Social Security problems caused by abortion?

That’s quite the field of presidential wannabes the GOP is putting together. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, prepping for his unlikely run, is trying to appeal to the far right-wing of the Republican Party (also known as, well, the Republican Party) by saying that Social Security would be in better fiscal shape if only American women hadn’t aborted so many babies.

“The Social Security system in my opinion is a flawed design, period. But having said that, the design would work a lot better if we had stable demographic trends,” Santorum said in an interview with WEZS Radio in Laconia, New Hampshire. “A third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion.”

First of all, Social Security is actually in pretty good shape. In addition, Santorum overstated the number of abortions, saying one-third of pregnancies are ended by abortion. It’s actually less than 23 percent. Santorum was also incorrect when he said the U.S. “birthrate is now below replacement rate for the first time in our history.” According to, “Births were actually below the replacement rate for nearly a quarter of a century — from 1972 through 2005 — before exceeding the ‘replacement rate’ for the most recent two years on record.”

Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen made a good point, too, when he said that one way to address the population shortfall Santorum is complaining about – short of taking away women’s reproductive freedom – would be to liberalize U.S. immigration policies: “This really isn’t complicated. If there’s a population growth shortfall, and that poses institutional problems, then the answer is to fill it. We can’t un-terminate pregnancies, but we can bring in plenty of people — from a variety of countries — who are anxious to work in our country and pay taxes into our system.”

Listen to the interview here:


(Thanks to Kristen for the suggestion)

One Response to Social Security problems caused by abortion?

  1. Kristen says:

    Here’s the thing that gets me – from my admittedly limited experience, women who abort babies do so after making the gut-wrenching decision that there is no way they could bring the child into the world, much less raise it. So if these children were born, would they be born addicted and with lifetime physical and mental challenges because of it? To single mothers already on welfare? To women who have a chance at an education and career (rather than a G.E.D. and welfare) if they don’t have a child? To a situation including abuse? In other words, how many of these children would grow up destined for a lifetime of paying into Social Security, and how many would end up primarily a drain on the system? I am aware that many Republicans, especially the men, seem to think that women who choose to terminate pregnancies do so as flippantly as tossing away half a candy bar so it won’t make them fat, but I don’t think that the aborted fetuses are exactly on par with Santorum’s own seven children “doing our part to fund the Social Security system.”

    This is the primarily problem I have with most members of the Republican party – they look at this country and see only the way they think it should be, and have no plan whatsoever to deal with what really IS. If all these babies had been born and grown up, where would the jobs for THEM be?

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