the Movement for a Better America is reporting that the abortion toll is projected to climb to a new high of 52,333,000 as of January 22, 2010, the 37th anniversary of Roe V. Wade.

The group also estimated that the economic impact has risen to $38.5 trillion in lost U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since 1970.

“This year alone, the impact involved another $2.45 trillion, or roughly equal to half the GDP of Germany and France combined,” said the Movement in a press release.

MBA President Dennis Howard, who has been researching the economic impact of abortion since 1992, said, “The number of lives lost to surgical abortion has reached 17% of the total U.S. population of 307,000,000.  So it’s not surprising that this year’s increase is equal to 17% of U.S. GDP.”

The estimates are based on average GDP per year since 1970 after abortion became legal in our largest states and the cumulative number of abortions.

The estimates do not include babies lost to abortifacients and contraception because of the lack of public data. Said Howard: “However, the economic impact of these is similar to abortion. My guess is they would double the impact based on abortion alone.”

Howard has been warning since the mid-1990’s that the US faced a major financial crisis based on ongoing demographic trends.  In 1997, he wrote: “I see little hope that we can avoid an eventual crash on Wall Street that will make the 1930’s looking like cashing in your cards after a bad game of Monopoly.”

He even gave percentages as to when a crash would occur. He wrote then: “I’d give it a 50% chance of happening by the year 2000, an 80% chance by the year 2010, and a 100% chance of happening by 2020.”

Howard cited the collapse of the former Soviet Union as an example of the impact of demographics on economies. “The main reason for their collapse was internal – 300 abortions for every 100 live births for decades … Right now, there are not enough younger women to reverse their population decline. They could lose another 40 million people by 2050.”

“Meanwhile,” he said, “the Muslim world is going in the other direction – with rates of natural increase 5 to 6 times higher than ours. They will own the second half of this Century unless we reverse course.”

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  • I always have a bit of a problem with this sort of research because it neglects the fact that, without abortion as an “option”, people would be less likely to engage in immoral activities like premarital sex and contracepted sex within marriage. If we knew there was no easy out to a pregnancy if it were to occur, then we’d be less likely to engage in baby-producing behaviors. That means that, if abortion were illegal, the total amount of illicit sex in this country would also be reduced, and it is therefore not accurate to assume that everyone who has been aborted since 1970 would have been born and would be contributing to the economy.

    It’s not that I take exception to Mr. Howard’s work; it’s just that the results are a little bit more nuanced than they have been presented.

  • aurit


    First, abortion isn’t an “option”.

    Second, your premise is incorrect. Since 1970, the ratio of babies per woman have dropped dramatically and continue to fall.

    Third, if we truly respected life, we would all have more children, not less. If we new of the value of a life, families would grow in size dramatically. Strong families, strong values, strong children, better society. No society has succeeded through the murder of their children.

    The numbers are based off of certain assumpions, I agree, but the point is valid.

    The spiritual cost of abortion and contraception is much higher than the financial cost.