Wednesday on Morning Joe, Stacey Abrams, the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor of Georgia, suggested that abortion was a solution to high inflation rates. In reference to voter concerns about the cost of gas and food, she was asked “What could you do as governor to alleviate the concerns of Georgia voters about those livability, daily, hourly, issues that they are confronted with?” She responded by saying that “having children is why you are worried about the price of gas.” She then pivoted to some talking points in support of legal abortion.
Abrams’s comments demonstrate a poor grasp of economics and an even worse grasp of statistics. It is true that more births could increase the demand for certain household items. However, down the road, more workers will increase the supply of goods and services. Additionally, a look at U.S. data show that increases in the abortion rate have failed to reduce the inflation rate. Between 1973 and 1980, the U.S. abortion rate increased by approximately 80 percent. The inflation rate doubled over the same time period.
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Furthermore, it should also be noted that the U.S. successfully reduced the inflation rate without increasing the abortion rate. Between 1980 and 2000, the inflation rate in the United States fell from 13.5 percent to 3.4 percent — a decline of more than 10 percentage points. During the same time, the U.S. abortion rate fell by 27 percent.
Abrams’s comments reveal a larger problem facing Democrats this election cycle. Surveys show that voters are most concerned about inflation and the economy. Those issues play to the advantage of Republican candidates. Many Democrats are emphasizing abortion, hoping that the reversal of Roe v. Wade will mobilize “pro-choice” voters. However, a recent New York Times/Siena College poll found that only 5 percent of likely voters said that abortion was “the most important problem facing the country today.” Given that, the emphasis that Abrams and other Democrats are placing on abortion is both bad policy and bad politics.
LifeNews Note: Michael J. New is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice at the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America, an Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, and a Paige Comstock Cunningham Fellow at Americans United for Life.