New paper by Donohue and Levitt on abortion and crime

Donohue and Levitt (2001) presented evidence that the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s played an important role in the crime drop of the 1990s. That paper concluded with a strong out-of-sample prediction regarding the next two decades: “When a steady state is reached roughly twenty years from now, the impact of abortion will be roughly twice as great as the impact felt so far. Our results suggest that all else equal, legalized abortion will account for persistent declines of 1 percent a year in crime over the next two decades.” Estimating parallel specifications to the original paper, but using the seventeen years of data generated after that paper was written, we find strong support for the prediction. The estimated coefficient on legalized abortion is actually larger in the latter period than it was in the initial dataset in almost all specifications. We estimate that crime fell roughly 20% between 1997 and 2014 due to legalized abortion. The cumulative impact of legalized abortion on crime is roughly 45%, accounting for a very substantial portion of the roughly 50-55% overall decline from the peak of crime in the early 1990s.

Here is the NBER link, I have not had a chance to read this, but of course there are extensive earlier debates.  The pointer is from Dina Pomeranz.


So correlation actually does equal causation.

Or predictions can be judged by data, regardless of causation or correlation.

Accurate out of sample predictions are actually quite convincing evidence.

But so what. We could drastically lower health care costs by disposing of the elderly, the mentally ill, the sick, etc, etc... The Nazi approach may well work... the only problem is that it’s a horror.

Balancing greater and lesser evils may be hard, I hope you're not making the argument that it should never be done.

Because Nazis ..

I am saying ending the lives of genetically distinct organisms of the species homo sapien on the basis that it slightly lowers crime is a very naziesque argument. Like solving the problem of Down syndrome by rounding up all the people carrying that genetic trait and drowning them in the ocean.

It certainly would be if the State were reviewing every conception, yes.

I don't think anyone is proposing that, and mother's choice is quite the opposite.

Mothers choice to what? End the life of her and her partners child because they don’t want to take care of it?

You probably think the civil war was fought over states rights... states right to what? To make choices on behalf of others they deem to be less than human without their own rights.

This issue is simple. Certain people want the right to end the lives of genetically distinct separate human organisms over money. It’s a horror not unlike slavery and eugenics.

This is the lefts version of climate change denial, family separations, and walking out undesirable over money.

*walling out undesirables...

If you believe a fetus is a genetically separate human organism, you must also accept that any level of personhood does not grant it the right to subjugate the uterus of its Mother. She's a person too.

If a life comes to exist inside her person, A Mother has a right to choose whether to accommodate that life or not, regardless of how many rights of personhood we assign to that fetus.

Subjegate her uterus? Really, a tiny baby that didn’t chose for its mother and father to create it in the first place stormed the uterus by conquest... haha. Come on.

The parents already made the choice to accomadate the life by engaging in the very act to create it in the first place. They might not have meant to but neither did the drunk driver that runs someone over by accident. The child didn’t create itself and then seize the uterus by force or disception.

This argument is a weak one with respect to rape but that’s about it. The child isn’t an unwelcomed virus. It was created by the actions of its parents who now have a responsibility to live up to.

haha. Come on is not a persuasive argument.

It doesn't matter whether the fetus chose its circumstances or didn't. A mother's rights are not only enforceable when she is wronged.

What matters is who has legal control over what, and a woman has legal control over her own uterus, no matter what the circumstances another living thing may find itself in. We all may find it tragic that this can sometimes result in death of a fetal life, but there is no alternative, other than for the state to subjugate her person in the service of another life.

It also doesn't matter whether you perceive a choice was made by the mother or not. We all have every right to change our minds with respect to control over our own bodies. We can decide something today, and something else tomorrow.

You want to make this simple and it isn't.

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Slavery was complicated back when the 3/5ths compromise was made, too.

What do you think we should do with unwanted fertilized embryos in vitro?

Not so simple, "Student." The Bible does not support your interpretation. There is no banning of abortion in the Bible. The closest thing to a reference to it is in Exodus 2:20-22, where if a man physically attacks a pregnant woman thereby causing her to miscarry, which looks a lot worse than a woman choosing to have an abortion, he has to pay a fine to the family of her husband, basically a parking ticket. This is near passages that call for the stoning to death of not just murderers but also disobedient children and married couples having sex while the wife is menstruating. Even causing a miscarriage by physically attacking a pregnant woman is not as bad as that.

You are just imposing your baseless opinion on others.

"...he has to pay a fine to the family of her husband, basically a parking ticket."

Three goats is hardly a parking ticket!

Does the Bible really have to list out every single permutation of bad behavior?

Seems to be covered by the greatest commandment... the summarization of the entire Gospel message.

.... Treat others how you would want to be treated. All of the law and the prophets hang on these.

Do we really need to be told that it’s unethical to slice the limbs off ones child while in the womb, prior to vacuuming out their innards into a jug that gets discarded like an old milk carton so that their parents can continue to go out drinking on Friday nights? This isn’t that complicated. Don’t murder another human being to escape the consequences of your actions.

Treating them with the mindset that they are not cogs in a wheel of which we can dispose of like garbage at our pleasure would gona long way.

Specifically, what should we do with them

I don’t know but the odds we do the right thing will be greatly increased if we first thought about what we would want done to us if we were in their shoes.

But because I don’t know doesn’t make your case that we can treat them like an old milk carton.

And that's actually somewhat expected, as your case is not very logical. It's moral, and that's your right.

You won't answer because you wish to convince us that there's actual medical logic to having to bring a 2 month old embryo to term or you are committing murder. So disposing of in vitro embryos is by this logic murder as well. But you do not wish to state the logical next step, which is that all embryos must be kept in the freezer until the end of time or else you are murdering them.

If 'we' were in 'their shoes' we would be small clumps of cells without thoughts of any kind. You bringing up the 3rd trimester carving up edge cases is hysterical distraction, like the other side getting worked up about all those fathers making babies with their underage children.

I suspect you are actually against in vitro fertilization as a procedure for this reason, but I can't be sure unless you answer my question.

For what it's worth, I think if anyone is committed to "life begins at conception," they would have to ban any "in vitro" that involves wasted embryos.

Or... maybe we shouldn’t be putting embryos in freezers at all. Maybe we shouldn’t be treating human life like a play thing.

Ian Malcolm perhaps said it well... “what’s so great about this discovery? It’s a violent, penetrative act that scars what it explores. What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world”

You oppose in vitro fertilization. That's at least coherent, and that answers my question. No unwanted embryos if you aren't allowed to make them.

If u make them, u care for them. Human organisms are not a piece of cheese you can pitch when it’s moldy.

There is no such thing as a purely logical morality. The fertilized eggs are really that big a challenge to someone with a generally pretty strong pro life position.

Look, I know there are hero Christians who will adopt fetal alcohol syndrome children, and love them all their lives.

I'm just not sure that was the greatest good. Especially for damaged children that aren't do lucky.

I mean even in the Christian context, why wouldn't God welcome that soul home? Or send it down for a second chance?

What an evil thing to say. So by your logic, we should just kill the retards. God will welcome their souls home and might even send them down for a second chance.

The science which conservatives claim to justify declaring sacrid life at conception tells us God kills his unborn half the time, often without the women ever knowing she's with child.

God clearly believes in aborting the defectives as they get flushed early and often by God.

"Mormon women in America in the 19th century had an average of 8 live births, and 16.8 miscarriages."

Uhhhh ... that's 19th century.

I did not tell anyone what to choose. I framed what I see as a moral question.

Maybe it is an agnostic framing, letting other people make their own choices, because I am agnostic?

"Mothers choice to what? End the life of her and her partners child because they don’t want to take care of it?"

The woman choosing to be an educated mother at 25 iinstead of high school dropout mother at 15.

The mother choosing to be a mother at 30 in a middle class suburb instead of a homeless drug addict mother at 22.

Somehow conservatives imagine the only women getting abortions are wealthy well educated married women living in great wealthy communities with great schools. But data suggest these women have more children than average, ie closer to the 2.1 children than the 1.7-1.8.

Its odd that the Reagan message argued that welfare since FDR had caused women to have babies for profit, so ending welfare would stop poor women from having so many babies. At the same time, supporting factions were arguing that millions of babies were being killed for economic reasons. Was a vote for Reagan a vote for higher taxes to ppay for more babies on welfare, or a vote for fewer babies on welfare to lower taxes.

Welfare "reform" is based on babies being born and raised to support themselves in two years. Or zero years if the mother had already had a baby on welfare.

Your moral code seems to be based on free lunch economics. You have not indicated you support higher taxes, more welfare, universal health care access from birth, free college and trade school, and basically raising incomes to eliminate the large income inequality to pay for much higher living costs where every child born is in a community of good homes, no homeless, great schools, low crime, etc.

Trump is canpaigning on a message of "too many children" because "we are full", but also on a message of "too few chilldren" from abortion. He's just called for importing adults from socialist nations that provide free college and trade schools producing well educated and skilled workers so high taxes are not needed to increase the supply of educated and skilled US born workers.

Liberals know tanstaafl. (Progressives have adopted the conservative free lunch economics sold to America by Reagan: more government benefiits from paying less in taxes.) Liberals know babies are very costly, very very costly, and the American people do not want to pay for the costly babies born today.

We see the millions of costly babies that are not being paid for, starving, in sickness, not getting educated, except by radicals teaching them to kill. Eg, the Christian Lords Resistance Army still teaching kids to kill, but at much lower rates, maybe forgotten but not quite gone. That requires paying much more to raise babies to working adults.

There is zero evidence those behind "pro-life" are willing to pay for the high cost of life, but in fact are determined to cut the costs paid going to produce great skilled workers, great citizens. Cut costs, you cut the benefits.

Forcing more babies to be born will not increase the number of desirable adults, but mostly increase the number of undesirable adults.

If your complaint is that the world is hard for some folks you are absolutely right. Still can't see what the kid did wrong, and why they should be punished with a grisly death. If you want these people (the "undesirable adults") exterminated then is does make sense. However, please don't write as if you have the moral high ground. Because ew.

It’s also a bunk argument that young people can’t be successful parents. Due to my own indescretion, I knocked up a nice young woman before I could even buy tobacco. We both ended up graduating from HS and college. One of us ended up becoming a doctor as well. It’s quite amazing actually what happens to a teenager when they accept responsibility for their actions and have little fire out under their arse.

Keep in mind that the Freakonomics theory that legalizing abortion in 1969-73 cut crime from 1985-1997 was dependent upon Levitt botching his code. From The Economist in 2005:


"Did Steven Levitt, author of “Freakonomics”, get his most notorious paper wrong?"

Basically, what happened in the 1970s was that middle class used contraception, the working class used abortion, and the under class used the maternity ward at County General. Combined with the crack wars of 1988-1994, you therefore saw the homicide rate of black teens shoot upwards about 5x from those born just before Roe v. Wade to those born just after.

On the other hand, I haven't looked into the issues since 1999-2005 so it could be that Levitt's theory works for the 21st Century. But the national 22% increase in homicides from 2014 to 2016, centered in cities where Black Lives Matter won political victories over the police like St. Louis, Baltimore, and Chicago, suggests that politics (along with the ups and downs of drug markets) continues to play a big role in the most accurately measured crime rate: homicides.

Here's the 1999 Slate debate on this question between Levitt and myself. For whatever reason, our names no longer appear on the the webpages.

In other news, How low can TSLA go?

Here, measurement and testing of correlation (of price moves for identified hedged assets and identified hedge instruments) are requirements for US GAAP hedge accounting. Correlation is not causation.

Editorial: The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the World he didn't exist. Another huge trick was convincing otherwise good people that "Abortion is health care."

Editorial: For 2,000 years, until 1973, when five appointed-for-life mandarins imagined, somewhere deeply hidden in the oversupplies of words and sentences of the US Constitution, there is a right to privacy, abortion was (unlawful) murder.

Thats bullsh!t. For 2000 years life didn't begin until the baby was out of the womb drawing breath (quickening).

Quickening is when the mother feels fetal movement (usually by 20 weeks).

There can be only one!

China is not doing that anymore. (blinks innocently)

That's not what quickening means.

Whatever. Point being, nobody ever gave a sh!t about abortion until the Talibangelicals figured they could raise money off it.

Aristotle wrote about it. The controversy over when it should be legal or illegal has been with us for a very long time.

"Point being, nobody ever gave a sh!t about abortion until the Talibangelicals figured they could raise money off it."

"Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. " Hippocrates (460–370 BC)

"WHETHER the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth—
These are matters of high concern 5
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War." - from "Macdonough’s Song", Rudyard Kipling

And yes, it matters. Despite finding myself more in tune with your position than your opponents', one thing I cannot abide is sloppy arguments based on made-up "facts" or bad misinterpretations of history. Don't be a weakling.

"Whatever. Point being, nobody ever gave a sh!t about abortion until the Talibangelicals figured they could raise money off it."

No, it was because they could not punish one who was the most profitable evangelical who serially seduced and slept with young women.

In 1820, there were no laws prohibiting abortion, so evangenical preacher Ammi Rogers could not be prosecuted for trying to abort the fetus of his pregnant mistress, Asenath Smith, first by drug induced abortion, then by an amateur curettage, (doubtful he did any dilation).

"There are other accounts that have Smith involved with another man as well at the time, and that she herself took things to end the pregnancy. According to the Post article, Rogers was the one who got her medicine to induce the abortion but it didn't work, and she 'continued to feel the fetus's movements - known then as "quickening" - which generally starts in the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy.'

He next tried some of type of 'tool,' according to the article, to end the pregnancy but it didn't work.

Meanwhile, Smith's family called a doctor due to 'intense pain and subsequently delivered a stillborn child,' according to the Post article.

In 1820, Rogers was put on trial for what happened.

Inniss, a law professor, told The Post: ‘Rogers was such a huge social iconoclast that, as far as I can tell, that’s why they were prosecuting his case.’

However, the botched abortion attempts were not illegal, and Rogers was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to two years in prison, according to the Post article.

After the trial, Connecticut passed a law that banned the use of medicines to induce abortions, and, in addition, those who provided the medicines would face prosecution.

The law was the ‘direct response’ to the sex scandal, Inniss told The Post."

I guess black men are evil because they take pride in all the children they produce, while white men don't.

Eg Tim Murphy

"Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy has resigned after a report surfaced earlier this week that he had asked an extramarital lover to end her pregnancy.

Murphy, a Republican who co-sponsored a 20-week abortion ban that passed in the House Tuesday, allegedly asked his lover to terminate her pregnancy, according to text message records acquired by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette."


"A man who has fathered 30 children by 11 different women is asking the courts to give him a break from paying child-support.

Desmond Hatchett, 33, of Knoxville, Tennessee, has reportedly set a Knox County record for the number of children he has managed to reproduce with individual women, including one who worked for Victoria's Secret.

However, Hatchett is claiming to be a victim of his own success with the ladies, as he has become unable to make child-support payments and was back in court again this month asking for help."

"Desmond explained to how it all snowballed out of control financially for him: 'I had four kids in the same year. Twice.'

Asked in a TV interview whether he can 'keep up with it all', the 33-year-old said he knows all their names, ages and birth dates."

"In 2009 when he first appeared in court on charges that most of the mothers were not receiving child support, he had 21 children.

At the time, he said he was not going to father any more kids, but he ended up having nine more in the past three years.

He said: 'I didn't intend to have this many, it just happened.'"

No evidence he asked any mistress to get an abortion.

Desmond Hatchett is a pro-life hero!

It takes two to tango.

Hatchett is a phookin moron, as are his sexual partners. Maybe the Appalachian stereotypes are accurate.

For 2000 years, people like you had to address people like me as 'My Lord' or 'Your Lordship,' so maybe let's not selectively invoke historical precedent.

You're a noble on the internet! Hahahaaaaaahaha! Okay.

Descended from, yes.

Then shouldn't you be called "Anonymous the 2nd?"

How about "Anonymous the Bastard"? Worked for William.

I am The Count if Cuckoldry!

Quickening is when the mother detects fetal movement.

As well, the early church was always opposed to ending the development of human organisms.

For example:

The didache (also known as The teaching of the 12 Apostles written about 70AD) prohibits abortion (including by use of potions), infanticide, etc... As does the letter of Barnabas (74AD), so does Tertullian, Hippolytus, Basil, John Chrysostom, Jerome, etc, etc. You might not care... but to say this is new in the Church is BS

Hammurabi: If a man strike a free-born woman so that she lose her unborn child, he shall pay ten shekels for her loss.

22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

Sorry, Dick the Butcher, but that is bs. Jesus never said a word about abortion, and Exodus 2: 20-22 views it as less evil than a man and wife having sex while the wife is pregnant. You do not know what you are talking about, as usual.

Barkley come on. His entire message was summarized by telling people to do onto others as they would want done onto them. This simple rule will always lead one to the correct action.

Jesus never said though shalt not do knowingly infect another with HIV either. So... that means he was cool with it right? Geeze, the mental aerobics people will go through to justify treating others like inanimate garbage.

As the mental aerobics people will go through to justify treating a blastocyst as a human being hoping to be treated fairly.

Look, obviously late term abortions are a horror and should be completely illegal, except in the very very very rare cases where the pregnancy actually threatens the mother's life (and they didn't figure it out before then). And 2nd trimester ones should be as well. But when the embryo is a clump of cells with no brain, no thoughts, no nothing but proteins growing, in those first 2-3's different. It just is.

So absurd to treat a genetically distinct organism of the species homo sapien as a genetically distinct organism of the species homo saline. That’s crazy talk. Silly me.

What's crazy talk is thinking a 'genetically distinct' clump of cells with no brain or thoughts is a human person that 'wants' to 'be treated' like an actual human being. It's only a potential one, it is not one yet. Hence miscarriages.

Again, my suggestion above is quite moral if you can think logically about what a person is or isn't. It isn't a clump of cells. After 3 months, we can't be so sure. And that's plenty of time to abort those cells if you are raped or simply unable to be a parent.

Clump of cells... Is this a technical term? No different than a pile of to nail clippings?

Based on biology and genetics.. at conception a new genetically distinct organism is formed. It’s species is homo sapien. Can it survive on its own? Is it fully developed? No, but neither can a new born baby survive on its own, nor is it fully developed.

So where is the point of demarcation?

You are having great difficulty finding one because it’s not a heart beat, it’s not the presence of some meta neuron, it’s not the development of lungs or ears or eyes...

The point of demarcation consistent with biology, genetics, etc... is Conception. At that point and that point only is a new member of our species initiated. I get it, you want the right to end its existence so you can go out on Friday nights... so you can escape your responsibility... but there is no rational logic underlying your desire. Its like calling a slave less than human to justify your not ascribing to them a right to determine the course of their own life.

Is thinking people who have abortions do so blithely and without care. No one WANTS to have one. Any more than your group WANTS daughters who are raped by their fathers to have that baby. It does no good to falsely demonize either side.

Back to logic. The point of demarcation is around where a fetus could, if it were outside the womb, be brought to term and live on its own. Can an 8 month old fetus do that? Of course. 7 month, 6 month....yes even then. 4-5 month probably not. 3 months or before? Nope, no way no how. It's not a person then. It's not even an animal.

You cling to the 'genetically distinct' thing because it sounds sciencey. But common sense obviously indicates that those first 2 months, that's not a person.

Your definition is subjective and changes on a yearly basis... so it isn’t a definition at all. Murder apparently is a function of the state of the medical technology. The one I am using is based on the point at which a distinct member of the human species initiates. No one wants an abortion? Really. Seems like a lot of people do. Just like a lot of people wanted slaves.

Common sense is often subjective. So take the point where a fetus is viable outside the womb, maybe 6 months? Now move BACK 3 more months. It's not a person then, so not murder.

If medical technology gets us to where we can bring a 3 month old blastocyst to term, we will surely also have technology to prevent all unwanted pregnancies, superior to and cheaper than current tech.

And you aren't helping playing dumb. You know I meant no one prefers an abortion to not having gotten pregnant to begin with. No one wants to be in the position where they need an abortion.

Conservatives believe that making abortion and colonoscopies cheaper makes people demand more doctors probe inside their private parts with pants removed.

How many colonoscopies have you had since Obamacare effectively made them "free" as essential services.

Yes but now you are in this messy continuum from blastocyst to third trimester. Gold glitter doesn't surround the mother's stomach going from week 12 to week 13. Why does the kid gain rights at *that* point?

We even speak in trimesters because 9 months is handily divisible by three. Seems so arbitrary.

Conception is not a continuum, its a toggle switch, which is useful. Birth is the next, the first breath is the one after that. Rights beginning at conception seems like the only non-monstrous point to protect the kid.

is that zombie show where d. Barrymore eats people
pregnancy or menopause?

Wait, Alabama Republicans are actually pro-crime? Or are they merely RINOs?

How else can you get rich filling for profit prisons?

We will have potentially interesting control groups in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, etc. to do good longitudinal studies of this impact.

I don't think abortion has ever reduced the percentage share of African-Americans in the Deep South, and since that's who commits half the crimes the hypothesis remains confounded.

Don't we already have the verdict?

How many people migrate from leftist bastions to conservative bastions relative to the migration from conservative bastions to more leftist bastions. Half the population of California are immigrants, most from other more conservative States. Some conservative States have almost no immigrants from even similarly conservative States, but significant emigration to more leftist States.

Texas is not that conservative, with big leftist communities, eg Austin. Probably due to big government spending directed to Texas by big government leftists like LBJ, and other Congressional pork shovelers.

And the Blue blood Bush family didn't move to Texas to cut their living costs so they could get paid less than in the Northeast. And Bush had backed abortion as a poverty reducing measure until that was no longer allowed by the GOP which argues eliminating welfare will make teen school drop out mothers magically into wealthy college educated wives of successful business men and politicians.

Or places with large numbers of Honduran immigrants, abortion being illegal there, I believe.

Black women account for 35% of abortions even though they represent about 13% of the population. Do the authors of this study want to say that aborting the offspring of poor black women reduces crime?

That is what they are saying, but they can't say it out loud.

Margaret Sanger wasn't afraid to say it.
"I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world that have disease from their parents, that have no chance to be a human being, practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they're born. That to me is the greatest sin — that people can — can commit."

I love it when a plan comes together.

We should apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

PS - I founded Planned Parenthood. You're Welcome.

They're counting on the average journalist not to be able to put those separate pieces of information together. Which is a good bet, really.

35%, but 6% of the population. We are only counting women.

You want to be able to compare the two numbers. If all women were black, abortions would be 100% from black women when they are only 50% of the population!

Yeah but only women can have abortions, so it’s still 13%?

Did I just get trolled?

"Do the authors of this study want to say that aborting the offspring of poor black women reduces crime?"

I'll say it.

More abortions and even better, lots more birth control, would reduce the number of targets of white racists who are driven to torture and lynch black men, bomb chjurches, go into churches and execute blacks, trial and convict innocent black teens for rapes they did not convict.

Even today the whites involved in convicting 4 blacks and 1 hispanic for a rape and attempted murder they were completely innocent of are still claiming they are guilty because five non-whites guilty are more satifying to white racists than one US citizen Hispanic.

Of course, Trump argues that the 5 who had no involvement are guilty because they are not white, and worse, they were led by an illegal immigrant from Puerto Rico because no one born in PR is a US citizen.

And Trump spent a lot of money to make that case. Of course, Trump considers non-whites to never be US citizens unless they advocate for killing black people or taking all their property. Trump probably considers Justice Thomas a US citizen, but certainly not President Obama.

Trump certainly wants black people to be poor, but then blames black people for dragging down GDP growth by not spending enough.

So Trump is a racist becasue he wants to prevent the abortion of black bablies?

While trying to make the abortion of black babies cheap and frequent is a goal of the enlightened left.

What a moron

OK, I'll say it.

When your conscience, and that of your peers, and of your family and your community tells you that's it is acceptable to join a violent, impersonal mob intent on terrorizing, --then getting arrested for a crime you did not actually commit is a risk you are accepting. There are other risks as well, including a violent death. And you become part of a culture that is actually trying to terrorize the greatest city in the world, to deprive others of the right to feel safe in spaces public and private, and insecure in their own being.

Those kids volunteered to be part of a reign of terror that terrorized, by the threat of violence, millions of my fellow New Yorkers.

I hate injustice with a passion. But when I started to watch the Ken Burns documentary, I quickly realized those kids got what was coming to them. Not a moment of regret that they chose the path of violence against us all.

If this paper is true, and we take a glance at the abortion statistics: (table 12)

We can draw the *RACIST* conclusion that reducing the black population reduces crime.

The depth of my analysis is appropriate for this forum.

It's to their credit that Alabama, Georgia, et al. passed the prohibitions on abortion knowing that the prohibition would fall mostly on the women who cannot afford to travel to another state without the prohibition to get an abortion, which is to say poor people, poor people who are disproportionately black or brown. The Donohue and Levitt research findings are not a secret; indeed, it's been a topic of conversation down here in the South since first published, the popular explanation down here for the decline in crime being fewer black babies who grow up to be criminals. In other words, the white politicians who passed the prohibitions are willing to accept a higher crime rate in order to eliminate abortions - what they consider genocide. By the way, that's why there are no exceptions for rape or incest.

While we're telling other people what are their motives, I'll give it a shot.

Could be the RACIST!, white politicians that won't permit the mass murders of unborn, black babies believe that abortion, any abortion, is murder.

Or, crime is lower because of video games and porn, de facto legal weed, and a healthy labor market thanks to the South's low taxes and right-to-work laws.

Who knows? I'd like to see the number and population share of 18 - 35 yr old males graphed as well.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to measure or even reasonably estimate "the cumulative impact of legalized abortion on crime".

"Abortion" and "Crime" are general terms that cannot be defined closely enough to assess correlation, much less causation.
The variables involved are immense.
Necessary statistical data do not exist even to attempt such analysis.

Donohue and Levitt are generating noise not knowledge.

Demographics don't have any relation to crime.

The abortion rate is +-20 abortions per 100 live births, which would have no effect on demographics.

A spurious regression if I've ever seen one.

Forget about the sharp rise in the prison population that not only punished criminals more often and more severely, but removed them from the population at large.

On the topic of increasing imprisonment, I thought this was interesting:

The spin is prison doesn't deter, but the under-emphasized co-conclusion is that removing people who would commit crimes from the population does in fact reduce crime.

It makes me wonder whether we should change sentencing to make prison generally a nicer (or at least less-bad) place to be, but make sentences longer. If the primary benefit comes from sequestration, maybe we can cost-effectively maximize that?

I would agree with you that the deterrent effect of enforcement is smaller than the effect of removing them from the population. Criminal punishment has become a joke with so much probation, short sentences, diversion, plea agreements. These softened approaches to crime also happen in the places with the highest crime rates.

The conclusion of L&Ds precious work is that abortion rates were highest among the "cohort" that was most likely to commit crime. The unstated conclusion was that that cohort was mainly Black. The rise in incarceration was disproportionately Black. Considering that punishment had become so lax, those incarcerated must have been the worst of the worst.

Forget about cameras everywhere making it harder to get away with crime and everyone to busy looking down at their phones to get into a fight.

Look what happened to incarceration rates shortly after 1973 when abortion was made legal.

I guess they've decided to double down.

The homicide rate fell by 82% in New York City while it increased in Baltimore. I doubt their study incorporates an ecological component.

+1 postmodern
you should be on the view
aka the stupidest show on television

Oh Abso-cucking-Lutly buddy!

I propose, in addition to legal abortion, that the federal government pays for vasectomies and also give a $100 cash handout for everyone who gets a vasectomy.

Vasectomies are cheaper than multiple abortions, prisons, or welfare. From a taxpayer perspective, it's a bargain.

Your nuts, not your wee-wee. (OK, the vas deferens in your nuts.)

We do have free birth control, covered as preventative care under the ACA. It would be a small step to cover vasectomies free of charge as preventative care. (if they aren't already).

Most insurance covers vasectomies (not sure about ACA) for free.

More foolproof birth control solves this problem. Once you can guarantee no unwanted pregnancies there's no longer any need to abort. And no, existing birth control is not foolproof, especially for poor people.

Norplant should be MANDATORY and free at age 15 if abortion is made illegal, whether insured or not, as well as the cost of removing it when a woman wants to get pregnant.

Of course what will actually happen is those who can afford it will just go to blue states to terminate, and only the poor will have the unwanted kids.

I was curious so I googled it.

"Under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), most insurance plans must cover birth control with no out-of-pocket cost to you. This policy does NOT include vasectomies, but many insurance plans cover some or all of the cost of vasectomies anyway."


I paid for mine, despite decent insurance.

Humans, like the rest of animals and plants, only real role is to reproduce. Failure to do so is truly failure. It's very odd that people who consider themselves more intelligent and valuable than most of the remaining homo sapiens are the least likely to have large families or any offspring at all, leaving the "chore and expense" of raising them to the lower, poorer classes. If this continues, by their own testimony, humans will become less and less intelligent. In fact, that seems to currently be the case.

Seen research on reductions in atmospheric lead concentrations that make the same claim and are, arguably, more reasonable than this crackpot nonsense.

You believe teen mothers, and school dropouts, are fantastic at raising great well skilled workers and citizens?

Do you believe Obamacare will lead to increased crime due to the large reduction in teen pregnancies, and abortions from making reliable birth control much more affordable to the poor, and children are the biggest portion on government single payer health care (Medicaid), required to provide costly birth control, like IUDs and long lasting hormone birth control.

I want higher living costs, and the higher incomes to pay higher living costs, but the high skilled workers behind higher living costs are very costly to produce and teen school drop out mothers are not going deliver the skilled high income workers in 20 years. Trump does not want to wait 20 years so he's calling fir importing high skill workers from socialist nations with high taxes to pay to create high skill workers, like the UK, Germany, etc. (40%+ of gdp is government spending) Corporate tax rates cut, and tax dodges eliminated to increase tax revenue, most notably the labor cost tax dodge. Eg, the 20-25% VAT.

Obama had a teen mother so I guess we would all be better off if he was aborted.

Freakanomics made this argument years ago. I suspect this thread will generate hundreds of hurt fee fees. Boo hoo!

"Freakanomics made this argument years ago."

Hence the title of the post.

Grim, if true.

It is hardly surprising that choices are sometimes between lesser evils.

This is kind of going to the well, but true too .. there are lots of situations where "pro-life" people will choose killing someone for the greater good. I won't bother with a list.

The point is that they make a stark division on abortion. They don't elsewhere. They aren't Jains. They aren't even pacifists.

I could be harsher and say "bomb Iran" folks wrap themselves in a "pro-life" mantle to feel good.

What did you call it? Virtue signalling?

My comment was not political.

You should not read mine as merely political. It is upstream of that, about moral foundations.

The pro-life folks are generally drawing the demarcation at personal responsibility, not life. Presumably the Iranians/criminals/others that deserve death are in some sense responsible for their predicaments, whereas the fetuses are not. The pro-life moniker is with respect to the abortion battle only (Pro-abortion vs Pro-life).

They might try to make that work, but it rather erases the concept of "innocent civilians."

Wedding guests droned.

The perfect is the enemy of the good, eh?

If life ever offers you the perfect, take it.

But most of the time and most of life is balancing things that are not so clear.

Not unless the wedding guests are intentionally targeted to be aborted.

That's not a very high moral standard, especially after then Nth wedding party bombed.

At that point you know there is significant risk, and you go ahead anyway.

Yes, because it's war, a distinction which is lost on you in comparing it to domestic abortion.

Does "war" really absolve you of moral calculus?

As Steve Sailer points out, legalized abortion caused conception rates to skyrocket through the 70s. The counterfactual here is pretty hard to measure

Thank you for reminding me about this. It does make it much harder to analyze.

I call this sort of thing "Mere coincidence?!? reasoning."

There are hundreds of things that have been ID'd as the cause of the rise in obesity, for instance. "Look at this BMI graph, and then look at this sales graph for electric blankets. Mere coincidence? Mere coincidence?!?"

Here is a question that is topically "political" but with deep philosophical and religious roots:

Let's say a woman who is a severe drug addict or alcoholic becomes pregnant. What is the greater good, to ease access to abortion, or to deny the possibility?

I think the philosopher says ease, to reduce total suffering.

The religious may say deny, if they believe that a unique soul has been created, one that has become their responsibility for care.

Of course if they really believe the latter, they better really provide that care. A lot of lifelong care.

Nope. Only pro-life until the baby is out.

You mean the utilitarian philosopher says to make such a calculation, but following utilitarian logic, one can think of all sorts of scenarios where we get to kill you.

Like if I was selling loose cigarettes or pirated CDs?

That does reinforce my position that these questions are hard, and they will always be hard. That is the case when trying to choose the lesser evil.

You just choose to make them harder than they are in order to muddle matters.

Is one permitted to explore whether the racial distribution of abortions has anything to do with this result?

Minority Report with Tom Cruz?

I guess this proves that the death penalty works. Just that it needs to be applied before the fact rather than after the fact.

Just curious. Do the pro-baby murder and anti-selfish free choice cults address the practical issues of care of the unmurdered babies? Will there be laws compelling the moms to provide love, wise guidance, and financial support for their offspring? What if they don't do it despite the laws? And have no legal or other way of obtaining the required emotions, skills, or money. It costs money to prosecute and incarcerate. Welfare is not free to provide. What about the blow to the self-esteem of the moms who are forced by the patriarchal establishment to live off welfare against their free choice to go to school and succeed?
I live in countries where abortion is considered the lesser of various evils (and that is overstating it). Personally, I'm inclined to the pro-death sie, but I don't have a dog in the fight. (I'm assuming, based on statistical probabilities and the facts on the ground), that if my unborn babies (or blastocytes) hadn't been legally murdered by their moms, they would have turned out to be net-deficits to society and humanity, but then again, they might have grown up to be the next Einstein or Beyonce). Point being, I'd like to see more consideration of the after-the-birth issues, and less word-games about what "life" means and less obsession with the Bible.
How do you force a man to pay child-support if he doesn't have the money? You can't. Put him in the slammer. Prisons are expensive. What if he doesn't care? Either way, you (society, the people who would have been ok with the lady aborting if that was her call and her right, since God gave her the freedom of free will) have to pay.
Andrew Gelman notes on his blog that the abortion controversy is most vivid among upper-class, educated whites. I think that tells the story pretty well.

Both/and not either/or... Real pro-lifers have a consistent life ethic with consideration for the care of those left behind by terrible parents and poor circumstances. This is hits on the sins of the current pro-fetus crowd. They hide behind their pro-fetus stance so they can pretend to be following the way, while in reality, they are the passers by rather than the Good Samaritan.

Life is hard... especially when you are born to shitty parents (and dead beat dads are the real source of the problem). In spite of that though... given the choice between a submissive death or a fighting chance, I’d take the fighting chance 100% of the time. Everyone would.

What’s next, forcibly euthanizing the elderly because they are expensive? Have you no dignity?

Forcibly euthanizing geezers? Is that what this is really all about?
If so, deal with it without mixing it up with murdering blastocytes and unborn babies and forcing primarily females of color to be pods for potential people that you want other people to be forced to pay for or be raped and murdered by.

You'd make more headway with your argument if you explained who is going to take of these unmurdered babies, integrate them into middle-class society, and pay for their maintenance in penal and psychiatric institutions.

Do you want to produce a world of sexually abused, homeless, unloved babies who will grow up to be like their mums and deadbeat drug addicted dads, sleeping in abandoned houses and in dumpsters, in and out of prisons and drug clinics, brutalized lives of unrelenting misery relived only by their Fentanyl fixes.
Your proposal is most cruel and heartless, condemning millions of innocent children to horrible, miserable lives.

Dignity indeed. Where is the dignity for those children and mums you and your ilk want to force your lifestyle choices and religious preferences on?

Why do people keep referring to blastocysts? Do people not realize that the blastocyst stage ends at about day 10 after conception? Isn’t the argument against the 6 week ban that women don’t even know they are pregnant yet? Why then even mention blastocyst? Why can’t you even bring yourself to use the correct terminology? Is it because it’s easier to speak of that way? Pretending it’s not human. Seems to be a common tactic to dehumanize people others want to mistreat. Rather revealing behavior actually.

I am sorry though. It’s a terrible thing to force people into not murdering their own children. How inhuman of me.

Although, go ask any person that was given up for adoption and see if any of they would rather have been aborted due to the harder life they may have otherwise ended up living.

Student, Because they do not accept your assertion that they are full-blown human beings and that aborting them is "Nazi" like and "murder," a position not supported by the Bible. You fail to recognized that there are strong differences of opinion on this, including across various religious and philosophical tradidions. Of course you gave a cherry picked presentation of early Christian thought and pretty much avoided the whole Augustine-Aquinas tradition that followed Aristotle rather than Pythagoras, and which was only resolved with the current hard line in the Roman Catholic Church in the late nineteenth century. Your dogmatism and fanaticism render your comments basically despicable and worthless, although I understand that pointing this out will not budge you an inch and you will probably continue to spout your fanatical views wherever..

Slave owners didn’t accept that slaves were full fledged human beings with inherent rights either... even in the face of scientific evidence. Same story here. You can reject biology and genetics all you want... that doesn’t change the reality of the situation.

Your position just don’t seem to make rational sense. We have a living organism. It’s metabolizing energy. It’s growing and developing. It’s DNA is distinct from its parents. It’s species is homo sapien. It’s a human being. At what point in time would it become one of it isn’t.

Imagine the case of some endangered sea turtle for example, protected by the endangered species act.

Not suppose further some guy with a shrimp farm or something like that doesn’t want these turtles around because they eat his shrimp.

If he were to go find their nest and stomp on their eggs... could he logically say he didn’t kill any endangered sea turtles because all he really did was stomp on some clumps of cells that were not sea turtles. Would that fly?

No... because that’s BS. In any other circumstance, no one would buy that crap because it’s illogical.

I find it really obnoxious when religious fanatics who are attempting to impose their particular theological views on others attempt to claim that their beliefs are omehow supported by "logic" or science." It is actually despicable, and you should be ashamed of yourself, (failing) "Student."

It’s fanatical to attemp to argue a logical position in defense of innocent defenseless children on a blog post. I am not out there shouting in the streets or threatening people...

As well, the one resorting to adhominems is usually indicative of who is being irrational.

And “failing” like the “failing” NYtimes haha. How very trumpian. “Sad!”

You talk just like the racists who put people on the democratic welfare plantation.

"Do you want to produce a world of sexually abused, homeless, unloved babies who will grow up to be like their mums and deadbeat drug addicted dads, sleeping in abandoned houses and in dumpsters, in and out of prisons and drug clinics, brutalized lives of unrelenting misery relived only by their Fentanyl fixes."

Calm down Christian Wirth.

This guy gets it.

You know what would drop that statistic even more?
Making abortion mandatory.

Complete nonsense. Crime is caused by bad government policies. Hence, the welfare state that manufactures poor, ignorant and violent people by subsidizing single-parent families. There are no incentives for these people to have abortions. Kids are money in the bank until age 18, perhaps more if they apply for financial aid for college. Abortionists can't keep up with the welfare state.

Because before there was government support, no one was poor, ignorant, or violent. And that college financial aid gravy train....oh man can you get rich on that!

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