Published October 10, 2022
Stacey Abrams has done it again. A few weeks ago, she attracted richly deserved pro-life criticism for suggesting that there’s no such thing as a fetal heartbeat. The sound you hear on the ultrasound, she claimed, is actually “manufactured” by men who want to control women’s bodies. A tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorist couldn’t have said it any better.
This week, she’s back in the news for suggesting that legal abortion is an important component of fighting inflation. “Having children is why you’re worried about your price for gas,” Abrams said. “It’s why you’re concerned about how much food costs. For women, this is not a reductive issue.”
On Morning Joe on Wednesday, Abrams was asked about the struggling economy and its importance to voters as Election Day nears.
“While abortion is an issue, it nowhere near reaches the level of interest of voters in terms of the cost of gas, food, bread, milk,” the host asked her. “What could you do as governor to alleviate the concerns of Georgia voters about those livability, daily, hourly issues that they’re confronted with?”
“You can’t divorce being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child,” Abrams replied. “We don’t have the luxury of reducing it, or separating them out.”
She went on to argue that legal abortion is an important component of the solution to economic woes: “Let’s not pretend that women — half the population — especially of childbearing age, they understand that having a child is absolutely an economic issue. It’s only politicians that see it as just another cultural conversation.”
Abrams’s comments came at an interesting time for me. On Wednesday evening, I gave a talk with Ryan Anderson at Bucknell University, where we discussed abortion and covered some of the arguments from our new book. During the Q&A session after our talk, at least a couple of the student questions hinged on a similar understanding to that of Abrams.
One student asked how we should think about the fact that abortion restrictions will disproportionately affect disadvantaged and low-income populations. Another asked whether we were concerned about how women’s “socioeconomic status” played into their supposed need for abortion.
In response to many of my past columns on abortion, I’ve received comments along the lines of, “Who’s going to pay for all these unwanted children if you get what you want?” and “Where’s your support for the government programs we’ll need to support all of these people?”
The assumption underlying these questions is clear: We need abortion because abortion solves money problems.
Abrams’s comment and the questions from Bucknell students reminded me in an eerie way of something I covered for NR several years back. In 2017, CBS News reported that Iceland was leading the world in “eradicating Down syndrome births.” It sounded as though the report would go on to explain how the country was pioneering a cure for the genetic disorder.
As it turns out, the “solution” was something much more gruesome: Iceland had gotten good at encouraging most pregnant women to receive prenatal genetic testing, and nearly 100 percent of Icelandic women who received a Down syndrome diagnosis chose abortion.
In short, Iceland wasn’t “eradicating Down syndrome” at all; it was eradicating people with Down syndrome. Abortion doesn’t eradicate inflation or poverty; it eradicates people.
Because legal abortion has been our governing policy for half a century, and because so many people have anesthetized themselves to the reality that abortion kills a living human being, many of our fellow citizens have no trouble arguing that we can solve economic insecurity by ending human lives.
Surely most of us would balk at the claim that ending global poverty is as simple as euthanizing the poorest people around the globe. Surely most of us would be disturbed if a politician suggested curing inflation by allowing families to kill off a child or two so as to have fewer mouths to feed.
We’ve lost sight of this truth when it comes to the child in the womb, but on some level, we all know that just societies don’t attempt to solve political problems or social ills by killing their citizens.
EPPC Fellow Alexandra DeSanctis writes on culture and family issues, with a particular focus on abortion policy and pro-life advocacy, as a member of the Life and Family Initiative.
Image from Gage Skidmore on Wikimedia via Creative Commons 2.0