Commentary

CBO Claims: A Late-Term Abortion Saves Feds $7,000

Terence P. Jeffrey
By Terence P. Jeffrey | January 29, 2018 | 4:36 PM EST

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (Screen Capture)

The federal government saves an average of about $7,000 for each unborn child 20 weeks or more into pregnancy it allows a doctor to terminate in his or her mother’s womb, according to a cold-blooded "estimate" published by the Congressional Budget Office.

If late-term abortions were prohibited, the CBO assumes, it would save the lives of about 2,500 babies per year, which, in turn, according to CBO’s assumption, would cost Medicaid an additional $175,000,000 over ten years.

That $175,000,000 equals $7,000 for each of the 25,000 late-term babies (2,500 per year) the CBO estimates would be saved from abortion over the same ten-year period.

The CBO made its cold-blooded calculations about the “cost” of saving a baby from late-term abortion in its cost estimate of the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” which the U.S. Senate is debating today.

The basic assumption of the CBO estimate is that allowing a baby to be born costs the federal government money because of the percentage of babies who are born on Medicaid.

“Because the costs of about 45 percent of all births are paid for by the Medicaid program, CBO estimates that federal spending for Medicaid will rise to the extent that enacting H.R. 36 results in additional births relative to current law,” says the CBO estimate. “In addition, some of those children would themselves qualify for Medicaid and possibly for other federal programs as well.”

While the CBO concedes “there is a wide range of uncertainty” in its estimate of what it “costs” the federal government to prevent a child from being aborted, it has made that estimate nonetheless.

The CBO estimate assumes that if the government makes it illegal to abort an unborn child at 20 weeks or more after conception, most women who would have had a late-term abortion will instead abort their baby earlier in pregnancy.

Specifically, the CBO suggests three possible scenarios that could take place if the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act were enacted and offers cost estimates for each of these scenarios. In the first, 90 percent of the women who would have had a late-term abortion abort earlier in their pregnancy instead. In the second, half opt for an earlier abortion. In the third, which the CBO offers as its “estimate,” three-quarters of the women have an earlier abortion instead.

“CBO expects that most women who would be affected by H.R. 36 would seek earlier abortions,” says the CBO estimate. “But how many women would do so is an important determinant of additional federal costs.

“For example,” says CBO, “if 90 percent of women who would have sought an abortion 20 weeks or more after fertilization instead were to seek earlier abortions, federal spending would rise by about $65 million over 10 years.

“If only half of those women were to obtain earlier abortions, then federal spending would rise by nearly $335 million over 10 years,” CBO continues.

“For this estimate,” CBO concludes, “CBO assumes that around three-quarters of abortions that would occur 20 weeks or more after fertilization under current law would take place earlier, before the 20th week restriction is triggered, under the act. As a result, we estimate that the increase in federal costs for Medicaid would total $175 million over the 2018-2027 period. However, there is a wide range of uncertainty around that central estimate”

This estimate is also based on the assumption that every year in America there are approximately 10,000 abortions at or after the 20th week of pregnancy.

“Based on data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CBO estimates that, each year, about 10,000 abortions take place 20 weeks or more after fertilization,” says CBO.

If there are 10,000 abortions at 20 weeks or later per year, and the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act stops one-quarter of them (2,500) while causing, as the CBO estimates, three-quarters of them (7,500) to be moved earlier in pregnancy, that means the act would save 25,000 babies from abortion over ten years.

Over the same 10 years, according to CBO’s estimate, “the increase in federal costs for Medicaid would total $175 million.”

So, using the numbers from CBO’s estimate, each of the 25,000 babies spared from a late-term abortion over the next ten years---because of the Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act—would cost the federal government an average $7,000 ($175,000,000 divided by 25,000).

If 90 percent were to seek earlier abortions, 10,000 babies would be spared from abortion over the next ten years. The $65,000,000 the CBO estimates that would cost Medicaid equals an average of $6,500 per baby.

If only 50 percent (half) seek an earlier abortion, 50,000 babies would be spared. The $335,000,000 the CBO estimates that would cost Medicaid equals an average of $6,700 per baby.

The bottom line: The United States has become a country where an official federal agency must calculate for members of Congress how much money it would “cost” the federal government to protect an innocent, defenseless fully formed child in his or her mother’s womb.

What is the true cost of not protecting that child? It cannot be determined by any economic analysis--especially one based on the false welfare-state assumption that human beings impose a net cost on government (when it is in fact the welfare state that imposes a cost on human beings).

The true cost is the loss of innocent lives.

If Congress fails to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, those responsible for blocking it will be guilty of approving the deliberate taking of innocent life. They will be sanctioning, according to the number CBO published, the annual killing of 10,000 unborn babies 20 weeks old or older.

They will be pushing America further away from the most fundamental right on which all freedom depends: The God-given right to life.

 

    


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