<So, putting GDP on one axis and ex-fetus (feti?) on the other, what is the shape of that curve?>
Let’s put this into Macroeconomic terms.
Every child born requires inputs (education, medical) and eventually produces outputs (work product on the positive side, crime on the negative side).
If I was plotting this on a chart, I would not use GDP since the services (teachers, doctors) add to GDP even when the child costs society. I would look at net economic contributions.
I would plot the children with two different categories: wanted and unwanted (children which the mother would prefer to abort but did not have access to the abortion service).
I would chart the mothers similarly: women who had children they wanted and women with a child they wanted to abort but were forced to bear and raise the child. Earnings would be positive, while public expense would be negative. The net contribution or deduction would be integrated over a lifetime.
It is very clear from the past 40 years of history that women who want their children have more successful children who (on average) grow up to be more productive members of society than unwanted children. A good case has been made that the crime rate fell about 20 years after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.
“We estimate that crime fell roughly 20% between 1997 and 2014 due to legalized abortion. The cumulative impact of legalized abortion on crime is roughly 45%, accounting for a very substantial portion of the roughly 50-55% overall decline from the peak of crime in the early 1990s.”
The 1972 Rockefeller Commission on “Population and the American Future” cites a 1966 study which found that children born to women who had been denied an abortion "turned out to have been registered more often with psychiatric services, engaged in more antisocial and criminal behavior, and have been more dependent on public assistance.
Many women who choose abortion can’t afford to raise a child (or another child if they already have children). Forcing a woman to bear a child she would rather abort almost always results in lower living standards for the woman, possible loss of job and burden on Medicaid and other public aid programs. Many of these women are unmarried since usually a husband helps support the family.
Despite the fact that cohabiting parents are younger and less educated than solo parents, they are still far less likely to be poor. All told, 16% of unmarried parents living with a partner are living below the poverty line, while about one-fourth (27%) of solo parents are. In comparison, just 8% of married parents are living in poverty. Married parents who are not living in poverty are much less likely to want to abort a child.
The chart of benefit vs. cost to society would be very clear.
The mother with the wanted child: The mother’s contribution would decline as long as she remained home with the child. This could be as short as a few weeks if she quickly returned to work. If the family has a working dad (and/or mom) and health insurance the family would pay for the child’s food, shelter and medical care. The locality would pay for education. The child would likely grow up to be a productive adult and add to economic activity. The area under the curve would be strongly positive when integrated over the child’s life.
The mother with the unwanted child: Some 75% of abortion patients in 2014 were poor (having an income below the federal poverty level of $15,730 for a family of two in 2014) or low-income (having an income of 100–199% of the federal poverty level).
A poor woman who has an unwanted child will be a tremendous burden on the state. She and the child will need to be provided with food, financial support and medical care. Like the wanted child, the unwanted child will cost the state to be educated. But the unwanted child will have more need for public assistance and will have a higher risk of criminal behavior, further costing the state. The area under the curve would be less strongly positive (and possibly negative) when integrated over the child’s life.
I worked in the X-ray department and the phone counseling department of an abortion-providing hospital in 1973 when New York was one of the few states to provide legal abortions. I spoke with and met many of the women who came for abortions. These women did not want to have their child. They would not have been good mothers if forced to have the child since they were too young, not married, resentful, etc.
Even a pro-life writer recognizes the harmful effect that banning abortion will have on the American economy. He’s OK with that for his religious reasons, but the objective analysis shows that abortion is good for the Macro economy.
I believe in the First Amendment. I believe that rational, not religious, factors should regulate abortions. The woman should have full control of her own body. If she belongs to a religion that disapproves of abortion she is free to NOT have an abortion. But the government should not be able to force women to follow the rules of other religions. Especially since the objective data shows that that elective abortion is beneficial for the economy and society as a whole.