Obamacare Architect Says Abortion is a Social Good

Over the last three weeks, MIT professor and Affordable Care Act (ACA) architect Jonathan Gruber has gone from being an academic, known mostly in policy circles, to the face of political dishonesty and manipulation. Gruber, who helped create and sell the ACA to the American people, has been caught on tape admitting—on multiple occasions—that the law was written to mislead the public.

But that’s not all that he’s done. As originally reported by Jerome Corsi, Gruber is the author of at least two separate reports arguing that legalized abortion has tremendous social benefit. His work also provided some of the foundation for the 2005 book, Freakonomics, which promoted the idea of abortion as a means of improving society’s children.

In a 1997 working paper, Gruber and two co-authors argued that “children born immediately after” the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision saw “improved” lives. From the paper:

“The average living circumstances of cohorts of children born immediately after abortion became legalized improved substantially relative to preceding cohorts, and relative to places where the legal status of abortion was not changing,” wrote the three co-authors, who compared the five states that had legalized abortion prior to Roe to those who had not. “Our results suggest that the marginal children who were not born as a result of abortion legalization would have systematically been born into less favorable circumstances if the pregnancies had not been terminated: they would have been 60 percent more likely to live in a single-parent household, 50 percent more likely to live in poverty, 45 percent more likely to be in a household collecting welfare, and 40 percent more likely to die during the first year of life.”

As such, wrote Gruber and his co-authors, the data “impl[ies] that the legalization of abortion saved the government over $14 billion in welfare expenditures through 1994.”

A 2009 version of the paper, also co-authored by Gruber, concluded that “marginal children” saw improved lives, including an “increased likelihood of college graduation, lower rates of welfare use, and lower odds of being a single parent.”

Gruber’s work wasn’t just seen by academics. The 2005 book Freakonomics—co-authored by another supporter of abortion as a social good, Steven Levitt—took its abortion section from Levitt’s 2001 paper, “The Impact of Abortion on Crime,” which argued that legalized abortion was responsible for a lower crime rate in the 1990s. And Gruber’s work greatly influenced that paper.

In the 2001 paper, Levitt and co-author John Donohue cited Gruber’s work on at least three occasions, calling the final 1999 paper “most similar to ours, [which] document[s] that the early life circumstances of those children on the margin of abortion are difficult along many dimensions: infant mortality, growing up in a single-parent family, and experiencing poverty.” They also note that “previous research has found that an adverse family environment is strongly linked to future criminality”—and Gruber’s paper was all about “adverse family environments.”

Levitt’s argument was, of course, found to have significant flaws in several areas, including its historical analysis and the impact of growing prisons on crime. But both Levitt and Gruber have provided an intellectual and academic foundation for the liberal idea that society benefits from the slaughter of the unborn—because, allegedly, taxpayers benefit, as do the would-be peers of aborted children.

However, in addition to being morally abhorrent, both men’s arguments fail to account for two political decisions made by the party of abortion that prove the inconsistency of their arguments.

First, Newsbusters found a strong link tying Gruber to the current effort to provide ACA health benefits to illegal immigrants—analysis and data provided by Gruber that could lead to Congressman Joe Wilson’s “You lie” cry in 2009 being totally and completely justified.

How is this relevant to Gruber’s pro-abortion argument? Nearly half of illegal immigrants have not graduated from high school, and their median income is 28 percent lower than that of native-born Americans, according to this brief from 2012.

In other words, it seems that Gruber—and President Obama, and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, who previously headed worldwide population control efforts for the Gates Foundation—think that babies born to poor American mothers aren’t worth the alleged “cost” because they tend to be less educated and poorer. But if you’re born somewhere else, come on in!

Additionally, a report released last week by Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector showed that the concerns expressed by Gruber about single families and poverty are exacerbated by the type of government policies enacted by the ACA.

According to Rector, issues like single motherhood are made worse by federal welfare programs, including Medicaid—which has been enlarged in many states through the ACA. Rector highlighted how “the overwhelming majority of assistance to families with children goes to single-parent households,” and two ways this hurts families.

First, said Rector, welfare reduces “the financial need for marriage.” In other words, the government takes the place of working fathers.

Second, said Rector, because welfare programs are designed to lower benefits as household income goes up, the programs are “actively penaliz[ing] low-income parents who do marry.” Again, the allegedly helpful programs incentivize single mothers to not marry because marriage brings in more income—and thus, reduces welfare benefits.

It is right and just that Gruber is under so much pressure for his comments about the “stupidity” of the American voter and the Obama administration’s lies about the ACA. It’s unfortunate that his ideology hasn’t just been limited to health care, but also to the destruction of the unborn.

Editor’s note: This column first appeared November 25, 2014 on the CNSNews.com website and is reprinted with permission.

Dustin Siggins


Dustin Siggins is the D.C. correspondent for LifeSiteNews.com and former blogger for Tea Party Patriots. He is co-author of the forthcoming book America's Bankrupt Legacy: The Future of the Debt-Paying Generation.

  • Vinny

    “Our results suggest that the marginal children who were not born as a result of abortion legalization would have systematically been born into less favorable circumstances if the pregnancies had not been terminated: they would have been 60 percent more likely to live in a single-parent household, 50 percent more likely to live in poverty, 45 percent more likely to be in a household collecting welfare, and 40 percent more likely to die during the first year of life.” Certainly no one from these circumstances ever contributed anything to society. The smarter (born) people know what’s best for everyone, born and unborn. Vanity of vanities.

    • Margaret in MI

      and corruption of corruptions, evil of evils,

    • Catholic pilgrim

      They think they’re gods, this Gruber & the other political cronies from this administration. Vanity of vanities, indeed. There is only one God our Creator who will come to judge all. Gruber & the other cronies think they can decide which lives to take (as if they had any right or authority). They’re so wrong. Arrogant, bloody cronies promoting the death of unborn children. If they knew what happens in the Second Coming… may God have mercy on us. Holy Innocents, pray for the repentance of these bloody men.

  • Vinny

    Reading 1 SIR 50:22-24

    And now, bless the God of all,

    who has done wondrous things on earth;

    Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,

    and fashions them according to his will!

    May he grant you joy of heart

    and may peace abide among you;

    May his goodness toward us endure in Israel

    to deliver us in our days.

  • Harry

    The very name AFFORDABLE Care Act is a lie. Just ask the millions who are now spending far more for less coverage with higher deductibles. All forecasts indicate that the health care many once enjoyed is going to become even less affordable than the ACA has already made it. In fact, if the ACA isn’t repealed, we may never again be able to afford the health care we had before the ACA.

    It was never about compassionate provision of health care to those who didn’t have health insurance. It was always about the expansion of governmental power and more intrusion into our lives where government has no legitimate business.

    If it wasn’t about statists’ power and control, why didn’t we simply let those who couldn’t afford health insurance be given vouchers good only for buying health insurance? What would have been wrong with letting them take their vouchers and go shop for a policy they felt met their needs? What is wrong with that for statists is that they wouldn’t be able to justify their noses being in the middle of one’s private affairs after one received the voucher — their job would be done. But they weren’t really after simply being sure everyone had access to health care; they were after more power and control to further the implementation of their godless social engineering.

    I am not at all against the state’s provision (ultimately taxpayer’s provision) of vouchers, good for purchasing health insurance only, to those in need. American’s pay for all kinds of federal, state and city projects and programs for which they never receive any direct benefit. Far more important than most of those projects and programs, in terms of the common good, is the general health of the population.

    Why would any rational Catholic want to hand health care over to a government that had abruptly withdrawn the protection of law from a vast segment of the human family — the child in the womb — after the death toll had already reached fifty million children? Why did the American bishops support the government injecting itself into the middle of the provision of health care when that government has claimed for itself the authority to sanction the killing of innocent human beings, and considers such killing to be a “medical” procedure? An orthodox Catholic wouldn’t want such a government involved in the provision of health care at all. What were the bishops thinking?

    • St JD George

      I generally refer to it as the UCA, I.e. The opposite, and I dislike the expression which includes the owners name because perversely it just serves to further inflate his ego.

      • Harry

        The day will come when the fact that it is his will humiliate him.

        • St JD George

          Can’t come fast enough

  • St JD George

    And this comes as a surprise? I’m pretty sure this attitude towards life is a litmus test for anyone to rub elbows with this admin.

    • RufusChoate

      Someone should mention your insight to Archbishop Cupich or is that your point?

      The “good” Archbishop doesn’t seem to care as much as a decent person should about Life unless it is prospective democrat voters imported from South America with the possibility of rich government contracts for servicing them.

      • St JD George

        “Good”, you are so funny, ha ha. Yeah, it’s like when he quotes scripture to justify the hypocrisy. It sounds so uncomfortable and unnatural it’s quite peculiar for the ear to hear. Oddly, he is much more at ease telling the planned parenthood convention “God bless you for all that you do”. Didn’t have the decency to finish the statement “… killing his Holy Innocents”.

  • Tony

    People like Gruber can never acknowledge the existence of goods which they cannot measure; and therefore they end up mistaking even those goods which they can measure. They cannot imagine that abortion alters the whole moral system of the people. They cannot imagine what a culture is. They are the essential Flatlanders.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Ethel Waters, actress, singer, Christian, child of rape born in a ‘marginal home’ and certainly as Hitler and Gruber would declare ‘lebensunwertens lebens’ – life unworthy of life.


  • Steph

    “In other words, it seems that Gruber—and President Obama, and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, who previously headed worldwide population control efforts for the Gates Foundation—think that babies born to poor American mothers aren’t worth the alleged “cost” because they tend to be less educated and poorer. But if you’re born somewhere else, come on in!”

    Another, more disturbing possibility is that they want immigrants hooked into the ACA precisely because it is a form of population control disguised as free healthcare.

    • Harry

      “… they want immigrants hooked into the ACA precisely because it is a form of population control disguised as free healthcare.”

      Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. One cannot expect Obama, who opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, who couldn’t find it in his heart to give an innocent baby a break, to have any genuine compassion for the poor. He is a puppet of the godless social engineers who fund and/or run Planned Parenthood, whose founder, Margaret Sanger, was a blatant racist and eugenicist, who advocated eliminating the Black population, and who thought the poor masses “should have never been born.”

  • RufusChoate

    The Lefts most common phenotype after the insatiable lust for power is the endless drive to murder the innocent and weak. It isn’t an accidental outcome of their beliefs for a greater “good” but the primary motive for their belief.

    Nothing is more intoxicating to them than mass murdering the defenseless hence when even their regimes are in terminal decline the one apparatus of the state that remains in operation is this mechanism of murder. Lot at the French Revolution, Bolshevik rule and the National Socialist. The last remnant of the regime to die was the gulag.

  • Shootist

    That leftists and progressives hold such notions is not surprising. Nancy Reagan and George HW Bush were pro-abortion, Nixon was pro-abortion. It didn’t become a partisan issue until our political masters decided it was.

    • RufusChoate

      There is a strong eugenics contingent in the Country Club wing of the Republican party that is sourced from the Left because that was the common social milieux they existed in. It was a common belief in the 1960’s that the source of all the world’s problems were related to over population.

      Reagan signed and promoted one of the most lenient abortion laws in the country in the 1960’s based on the bad scientific understanding of embryology and fetal development. Being wrong in the 1960’s was understandable for the uninformed but remaining wrong 50 years later is an act of the will for evil.

      • Shootist

        I call them the Establishment and their membership in that group is more important to them than being Left or Right, democrat or Republican.

  • St JD George

    Very astute article, it’s amzing how many people don’t recognize the destructive nature of this statist and quite frankly inhuman ideology. Maybe if we spent as much energy leading others to Christ and helping them acquire life skills (other than as professional agitators like the most unreverend Al Sharptounge) they’d have a brighter future. What the modern lib philosophy has done for these people is nothing short of horrific.

    • Trazymarch

      Actually isn’t it more utilitarian ideology?

      • St JD George

        Very astute of you, too.

  • fredx2

    “Marginal Children” – you mean like Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Larry Ellison (Oracle Software), Steve Jobs, Louie Armstrong, and many, many more. That’s just off the top of my head. This guy would have aborted each of them.

    • RufusChoate

      The Left believes in that all life is interchangeable and that these men took the opportunities that more deserving Ivy League school graduates were entitled to.

    • Siwash

      Wow. Your list makes an impact

    • Objectivetruth

      Christ was a “marginal child”, being born in a cave. One wonders if the likes of Gruber and his ilk would have persuaded Mary to pay a visit to the local Planned Parenthood due to her impoverished socioeconomic status.

      • Caritas06

        Undoubtedly, he would have. Both the Romans, Herod, and allegedly, Caiaphas, held that it was better for a few to die, for the higher good of a nation, a ruler orpeople. Gruber’s argument is just eugenics re-cycled from the 20’s ( or maybe even from Malthus ) – never to be applied to the “well-born” aka “have” classes.

  • Joe Krozac

    So, Gruber says “abortion is a social good”?

    Fine Gruber, go get yourself a retroactive abortion, you worthless s0nuvab*tch.

  • littleeif

    Here is the hidden seam of the “seamless garment”. To say that it is time to quit putting so much emphasis on life issues and to refocus on economic and social justice issues assumes a false dichotomy between the two. With all due respect, I suggest Pope Francis among others has missed the point, perhaps still living in the economies of a past era. It’s no longer Communism vs. Socialism vs. Capitalism, rich vs. poor, any more than it’s aristocracy vs commoner. It’s who is permitted by whom to live, to consume, how much and for how long. Today’s economies are built around abortion and, soon, euthanasia. Abortion IS economics. Any coherent discussion of economic or social justice must first account for life.

    And as an aside, I can only wonder when will the generation that brought the Catholic Church the excesses of the aftermath of Vatican II, now in their seventies and eighties, still fighting the causes of the past finally make an end of those fights? There is a new battle before us, and it is a struggle for life itself.

  • realist

    Gruber no doubt would have felt very comfortable last century wearing a Nazi uniform.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    My own studies suggest that our society would be generally better off with a 60% reduction in university faculty, beginning at MIT and the Ivy League. 1930s Germany had the most highly educated society in the world, yet one of the most evil governments in human history had no difficulty in gaining support of the majority. I would choose to live with “stupid Americans” any day. It is clear that Mr. Gruber would be quite comfortable with the Nazi Party of the 1930s.

    • Trazymarch

      Paraphrasing certain thinker- “Quantity transforms into mediocrity”

    • Guest

      “Die Gelehrten, Die Verkehrten.” The learned are easily corrupted.

  • Maybe Gruber and Levitt could propose an abortion rate that would most improve the succeeding cohorts of children; and among what groups abortion should be most encouraged/ discouraged.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    Many people like Gruber are not only eugenicists, but Malthusians, who believe that, without culling, population growth will outrun available resources.

    I am old enough to remember when Hong Kong was flooded with refugees from Communist China in the 1950s. A local UN official declared that it could only survive through massive Western aid and the resettlement of refugees elsewhere. An American newspaper proclaimed Hong Kong a dying city, and the British grimly entitled the lead chapter in their annual Hong Kong yearbook, “A Problem of People.”

    At the end of British rule, Hong Kong had a population of about seven million people — more than five times the number the government declared to be Hong Kong’s optimum “carrying capacity” back in 1954. It also happened to be one of the most prosperous places in Asia, attracting thousands of foreign workers, including Americans and Europeans

  • M.J .

    We need not be surprised , for we likley are dealing with persons who are born into families where there has already been the demonic sacrifice of abortion , which invites in the dogs of spirits of Ahab-Jezebel , with its stubborn like withcraft refusal to admit the truth about the well known effects of abortion , that detrimentally can affect the parenst for years afterwards , in the form of broken relationhsips, cancers, depressiosn, eating disorders , heart attacks .
    We are probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg of the social effects, since the powers be would not want such truths known – is the pornography epidemic and its own effects in afflicting young minds, making them even ‘possessed’ like Ted Bundy
    ( ? was MIcheal Brown too – look at the cost to the nation from just two of these ! ) or making them into zombies who loose zest for life and its joy and power in The Lord !
    Thank God for the Prolife movements and its efforts to share the truths , for family healing programs that bring to light the devastating hold that these portals of the enemy can have on family lines !
    Thank God for the Holy Father , for his words on dignity for the poor and for the human persons ; hopefully , enough hearts would turn to Him and He can bless us with seeming mountains of overpopulation, that a mustard seed of afith would do away with ;
    we humans , acording to saints such as St. Faustina , have been made to take up the place of the angels and once that is done , the creation itself would be folded up !
    Mother of untainted Purity ,take hold of hearts !

    • M.J .

      Meant to say, we humans have been made to take up the place of the fallen angels , as per the insights of certain saints .
      God knows what resources and for how long we would need – true, as the Holy Father too reminds , we have to be responsible and prudent , beginning with accepting what he calls the ‘trancedentant dignity ‘ of the person, which ,in turn can itself make a little go a long way too !
      The words in Book of James, about selfish ambition, envy, wisdom that is not of this world but is demoic , every disorder – all these words too possibly applicable to the coercion, esp. for the poor , to not trust in God about the lives of themselves or their children and families but to only trust in an evil minded regime – no wonder we also are seeing more flash violence when the regime seems to fail , in any manner , the false godlike powers that have been promised by promoting the grabbing of such roles, over lives !
      One only need to shudder to think what might be if a real social mishap ,even weather related, comes upon us !
      Could it even be that the powers be are not unaware of these connections but are hoping for the excessvive controls that can be had , from these deceptive maniplualtions and seeming control over lives !

      The antilife agneda of the other disorderly movement in our midst also possibly connected , to this fear and hatred of life ; addictions too likely a related issue ; looking Russia and her social ills , including the antipathy towards God , which too is what is promoted in an abortion culture – no need to look naywhere else if any need an icon of the social good of what these persons want this country to be like too !

  • John O’Neill

    Nancy Pelosi , an Americanized Catholic, in good standing with the USCCB openly declared that to her form of Catholicism abortion was a sacred thing. Joe Biden, another Americanized Catholic in good standing with the USCCB, has spent most his political life defending and supporting abortion on demand. Why is it news that a democrat operative thinks that abortion is a social good? Maybe the USCCB could at some point declare how it stands on abortion and then we could criticize the democrat party, the party of most of the Americanized bishops.

  • Christian

    The agenda threads of progressive marxism include euthanasia coming from Europe statistically increasing and including children. Radical sex ed being inserted into every subject practically in k-12, ahead in Canada ( see Prof Ben Levin accused pedophile case) and Austrailia, see there court case. Rome court overturns pedo case of 11 year old sex with 60 year old. Lower age of consent, groom kids with sex ed behind closed doors. ( see kansas poster story)
    Message being AIDS and Unplanned Pregnancy the same disease, and the how to’s of all debaucheries possible exposed to little children. Grooming.


    This paper above link exposes the attempt of normalization and acceptance of pedophilia as an agenda pushed forward by the same media as abortions, Euthanasia. People, Time, nytimes, Huffpo, Gawker, Atlantic….
    Euthanasia and abortion would take care of the child victims.

  • Randall Ward

    This is a small crack in the shell to get a view of the dead soul of the USG, and what they intend to do to us in the future. The USG is so insane that it literally believes it is God. The idea of government being god came from Hegel and was passed on to the likes of Marx, etc.

  • hadenough57

    So what Gruber is saying, is that he strongly believes and supports the agenda of Margaret Sanger.

    Margaret Sanger
    Founder of Planned Parenthood In Her Own Words

    “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

  • And this ladies and gentlemen is what happens when you become a statist votary, dancing about a pyre in the woods, chanting and believing in the omniscience, benevolence and incorruptibility of the god state.

    For every person who says the market (which means lots of ordinary people making decisions that affect a few people, rather than a few “special” ones that affect many) is imperfect, impersonal or that it doesn’t work, here, here is your alternative.

    Behold one of the high priests of your god, statists. As part of the statist sacerdotal order, Gruber is rather pedestrian in his arrogance, his hubris and his evil and clumsy in his approach and delivery.

    Don’t worry, keep feeding the state, in the future they’ll be much better…

  • “Our results suggest that the marginal children who were not born as a
    result of abortion legalization would have systematically been born into
    less favorable circumstances if the pregnancies had not been
    terminated: they would have been 60 percent more likely to live in a
    single-parent household, 50 percent more likely to live in poverty, 45
    percent more likely to be in a household collecting welfare, and 40
    percent more likely to die during the first year of life.”

    Um, yeah, but they would have been 100% more likely to have a shot at life! How precisely is being killed in utero a “more favorable circumstance” than these statistics? First of all, 40% would not have been living in a single-parent household, 50% would not have been living in poverty, 55% would not be in a household collecting welfare and I don’t know how they even came up with the numbers on dying… we don’t have a 40% first year death rate in this country… for any demographic.

    And even granting them their sketchy and bizarre statistics… living in poverty with a single mother and getting food stamps doesn’t automatically make someone’s life worth less. (It’s amazing how they claim we don’t care about children after they’re born. Neither do they… they just want to take care of it at the outset by keeping the children from BEING born… while we conservatives help stock crisis pregnancy centers and so on…)

  • Judy P65

    Too bad Gruber wasn’t aborted. I’m sure he is glad that he is alive. This guy is a real creep.

  • eastedie33510

    Gruber is one sick bastard.