With states and voters now free to decide abortion policies, it’s understandable that pro-choice politicians would be rolling out arguments for the broadest possible availability of the procedure. But what’s harder to understand is the recent phenomenon of Biden administration officials arguing not just that abortion access is a right but also that it’s a benefit to the U.S. economy.
Political advisers may already be wisely urging the White House not to address such a consequential personal decision with appeals to macroeconomics. But if Team Biden is determined to make it a math argument, there has hardly been a worse moment to make such a case.
The basic administration argument is that labor-force participation will be higher if people have more ability to end unwanted pregnancies. Given all of the pandemic-related Biden policies that have discouraged labor-force participation, one may question the depth of White House concern on this issue. But the administration’s argument is plausible for the immediate future. It’s also very shortsighted.
If one were to list the greatest economic challenges facing the United States, surely among the top items would be a massively indebted federal government with more than $30 trillion of acknowledged debt— and many trillions more in unfunded retirement entitlement promises—supported by a country that has been creating fewer future workers.
The craptacular Biden economic record should make anyone ignore what they have to say on any economic subject anyway. Add to that the continually declining labor participation rates that provide additional evidence that coast-to-coast legalized abortion wasn’t keeping women in the workforce.
The counterclaim, I suppose, is that women forced to raise children they otherwise would have aborted won’t care for their children before or after birth, making them burdens on society. To believe that you have to believe that a majority of such children (1) would have been born after a full-term pregnancy, (2) would not have been adopted by a family that wanted someone else’s unwanted child, and (3) wouldn’t have been raised the way children should be raised. Those who believe that the end of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey makes women nothing more than baby vessels might actually believe all that.