Abortion and Crime Revisited

The left wishes this weren’t so: Abortion: History’s Greatest Crime Fighting Tool

Still not convinced? Don’t worry. There is more. The states with the highest abortion rates in the 1970s saw the greatest decline in crime in the 1990s, while states with low abortion rates experienced smaller crime drops. Furthermore, studies of Canada, Romania, and Australia have also proved a similar link between abortion and crime. In 1966, when Romania outlawed abortion and enforced the ban with “menstrual” police, the crime rate nearly doubled in the upcoming twenty-five years.

The left wants to believe (like Gladwell) that non-biological factors such as more government funding and civil rights caused the post-1990 decline in crime. As subscribers of the ‘blank slate’ view of humanity, the welfare left categorically rejects the idea that some people, perhaps more so than others, are predisposed to crime. The left wants to believe that it’s white people who are ‘keeping the disadvantaged down’, not maladaptive genes.

On the other hand, it’s possible that the the reduction of crime and the legalization of abortion is merely coincidental or one of many factors.

As expected, there was a backlash to the findings of Levitt and Donohue:

That such an idea, put like this, would raise the hackles of an extraordinary range of people should have surprised no one. Levitt and Donohue had stepped into the vicious ethical and political minefield of the American abortion debate–as well as the treacherous terrain of race politics, since African Americans have abortions at a higher rate than whites. But the authors, economists rather than ethicists, were unprepared for the response and initially seemed almost too stunned to prepare counterarguments. “What’s odd about our study,” Levitt now reflects as he prepares for publication of the work and, presumably, renewed assaults on its authors, “is it manages to offend just about everybody. [But] our worldview is an economic worldview–that people respond to incentives. I view it as being apolitical.”

Of course, if the implication were that aborting rich white and Asian babies reduced crime, I guarantee not a peep of outrage from the left over these studies. The left supports abortion not to make the world a better place by reducing crime and entitlement spending, but as a form of ‘female empowerment’.

Liberals, who are ‘pro choice’, took offense, mainly because they believe in ‘reverse-Darwinism’: ‘life’ for the least fittest and ‘choice’ for the most ‘fit’:

“We’ve been stunned by the angry response, particularly from the left,” Levitt said Monday. “Our intention was solely to understand this puzzling drop in crime, and it was really only after we’d begun working on the paper that these other politicized issues came to the forefront. This isn’t a paper about class or race. This is a paper about being unwanted.”

Source: Crime-Abortion Study Draws Criticism

And from Liberalism and the Perfectibility of Man:

The belief in perfectibility of man motivates liberals to support useless social programs that run headlong into the limitations imposed by biology. Similarly, this ties into the delusion that practice can make can make an imperfect man perfect (the 10,000 hour rule). It would seem antithetical to rationality to believe this superstition.

Instead of HBD-based solutions that are cheaper and more effective, the left would rather fritter taxpayer dollars on social programs that are less effective, in their futile quest to ‘perfect’ man.

But the in this write-up, the ‘right’ will not spared, either. Too many conservatives are caught up in the fuzzy, ambiguous concept off the ‘sanctity of life‘, ignoring that the death penalty and war contradict this supposed sanctity. I don’t necessarily oppose war or the death penalty, but let’s be logically consistent. The common argument is that the death penalty targets guilty people whereas abortion doesn’t. But then you invoke the utilitarian/consequentialist argument that sending innocent, young men off to war for a ‘greater good’ (peace, stability, etc) is a worthwhile trade-off. Logical consistency is more important than unwavering allegiance to a specific political party or sparing feelings.

Birth control would be ideal, but abortion, as disgusting as it is, can reduce problems such as suffering, entitlement spending, crime, and healthcare costs, maybe it’s time to get over the beleif that all life is sacred. Some say it’s ‘liberal Sanger eugenics’ but libs of today want nothing to do with HBD unless it’s homosexuality, which the left insists it’s biological, but much less so for education, socioeconomic outcomes or crime, all which are environmental and must be solved with ineffective social programs at great cost to taxpayers.

Conservatives preach the virtues of ‘strong families’ and ‘community’ as a solution to social problems and underachievement; however, dysfunctional families and bad communities are byproducts of bad genetics, with poverty and dysfunction having a hereditary component.

If environment does play some sort of role in crime and poverty, it’s reasonable to assume that abortion and birth control for at-risk populations could reduce these problems.

Another problem are people who are a drain on the system in terms of medical expenses, costing more in care than they return in economic value. The abortion plan and other posts address this problem, arguing that medical care, like any public good, is a finite resource and hence, from a utilitarian-standpoint, should be allocated optimally, which is also why euthanasia could also be advocated as a way of reducing medical costs, which are already spiraling out of control primarily due to ‘end of life’ care as well as costly treatments for rare diseases.

If scientists can locate genes that produce offspring that are at heightened risk of crime [1], low IQs , and welfare dependence, would it not be prudent from a fiscally conservative standpoint (and from a conservative tough-on-crime standpoint) to encourage or even mandate abstinence as a prophylactic? A right-wing argument can be made for birth control including even sterilization to control entitlement spending and crime. The social benefit to reduced crime as a result of abortion may be on the order of $30 billion annually. Likewise, if prenatal screening finds markers for high-IQ, abortion should be proscribed, even for at-risk households.

To those who argue that the abortion-crime link has been debunked, not so fast: A Formal Response to the Foote and Goetz Criticism of the Abortion Paper. Even if the the link between abortion and crime isn’t airtight, that doesn’t prove a biological link wont be found in the future.

[1] In addition to the elevated risk of crime from at-risk households, there are genetic markers for crime, as shown here, here, and here.

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