Abortion and Crime Revisited

August 30, 1999

Two weeks ago I talked about the report by two respected scholars looking for reasons why the crime rate dropped. They found a strong correlation between the crime rate and the abortion rate. They found that the timing of the crime drop of the 1990s coincides with the period roughly 20 years after the 1973 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. Children who would have been born in the pregnancies had they not been aborted would have been ages 18 to 24 in this decade.

They found that states with high abortion rates back then, have had the most dramatic improvements in crime now. They also found that the earlier abortion started, the earlier we see improvements in the crime rate.

It would be easy to dismiss the study merely by pointing out that 39 million abortions means fewer people to commit crimes as well as 39 million fewer potential crime victims. And of course, there would be 39 million fewer people to go to school, get married, go to work, etc. But a better response is beginning to surface.

It turns out that crime was skyrocketing in Britain 20 years after the legalization of abortion. And the abortion rate is four times higher in Russia than in the United States, and their abortion rate hasn't made the society safer from crime.

Key to the analysis is an assumption that it was the abortion of "undesirable" babies that lowered the crime rate. But that eugenic assumption does not seem to fit the facts in this case and is certain the wrong message to take away from this study.

Frankly, I think there's only one lesson to be learned from this study. Abortion doesn't prevent crime. Abortion is a crime.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.