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Legalized Abortion Increases Murder Rate

 
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JeffBooth
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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:20 am    Post subject: Legalized Abortion Increases Murder Rate Reply with quote

I admit some skepticism of the claim in the book Freakonomics by authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner that abortions reduced crime. The claim was based on a 2001 analysis by Levitt of the University of Chicago and John Donohue, a law professor at Yale University. Even so, I could sort of see how it might be possible, albeit unlikely. And I have read of claims of statistical errors in the study, although I am not qualified to judge.

Now, another economist has done a study that legalized abortion increased murder rates about 7 percent. These findings were published in April 2007 in the academic journal Economic Inquiry. Called Abortion and Crime: Unwanted Children and Out-of-Wedlock Births, it was done by John Lott and John Whitley.

I know of at least two other studies done that show, as we might more likely expect, no correlation between the two (“Did Legalized Abortion Lower Crime?” by Ted Joyce, an economics professor at City University of New York, and “Did Abortion Cut Crime in England and Wales?” by David Paton, Rob Simmons and Leo Kahane).

It may be my own bias, but the claim that legalized abortion increases the murder rate seems very difficult to believe. Lott's study argues that after the high court ruled that states must allow abortion, more permissive sexual behavior and less contraception produced three things: an increase in out-of-wedlock births, a reduction in the number of children placed for adoptions, and fewer married parents. How you get there to murder baffles me, but perhaps someone with more insight on either Lott or his methodology (which to me seems like it rests on a pillar of salt) can explain it to me.
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