Abortion and Crime

Several years ago a study “Legalized Abortion and Crime,” by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and Stanford University’s John Donohue III, concluded legalised abortion may be responsible for approximately half of the crime rate’s recent fall.

Their reasoning was that women who seek abortions are the least capable of providing for their young. They are frequently teens, unmarried, poor, uneducated and without support networks. Their issue, therefore, would be almost feral wanderers who would become quickly pawns of the juvenile justice system and move on to bigger things.

Unwanted children have the highest probability of becoming social deviants and abortions protect the society from a higher incidence of crime-prone humans.

I realise that one may oppose abortion even if this were the case due to ethical considerations but one of the many variables in assessing public policy is its impact on societal stability. Perhaps abortions may preserve human life by reducing the numbers of potential criminals who might take it. I believe the right to privacy frequently preserves the life of the mother which many pro-life advocates ignore in their desire to ban all abortions regardless of cause of pregnancy and any medical risk that may confront the woman.

Also I believe one can be pro-life and pro-choice: Personally and perhaps actively opposed to reproductive freedom, but not wanting to deny this constitutional right to privacy to every woman in the United States who disagrees with you. Many women obviously have reproduced who favour abortion rights. Yet if one believes it is murder and the taking of life, then moral consistency would seek its being eliminated.

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