CBO: Late-Term Abortions Average One Per Hour In U.S.; Calculates 'Cost' of Letting Babies Live

Terence P. Jeffrey | January 21, 2015 | 12:23pm EST
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Human being (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - In its “cost estimate” of the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” released yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that about 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year in the United States in abortions that take place at 20 weeks or later in pregnancy.

That works out to an average of 27.4 late-term abortion per day or 1.14 per hour.

The CBO made the estimate as it tried to calculate how much it would “cost” the federal government if Congress enacted the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits killing unborn babies at 20 or more weeks into pregnancy--unless the baby who is going to be killed was conceived through a reported rape or incest against a minor, or if the life of the mother is at stake.

The CBO determined that estimating an exact dollar cost to the federal government for prohibiting people from killing babies late in a pregnancy is difficult to do.

“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,” said the cost estimate.

Eleven states prohibit abortion after 20 weeks, according to CBO, and another 31 states "prohibit abortions occuring at later points during a pregancy."

CBO said it cannot know for sure how many babies would be spared death by the bill.

“The number of those abortions that would be averted and therefore result in additional births under H.R. 36 is highly uncertain,” says CBO. “That number would depend on how the women who would otherwise have such abortions responded to the restriction. If almost all of those women responded by having abortions before 20 weeks, there would be few additional births relative to current law. On the other hand, if the majority of women who would have sought abortions after 20 weeks chose instead to carry their pregnancies to term, then the number of additional births would be greater.”

In the end, CBO "assumed" that most women who would otherwise terminate the lives of their unborn children in the 20th week or later, would--if the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act were enacted--terminate the lives of these children earlier in pregnancy.

“For this estimate, 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,” say CBO.

Under CBO’s assumption “the remaining one-quarter” of those estimated 10,000 babies "would be taken to term"--that is, not killed by an abortionist. That means that, under CBO's assumptions and estimates, each year 2,500 human beings would be allowed to live instead of being terminated in a late-term abortion.

Based on its conclusion that the cost of not killing babies in late-term abortions would come “primarily” through Medicaid, CBO then estimates to be the "cost" to the federal government of allowing these 2,500 babies per year to live.

“As a result, we estimate that the increase in federal costs for Medicaid would total $235 million over the 2015-2025 period,” says CBO. “However, there is a wide range of uncertainty around that central estimate. CBO estimates that the budgetary effects on other programs would be negligible.”

So the “uncertain” financial cost of allowing 2,500 unborn babies per year (or 25,000 babies over ten years) to live rather than subjecting them to a late-term abortions is $235 million. That works out to a cost of $9,400 to the federal government for each innocent life saved.

CBO says there would also be a cost to state governments.

“Since a portion of Medicaid is paid for by state governments, CBO estimates that state spending on the program would increase by about $155 million over the 2015-2025 period,” says the cost estimate.

That works out to about $6,200 for each of the 25,000 innocent lives saved.

The CBO did not estimate at all what the nation would lose if the government allowed the deliberate killing of these 25,000 babies.

On Tuesday, the White House issued a statement saying that President Obama will veto the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if it passes Congress.

Prohibiting the killing of unborn babies 20 weeks or later into pregnancy, the White House said, "would unacceptably restrict women's health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman's right to choose."

The White House suggested that killing an unborn child late in pregnancy is part of a woman's "right to privacy" and "right to choose" and is protected by the Supreme Court's interpretation of the U.S. Constitution--at least for the last four decades.

"Over the past forty years, since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has affirmed a woman's constitutional righ to privacy, including the right to choose," said the White House. "H.R. 36 is a direct challenge to the Supreme Court's holdings on abortion."

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