Abortion/Crime Rate/Drugs

June 18, 2001

Q. Comments on the study that suggested the legalization of abortion thirty years ago has contributed substantially to the current decrease in the crime rate. [Wikipedia: Legalized abortion and crime effect]

A. Certainly the decline in unwanted pregnancies where poverty is the deciding factor has had two "seminal" effects. One is in the actual numbers decrease and the other is reduced population pressure within a family, so that what little is available need not be spread quite so far, making it possible for an overall economic improvement within these marginal families.

Another factor, less heartily endorsed, is the depredation caused by "street drugs", which tends to get the foolish and inept off the streets at an early age, and therefore to reduce the petty crime that might otherwise provide a "livelihood" for the marginalized and impoverished youth.