Abortion in U.S. a $1 billion industry: study
May 4th, 2010
By Rick DelVecchio

Abortion in the United States has become a $1 billion-a-year industry quietly fostered over 40 years by a climate that is allowing related, morally suspect commercial offshoots to develop in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and life sciences, a new study alleges.


The author, Vicki Evans, Respect Life coordinator for the Archdiocese of San Francisco's Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns, says the legal ethic of abortion has become a "pervasive cultural ethos of abortion, reaching far beyond the immediate abortion participants to tarnish the very industries originally intended to benefit humanity."


"Legal and widespread abortion has made possible a host of clandestine business practices that thrive under the radar of the American populace," Evans says in a synopsis of her 72-page study. "Regulation and transparency are often avoided because of ideological fears of limiting access to abortion or of inviting scrutiny by opposing ideological groups. Thus, the commercialization of human beings as commodities persists."


Evans says abortion and its offshoots represent exploitation of the weak and vulnerable -- "the worst brand of injustice."


Evans wrote her study, "Commercial Markets Created by Abortion: Profiting From the Fetal Distribution Chain," as her thesis for her licentiate in bioethics from the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome.  She recently graduated summa cum laude. 


A certified pubic accountant, Evans used her financial background to follow the money trail in the abortion industry and related businesses.

“I wanted to come up with a body of knowledge that nobody else had thought of before,” she told Catholic San Francisco. “In following the money and seeing who gets paid for what and how much they get paid, and how unregulated these areas are, I found a lot of facts that a lot of people wouldn’t have noticed or wouldn’t have thought to look for.”


Among Evans' findings:


-- There were 1,787 abortion providers in the United States in 2005.


-- Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s abortion market share grew from 12% in 1997 to nearly 25% in 2008.


-- “PPFA presents a comprehensive case study on how business evolves to capitalize on changes in the law and the prevailing culture": During the 1990 through 2008 election cycles, the abortion industry made political contributions of $15.76 million. Of this amount, $12.61 million, or 80%, went to abortion-supportive Democrats running for office.


-- The predominant industries engaged in fetal tissue research are part of the emerging life-science industry: the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and biologics sectors. Commercial use of fetal tissue has historically revolved around the production of childhood vaccines but is now expanding into vaccines to treat flu, HIV and more.


-- The cosmetics industry, particularly the anti-aging market segment, is  a beneficiary of the growth of abortion. From miracle creams and emulsions developed using fetal-cell technologies, to face lifts and cosmetic procedures injecting aborted fetal tissue to promote youth and vitality, this business sector has an “enormous and increasing demand” for fetal cells and organs."


-- A fetal parts industry could not have developed without a legal and protected abortion structure. Millions of fetuses that are by-products of abortion cannot technically be bought and sold, but a market does exist


Evans concludes with an appeal to the dignity of life over utiliitarian considerations.


“Natural law dictates that there is something exceptional about man,” she writes. “The commercialization of human beings as commodities is contrary to the law written in his heart. The moral law does indeed have a bearing on the just ordering of society. When morality is excluded from a civil society, the weak and vulnerable are easily exploited for the benefit of the strong and powerful. This is the worst brand of injustice. It deserves to be brought to light.”


Listen to Evans describe how she approached her thesis topic.