FIRST ON FOX: Senate Republicans on the congressional Joint Economic Committee (JEC) released a report illustrating the true cost of abortion as liberals argue the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade would harm the economy.
Fox News Digital exclusively obtained the new report headed by the JEC’s Senate ranking member Mike Lee, R-Utah, that revealed the $6.9 trillion yearly economic hit from abortions.
“This report debunks the myth that the economy is any reason to perpetuate the tragedy of abortion,” Lee told Fox News Digital in a statement. “The termination of more than 63 million lives since Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided represents the loss of Americans with unique and unrepeatable potential.”
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“These abortions represent the loss of ideas and innovation, of families, communities and growth,” he continued. “Our economy does not benefit from the tragedy of abortion.”
The report points to arguments from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other pro-choice advocates who claimed that overturning the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision would harm the economy.
“Secretary Janet Yellen testified that restricting access to abortion ‘would have very damaging effects on the economy’ by harming women’s labor market outcomes and increasing the odds they fall into poverty,” the report reads.
“Similarly, an amicus brief signed by 154 economists for the ongoing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court case argued that abortion restrictions impose economic costs on women in terms of employment, educational attainment, financial distress, and other outcomes,” it continues. “These arguments overlook the far greater economic cost of unrestricted abortion when accounting for the lost lives of the unborn.”
The senators wrote that when applying “standard valuation methods used by government agencies to assess the costs and benefits of policy actions that affect mortality risks,” the U.S. saw a “32%” gross domestic product (GDP) cost “to unborn babies” in 2019, or “$6.9 trillion.”
“This cost is 425 times larger than the $16.2 billion loss in earnings that new mothers would be expected to incur over the first six years of the child’s life,” the report reads. “These estimates do not reflect broader economic costs of abortion beyond those incurred by unborn babies, such as reduced economic innovation and increased tax revenue for funding social programs.”
“While abortion remains an inherently moral issue, these findings counter the argument that abortion has a net economic benefit.”
The report analyzes the arguments from studies claiming abortion helps the economy by reducing the “motherhood penalty” on their earnings and increasing education and workforce retention.
The JEC Senate Republicans argue that the studies “fail to consider” abortion’s “greater cost, the increased risk of mortality of unborn babies,” and that economists “have developed rigorous methods for quantifying the cost of an increased risk of mortality, and federal government agencies use these values to estimate the costs and benefits of policies that involve mortality risk.”
“Specifically, a value of a statistical life (VSL) is estimated by observing the amount of wealth an individual must be provided in return for accepting an elevated risk of mortality. For example, if the average individual is willing to accept $10,000 to incur a 1 in 1,000 chance of death, the corresponding VSL would be $10 million.”
“In order to estimate the economic cost of increased mortality risk from abortion to unborn babies, we multiply the number of abortions in a given year by the VSL used by the Department of Transportation. In 2019 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were 629,898 legal abortions in the U.S., covering 47 states and the District of Columbia (excluding California, New Hampshire and Maryland).”
The senators wrote that by multiplying “the number of reported abortions by the $10.9 million VSL,” they estimate the 2019 cost alone “was $6.9 trillion, representing 32% of GDP that year.
“The $6.9 trillion cost of abortion to unborn babies far outweighs the labor market benefits of abortion which have been the focus of Secretary Yellen and other economists. As noted in the previous section, first time mothers see their earnings fall by an average of approximately $26,000 during the first six years of the baby’s life. If we apply this change in earnings to all mothers of the 630,000 aborted babies in 2019, abortion would prevent $16.2 billion in lost earnings during the first six years of the child’s life.”
“Abortion at its core is a moral issue rather than an economic one,” the report concludes. “But even in economic terms, arguments that abortion positively affects the economy fail to recognize the cost of abortion to unborn babies and to society more broadly. These costs far outweigh the short run labor market benefits of abortion frequently cited by economists and policymakers.”
Yellen was dunked on by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., during her latest appearance before the Senate Budget Committee, where she claimed abortion helped the economy.
During the hearing, Yellen discussed how the end of Roe v Wade, signaled by the recent Supreme Court draft opinion leak, would have damaging effects on the economy.
Yellen stated, “In many cases abortions are of teenage women, particularly low income, and often Black, who aren’t in a position to be able to care for children, have unexpected pregnancies, and it deprives them of the ability, often, to continue their education to later participate in the workforce.”
She continued justifying abortion by saying, “It means that children will grow up in poverty and do worse themselves.”
Scott interjected and cited his own experience growing up poor and Black as something he was ultimately grateful for. “I’ll just simply say that as a guy raised by a Black woman in abject poverty, I am thankful to be here as a United States senator.”
After their back and forth, Scott provided more of his perspective, saying, “My circumstance is like so many others. Millions and millions of kids being raised in poverty by single parent households who happen to be Black. Telling Black teenage moms that there is only one alternative for them is a depressing and challenging message.”
Fox News Digital’s Gabriel Hays contributed reporting.