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Among its apologists, abortion has long been heralded for its purported social benefits—just as birth control was before it. By preventing "unwanted" children from being birthed, abortion is supposed to reduce strain on the system and create better outcomes for those already born. To that end, California taxpayers foot the bill for more than half the state’s abortions. In 2014, that amounted to almost 90,000 abortions—all in the name of fiscal responsibility. If this rather macabre investment strategy really does produce better outcomes for the state, you wouldn’t know it. On the fiscal scale, California ranks 8th from the bottom, which is the exact inverse of where it ranks with regard to abortion. Only seven states and districts abort a higher percentage of their children than California.

Course - Number - Variables - Influences - State

I realize of course that an almost infinite number of variables influences a state's financial health. It would be naive to suggest that fiscal standing is directly attributable to abortion rates, but what if there is a symbiotic relationship between abortion and poverty? Last month the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released their abortion surveillance report for 2014. Overall, "the total number and rate of reported abortions decreased 2%, and the ratio decreased 7%." It's that last number—abortion ratio—which is the most important because it measures total abortions against live births, allowing us to calculate the percentage of pregnancies that end in abortion each year. Among CDC reporting districts, 16.7% of pregnancies ended in abortion in 2013 (excluding miscarriages) and 15.7% ended in abortion in 2014. While that continues to move the needle in the right direction, it's important to remember that when it comes to abortion, the United States is not a monolith.

The abortion ratio actually increased in 16 states/districts in 2014, stayed the same in North Dakota, and we...
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