By Peter J. Smith

Edited 3:30 pm EST 5.12.2010

SAN FRANCISCO, May 7, 2010 ( – In the thirty-seven years since the US Supreme Court ruled to legalize abortion up to the ninth month of pregnancy, the battle over the right to life has become a deeply entrenched and polarizing issue in American political life. But a new study suggests that feminist ideology no longer is the driving force to keep abortion legal, but that more sinister motives of commerce and profit are dedicated to keeping the billion dollar abortion industry alive and growing.

Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, reported that Vicki Evans, the Respect Life coordinator for the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns, authored a study finding that market forces are now deeply intertwined with the abortion industry that supplies them with “fetal parts, tissues and cells.” Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies often use aborted fetal material in their products.

Evans’ study, “Commercial Markets Created by Abortion: Profiting From the Fetal Distribution Chain,” was written as the thesis for her licentiate in bioethics from the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome.

[To read more in the Catholic San Francisco story, click here]

In her study, Evans looked to discover how certain “special interests” or a “commercial cause”– rather than the graying adherents of feminist ideology that first clamored for legal abortion – was at work to keep abortion legal, and the transactions in aborted fetal material largely unmolested by regulators in a virtually clandestine market.

“It is important to shine a light on these practices that take place behind closed doors,” wrote Evans. “There are powerful forces conspiring to keep this information from the public and the media with the ostensible conviction that they are protecting a woman’s right to choose.

“However, it is becoming obvious that many ideological groups are being used as pawns by powerful financial interests.”

Evans noted that Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) recently achieved the status of a billion-dollar industry: between the fiscal years 2003 and 2008, abortion expanded from an 810 million dollar business to 1.038 billion-dollar industry, breaking the billion dollar revenue mark in FY06-07.

Over this time period, the nation’s largest abortion provider saw its stake in the abortion market dramatically increase from 245,092 abortions (raking in $88.2 million in 2003) to 305,310 abortions (yielding $122.1 million in 2007).

One way that PPFA brings in the money, she notes, is through clinical trials conducted with pharmaceutical companies to develop new contraceptives. Evans pointed out that encouraging sexual activity among youth through contraception is simply a gateway mechanism for increasing abortion – which is where the profit is.

“Attracting teenagers to contraceptive use is a component of the abortion industry’s business plan, as is offering abortion as a remedy for failed birth control,” she wrote.

Regarding the ever-growing commercialization of fetal parts, organs, and tissue, Evans noted that by reducing human beings to a “commodity,” a profit-centered evaluation of the human person begins to take hold.

“If human beings are not exceptional in the material creation, the vision of man as a profit center may well be acceptable. In some stages of life, he is the supplier; in some stages, the consumer. But always, profit is the motive,” she remarked.

One case in point: the cosmetics industry, Evans noted, first began using “fetal cell technologies” for the ostensible “hard case” of treating burn victims. This, in turn, led into developing creams, emulsions, serums, face-lifts, and other cosmetic procedures (such as for skin rejuvenation) for the $30 billion anti-aging market.

Failing to address the commercial profiteering from aborted babies, Evans concluded, would have dire ramifications for society: including alienation from human nature, a crisis in human identity, and the corruption of justice.

“Habitual participation in immoral acts inevitably leads to personal desensitization, self-deception and rationalization about what it means to be human,” Evans stated. “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.”

Evans told the diocesan newspaper that she wanted to use her training as a certified public accountant to expose the financial strings behind the abortion industry in a way that “nobody else had thought of before.”

“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,” she told Catholic San Francisco.

The complete study can be found here.