By Mark Crutcher – originally published July 23, 2012
In the first few years after its legalization, studies were taken to determine the cost of an abortion. The findings were that the price of a first-trimester procedure was generally around $350. The interesting thing is, that figure has changed little since then. To put this in perspective, even if we ignore the fact that prices have probably risen faster in medicine than in any other area of the economy, applying the basic rate of inflation shows that an item purchased for $350 in 1973 costs almost $2,000 today.
So the question is, with no competition and a seemingly reliable demand, why has the abortion industry not been able to raise prices in almost 40 years?
The answer is that, contrary to what the abortion lobby would have us believe, the demand is not reliable. In any marketing environment, buying decisions can be categorized on a “marginal / non-marginal” scale. On one end of the scale are decisions based solely on “want” (marginal) and, on the opposite end are decisions based solely on “need” (non-marginal.) Buying a ticket to a baseball game is an example of a marginal decision because it is a decision based on want. On the other hand, if a business owner cannot operate his business without a forklift, his decision to purchase one is based on need and is, therefore, non-marginal.
One significant factor in determining where a product falls on this scale is the degree to which consumers might reject it because of price. The more price-sensitive a product is, the more marginal is the decision to buy it. Using the previous examples, a rise in the price of baseball tickets will decrease their sales more than a proportionate rise in the price of forklifts will decrease their sales. This “marginality” scale applies to all purchasing decisions, including the decision whether to “purchase” an abortion or not.
Since day one, the abortion industry has pushed this idea that when a woman does not want to be pregnant she will crawl through hell on broken glass to get an abortion. In other words, their contention is that the abortion decision is a non-marginal one.
For that to be true, it would have to also be true that the cost of abortions does not significantly impact the abortion rate. The problem is, the evidence does not support this. In April of 1988, the financial publication, Economic Inquiry, Vol. XXVI, published a study about the relationship between abortion cost and abortion rates and concluded that, “The significant inverse relationship between the price of abortions and the abortion rate confirms that the fundamental law of demand is applicable to abortions.”
Other independent studies have also documented that, as the cost of abortion goes up the demand for abortion goes down. In addition, Colorado abortionist, Warren Hern, reinforced this conclusion during a May, 1997, annual convention of the National Abortion Federation held in Boston, Massachusetts. At a workshop regarding the use of ultrasound in abortion, Hern complained that paying for an ultrasound machine would increase the cost of an abortion by $25. He went on to say that such an increase would cause patient loads at abortion clinics to “plummet.”
Hern was not merely confirming the argument that price affects the abortion rate, he was going much further and stating that even small increases in price have an overpowering impact. By the way, Hern is no novice in this area. He is the author of the textbook, Abortion Practice, that is almost universally considered to be the definitive publication on abortion and abortion provision.
The point is, whether it’s these studies or the comments of Warren Hern, the consistent message is that the abortion lobby’s “hell on broken glass” rhetoric is a self-serving fabrication and that the abortion decision is often a highly marginal one. If that were not the case, a $25 price increase would not significantly impact abortion rates much less cause the number of women having abortions to “plummet.”
This represents a very sticky dilemma for the abortion industry. The obvious solution to their current economic woes would be to raise prices to reflect their increased costs even if that meant making more money off fewer procedures. But the abortion lobby knows that is not a viable option. They have always been aware that, in order to maintain abortion’s legality, they need the political and cultural inertia created by a high abortion rate. This has put them in a kind of “Catch 22” situation. They need higher prices to financially survive, but those higher prices would lower the abortion rate and threaten their political survivability.
In a nutshell, that is why the abortion industry has not raised prices for almost 40 years. Meanwhile, the cost of doing business has risen dramatically. The result is that the $350 abortion that was so profitable in 1973 dollars, is a stone-cold loser in 2012 dollars. What this means, and what the abortion lobby has known for several years, is that their future depends on finding a way to raise their prices without lowering abortion rates.
Enter Barack Obama.
Make no mistake about it, one of the primary motivations behind this guy’s obsession with socialized medicine is government-funding of abortion. In fact, a model for what his administration intends to do already exists.
Imagine two women sitting in an abortion clinic waiting room. They are the same age, in the same state of health and their pregnancies are at the same gestational stage. The only significant difference between them is that one is paying cash and the other has a health insurance policy that covers elective abortion. After their babies have been exterminated and their corpses tossed in the dumpster, the first woman will be out the clinic’s door for the usual $350 or so. However, the other woman’s insurance company will be lucky to escape with anything less than a $3000 claim to pay.
This is a scenario that is repeated every day at abortion clinics all across the country. It is also a peak into what Obamacare is all about. The Obamanazis figured out a long time ago that the abortion industry’s only hope for survival is for socialized medicine to convert every $350 patient-paid abortion into a $3000 taxpayer-paid abortion. Equally important is that, since customers will be getting their babies butchered at no charge, the abortion rate is not going to drop. In fact, it’s going to skyrocket.
To put it bluntly, Obamacare is a permanent stimulus package for the abortion industry.
Now, if you think I’m baying at the moon here, let me take you back to December of 2009 when this debacle was being fought out in Congress. With only a few hours left before the Christmas recess, it looked like America was going to dodge this bullet. Despite all the greasy politics, arm-twisting, semi-veiled threats, naked bribery, sweetheart deals in smoke-filled rooms and other assorted criminal activities being committed by the Obamanazis, they were still a couple of votes shy. The problem was that several Democrats were holding out over concerns that Obamacare was going to pay for abortions.
Obama and his fellow travelers were assuring them that this was not the case. Of course, this could not be verified since no one had actually seen the bill and, furthermore, they were not going to see it before voting on it. In one of the most arrogant and moronic things ever uttered by an elected official, Nancy Pelosi openly stated that Congress would have to pass the bill before the public would be allowed to see what was in it.
The crucial thing to note here is that this hang-up over abortion-funding could have been easily resolved. If the administration had not been lying, they could have simply allowed those rebellious Democrats to add a one paragraph statement to the final bill specifically prohibiting any funding for abortion. Had they done that, these guys would have shuffled back onto the reservation and passage would have been assured.
But the Obamanazis were lying. They knew abortion funding was written into the bill’s language and that such a paragraph would wipe it out. Since they were not willing to give up on one of the fundamental goals of this monstrosity, they had to stick with their argument that we should all just blindly trust them when they said that the bill would not pay for abortions. In effect, a blank contract was shoved in front of Congress and a pen was forced into their boney hands.
This strategy worked because, to no one’s surprise, the so-called “pro-life Democrats” eventually wimped-out, stopped questioning Obama’s lies and signed where they were told to sign. As is common in the political arena, when the choice is between principle and ambition, the latter is usually chosen. And so it was. Today, the bill is available for all to see and now everyone can know what the pro-life movement knew all along. Abortion funding is included.
In the final analysis, it is simply a fact that Obama was prepared to flush his crown jewel legislation down the toilet rather than take abortion funding out of it. The fancy rhetoric he used during the debate may have been about people suffering and dying because they are being denied basic healthcare. But his actions made it clear that he would write these people off without blinking an eye, unless a government bailout for Big Abortion was part of the deal.
Like I always say, to understand the abortion issue just follow the money trail.
Mark Crutcher is the producer of the documentary: Maafa21 Black Genocide in 21st Century America, president of Life Dynamics, Inc., a national pro-life organization located in Denton, Texas and host of the pro-life TV talk show: Life Talk.