Abortion – Crime Link Just Propaganda

Remember the hullabaloo a few weeks ago around radio comments made by former Education Secretary Bill Bennett? Leftists expressed “outrage” that he suggested black babies should be aborted in order to drastically reduce crime. Of course, that is not actually what he said – but it certainly created an opportunity for the Left to take cheap shots at those big, bad, mean conservatives.

Bennett’s comments were actually related to a national study released a few years ago by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. One is a University of Chicago economist, and the other is a New York Times columnist. These guys alleged that legalized abortion has caused a national drop in crime rates. Basically, their analysis is that high abortion rates among blacks and lower-income women in general produced fewer children in demographic groups more inclined toward criminal behavior. Many of us in the pro-Life movement were caught flat-footed by the study – rightly fearing that many policy makers would use this kind of data to further justify abortion. And while we couldn’t prove it – there was a certain feeling that the conclusions were very suspicious. Among other warning flags is the simple fact that the study was a modern printing of old eugenics ideas: The way to solve social problems was to have elites free to re-engineer society.

Well a recent article in the Wall Street Journal disputes the findings and methodology of this Levitt study.

Christopher Foote, a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, has identified serious flaws in the basic data of the previous study. They simply ignored several factors that may have contributed to the lowering of crime rates during the 1980s and 90s.

Foote flatly says that there are no statistical grounds for supporting the idea that abortion leads to reduced crime rates.

It turns out that the original study was nothing more than a propaganda effort by modern eugenics advocates to justify the practices of Planned Parenthood & Company. Brings to mind the old saw about economists and liars ….


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