Why is Abortion Ban a socio-economic issue for the US?

From outside, abortion ban in the US might look like a social issue for women. But the stakes are much higher than before. It was on Jan 22, 1973 when abortions were allowed everywhere in the US. Before that only 5 states – Colorado, California, Oregon, North Carolina and Hawaii allowed abortions. Rest all the nations were more or less in the favour of abortion ban.

What made ‘Abortion Ban’ Illegal in 1973?

US Homicides (1995) was expected to rise atleast by 15%~30% by next decade. President Clinton with several criminologists, analysts had suggested the same. But to their surprise, teen homicides went down and it fell to 50% within the next 5 years.

By year 2000, crime had fallen to its lowest in the last 35 years. In fact, rates of all sorts of crimes had fallen down. It was very surprising for everyone. What could possibly be the reason?

Most of them said the it was due to the economic growth. Everyone prospered, there were jobs, less unemployment. But it certainly was not the case. Reduction in unemployment was just 2% while inflation was still high. This was not an overnight success. This process began 20 years ago by a woman named Norma McCorvey from Texas.

It was the time when abortion was not legalized in the whole US. Norma McCorvey wanted to abort her baby since she had no means to suppport a kid and she had already put her 2 kids for adoption before. But in Texas and a few more states, it was illegal.

She fought and won the case against Henry Wade, the Dallas County district attorney and ultimately the case went to the Supreme Court of the US, legalising abortion on Jan 22, 1973.

There have been studies conducted over decades that suggest that a child born in a hostile and adverse environment is more likely to become a criminal. The case of Norma McCorvey helped millions of poor, unmarried and teenage women to abort the baby.

It was an important step since women in such tough condition cannot raise a child and give that child basic needs such as education, food and sanitation. Children born in such adverse conditions are more likely to end up becoming criminals.

Freakonomics Book on US Abortion
Freakonomics gives a much detailed explanation

US Abortion After-Effects

This step also helped in reducing illegal abortions. Illegal abortions were still in practice and they were very costly. Norma McCorvey’s case led to affordable abortions at a much cheaper medical price. Now, instead of an illegal procedure that might cost $500, any woman could easily obtain an abortion, often for less than $100.

A study tells us that children who would have been born (if there was no legal abortion) was 50% likely to be born in poverty. Also, in 60% of the cases, the child would have only one parent.

In a study it was found that the propensity to commit crime doubles when you have a teenage mother or was raised by a single parent. Lack of maternal education is in fact the biggest reason why children end up in the criminal world. Hence abortion is a blessing in disguise for the US.

Since 1985, states with high abortion rates were 30% likely to have less criminal cases as compared to other states. In New York City itself, homicide rates fell from 30.7 per 100,000 people in 1990 to 8.4 per 100,000 people in 2000.

Final Thoughts on Abortion Ban

It is certianly a personal choice whether a person wants to keep a child or not. Making and executing laws on humans without a proper referendum does not make sense. Passing a law at a time when the economy in the US is not doing well and inflation being 41 year high, is not a well thought decision.

Women have lost lives while conceiving a baby, some were raped and some just made mistakes. Surely there needs to be a better law and time restriction for abortion because the baby in the womb also has natural rights. But banning abortion altogether does not make sense.

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