The Selfish CEOs Who Support Abortion and Foolishly Undermine Capitalism

By Rob Schwarzwalder Published on June 13, 2019

This week, 185 CEOs published an open letter supporting completely legal abortion. The letter appeared as a full-page ad in the New York Times. Among the well-known companies whose heads signed the letter were Yelp, Bloomberg L.P., the Body Shop, H&M, and Ben & Jerry’s.

These business leaders were encouraged by what Fortune magazine calls a “behind the scenes” coalition of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, The American Civil Liberties Union, and Center for Reproductive Rights. In other words, a who’s who of America’s abortion lobby.

These people give capitalism a bad name. In fact, they reject the humane culture effective capitalism depends upon. They’re pulling the rug out from under their own feet.

Equality for Whom?

These industry titans operate under the title, “Don’t Ban Equality.” They claim that “restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers.”

Limits on elective abortion reduce their “ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.”

This sounds so very noble. That is, until you understand what it means. Let me translate: Without abortion, a lot of women will quit their jobs and there aren’t enough qualified people to replace them. So let abortionists dismember babies so their mothers can get back to work.

As I say, these people give capitalism a bad name. “Profit über alles” is their anthem. Short-term profits, that is.

I love America’s free market system. If anything, I wish it were freer. Capitalism has a unique advantage over every other economic system: It works. “There is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people,” wrote Milton Friedman, “that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”

It’s Going to Hurt Them

Capitalism isn’t a morality. It requires — it expects — a moral code, in particular Christianity’s respect for the dignity of every human being. Even if one rejects Christian faith, the burden to follow the basics of God’s moral law is written on every heart (Romans 2:14). Some of the people who have made our economy great are so occupied with next-quarter earnings that they disregard the most precious commodity of all: human life. “Thou shalt not kill,” even if killing will make you money.

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Ironically, their support for abortion-on-demand is going to hurt them, greatly, in years to come. America is already facing a shortage of well-qualified workers. If the majority of the 60 million children aborted since 1973 were still with us, many of them, now, with adult children of their own, that shortage would not exist. And for corporate America, a huge customer base would mean far greater growth and innovation and (here’s the magic word) profit.

But those 60 million aren’t with us. The Supreme Court made sure of that. Never mind the moral questions. This has very practical consequences for business. Bad ones.

Just this week, the Labor Department reported that we have just under 7.5 million job openings. That’s great news, as it shows that both corporate and personal consumers are buying our goods and services. The bad news, though, is that only about 5.8 million people are looking for work. And of them, a lot lack the basic education and training our high-tech economy needs.

What does this mean? We have an aging population that relies heavily on Social Security. We have fewer people working, and fewer qualified applicants, than our economy demands. That means a growing group of retirees and a shrinking group of workers who contribute to the Social Security system. The numbers look grim.

The upshot? Our economy is like a racehorse with hobbled legs. It can’t go as fast as it could because there aren’t enough people with the skills America needs.

Pro-Life Laws and CEOs

That’s why the recent passage of pro-life laws in a number of states is so horrifying to business executives. They are hard-pressed to find enough good people as it is. So if the women in their workforces can’t “take care of the problem” — have abortions — their productivity and profit ratios will suffer.

In the short term, that is. In the long term, they’d do better to discourage abortion and encourage families to have babies. Because more people is an economic good. More people working. More people buying.

But the CEO’s ad ends, “The future of gender equality hangs in the balance, putting our families, communities, businesses and the economy at risk.” Our families and communities at risk if women can’t abort their children? No. Our businesses? No. The economy? No. The signers’ short-term profits and their CEO’s compensation packages? Yes.

I’d like to recommend to the 185 CEOs that they watch a video by PBS’s Nova program called “Life’s Greatest Miracle.” Skip the opening few seconds of suggestive beach scenes and begin at about the one-minute mark. Remember: This is a secular program that is calling human development within the womb “a miracle.”

These corporate “equality” leaders might be moved by it. And, in being moved, might come to consider the truth of Jesus’s words: “What does it profit a man (or woman) to gain the whole world but lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).


Rob Schwarzwalder is a senior contributor at The Stream and a senior lecturer at Regent University.

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