In this section, I will be investigating the economic aspect of this question by looking into research which proves that women who are denied abortions are more likely to become unemployed, to be on public welfare and to be below the poverty line, proving that being denied an abortion is bad for the economy. I will also discuss opposing ideas by Laura Antkowiak which show that abortion is bad for the economy.Foster et al conducted a research project which aimed to examine the effects of receiving versus being denied a wanted abortion on women’s socioeconomic well being by following a group of women who all sought abortions, some of whom were denied services.
They used data from the Turnway Study, which was a year longitudinal study of women who presented for abortion care in the United States between 2008 to 2010.The results showed that women who were denied abortions and consequently gave birth had higher odds of poverty 6 months dater denial than women who received abortions; women denied abortions were also more likely to be in poverty for 4 years after denial of abortion.
Six months after denial of abortion, women were less likely to be employed full time and were more likely to receive public assistance than were women who obtained abortions, differences that remained significant for 4 years.This research concluded that women who were denied abortions were more likely than were women who received an abortion to experience economic hardship and insecurity lasting years. This study had several notable strengths. Methodologically, researchers used a sample of women who wanted abortions, comparing women who arrived just before the gestational age limit to women who arrived just after. By doing this, they were able to isolate the effects of receiving a wanted abortion, separate from need or desire to receive an abortion. This eliminates the confounding variables related to whether a pregnancy was unwanted, thus increasing the reliability and validity of the study. In this way, the researchers can be sure that economic hardship resulted from carrying the unwanted pregnancy to term rather than because they were denied an abortion. Additionally, the researchers took into consideration many factors that may have affected the economic status of these women, including their household size, whether the women was living with adult family members, with a male partner or neither, household income of all adults living with the respondents etc. They assessed employment in terms of full time, part time and not employed and operationalised poverty as at or below 100% of that specific year’s US Census Bureau Federal Poverty Line (FPL). By controlling these variables, they were able to objectively study the link between abortion and poverty. Operationalising poverty ensured that the researchers properly assessed whether the participants could be deemed poor or not. This increases the reliability of the study. However, this study also had several limitations. The participation rate in this study was 37.5%. This makes the study less representative and generalisable to the population.Additionally, while differences in employment at baseline were controlled, marked differences were still found in trajectories of poverty and public assistance over time between women who received abortions and those who did not.Laura Antkowiak, NRL Research Assistant responded with aim to show that abortion is bad for the economy. She argued that pro abortionists show us the expenses and burden of raising a child on a mother and on economy via welfare but ignore the fact that children eventually grow into adults who ultimately benefit the economy. They work and pay taxes, or otherwise spend, save, invest, and innovate. Economists attest that even before these children reach adulthood, their very belonging to a large and growing population spurs economic growth.’ (Antkowiak par8) She outlined points to support her argument that abortion is harmful to our economy. First, the idea that the less babies born results in fewer consumers, less demands for goods and services and less jobs. She supports this claim with a reference by Paul Samuelson who notes that a growing population leads to higher levels of spending and may therefore lower unemployment. She also highlights Author Lawrence F Roberge’s point linked to less consumerism. He explained that fewer children means fewer consumers of child-specific items e.g diapers, fewer jobs e.g for teachers paediatricians etc and a decline for industries which are geared towards the needs of children. She also quoted the economist Julian Simon who noted that in developed countries, children bring a positive return on the money invested in them about 35 years after their birth as well as increasing mobility, adaptability and productivity. Simon stated that “in the long run, the most important economic effect of population size and growth is the contribution of additional people to our stock of useful knowledge. This supports the idea that abortion robs us of the resources of over 40 million people. To further support this, Laura included a reference by economist, Jacqueline Kasun who showed that even poor children return 3.7 times what was spent on her and her mother in cash welfare and food, housing, and medical assistance in taxes.Antkowiak concluded by showing that rather than benefits, abortions have costs to our economy.These ideas can however be criticised using the idea that these 40 million individuals are not guaranteed to be useful to the economy. Women who seek abortions do not always do so because of financial constraints. It could instead be that they do not want nor have the time to take care of a child. In such cases where the pregnancy is forced to be brought to terms, it is unlikely that many of these children, raised in homes where they feel unwanted and or are neglected, will grow up to be productive and fruitful adults.This criticism however, does not justify abortion since there are many couples who wish to adopt children. In such scenarios where love, care and effort is rendered, it is expected that children will grow up and more likely contribute positively to the economy.The study by Foster et al showed the negative effects of being denied an abortion on the economic well being of women and society due to unemployment. However, these effects only lasted for approximately four years. The results showed women in the turnaway”birth group increased full-time employment relative to those in the near-limit group over time so that by 4 years, there was no statistically significant difference between groups (AJPH Research p.409) .The argument by Laura instead, shows the long term negative effect abortions have on the economy as society is denied millions of useful human resources. In conclusion therefore, Despite the criticism, Laura’s economic argument is still notably more significant than Foster’s as it depicts a more powerful effect on the economy.