Levitt on Abortion/Crime: A FREAK-TV Collage of Evidence

Video

In the video player on the left, you’ll find Part 2 of Levitt’s discussion of the research behind the abortion/crime link. (You can find Part 1 in the video player as well; here’s the blog post that accompanied it.) In this installment, he discusses the collage of evidence that convinced him and John Donohue of the link between legalized abortion and a lower crime rate.

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  1. marc-paul lee says:

    for me this is not so much an issue of “abortion” as of “unwanted babies.” as levitt mentions elsewhere abortions don’t lower the number of babies ultimately born but postpones the birth decision to later in a woman’s life, presumably when she (and the father?) are more ready to face the responsibilites of raising a _wanted_ child. even if adopted one might imagine that a child would still feel “unwanted” by his birth parents. i’m usually skeptical of “the power of love” but this may be a clear-cut instance where love (i.e., a planned baby) can make the difference between a well-adjusted child and a potential criminal.

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  2. marc-paul lee says:

    for me this is not so much an issue of “abortion” as of “unwanted babies.” as levitt mentions elsewhere abortions don’t lower the number of babies ultimately born but postpones the birth decision to later in a woman’s life, presumably when she (and the father?) are more ready to face the responsibilites of raising a _wanted_ child. even if adopted one might imagine that a child would still feel “unwanted” by his birth parents. i’m usually skeptical of “the power of love” but this may be a clear-cut instance where love (i.e., a planned baby) can make the difference between a well-adjusted child and a potential criminal.

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  3. Val says:

    Why is it so “surprising” that a bunch of future vandals, thieves, murderes, hostile schoolchildren, prowling teens, assaulters, public nuisances, crappy drivers, rapists, harassers and carjackers not being born lowers the crime rate?

    Why are so many people like the (satirized) broad on “The Simpsons”? Shrieking, “Think of the children! Won’t SOMEbody PLEASE think of the chiiiilllldrrrennn?!?”

    Completely aside from being repulsed by the thought of birth forced on a woman – how is that better than forced birth control? -

    I can do without the precious heritage of our future car thieves.

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  4. Val says:

    Why is it so “surprising” that a bunch of future vandals, thieves, murderes, hostile schoolchildren, prowling teens, assaulters, public nuisances, crappy drivers, rapists, harassers and carjackers not being born lowers the crime rate?

    Why are so many people like the (satirized) broad on “The Simpsons”? Shrieking, “Think of the children! Won’t SOMEbody PLEASE think of the chiiiilllldrrrennn?!?”

    Completely aside from being repulsed by the thought of birth forced on a woman – how is that better than forced birth control? –

    I can do without the precious heritage of our future car thieves.

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  5. William Tanksley says:

    Val said: “I can do without the precious heritage of our future car thieves.”

    That argument doesn’t have any brakes. It applies as well to any high-crime segment of society (behavioral, racial, developmental)… It argues that if a person is statistically more likely than some unknown level to commit a crime, we should kill them to prevent that crime.

    The earlier argument about “unwanted babies” by marc-paul lee is much wiser. (I don’t agree with it either, but it’s a legitimate argument that applies to the subject at hand without accidentally overgeneralizing.)

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  6. William Tanksley says:

    Val said: “I can do without the precious heritage of our future car thieves.”

    That argument doesn’t have any brakes. It applies as well to any high-crime segment of society (behavioral, racial, developmental)… It argues that if a person is statistically more likely than some unknown level to commit a crime, we should kill them to prevent that crime.

    The earlier argument about “unwanted babies” by marc-paul lee is much wiser. (I don’t agree with it either, but it’s a legitimate argument that applies to the subject at hand without accidentally overgeneralizing.)

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  7. Val says:

    What happened to the “Collage of Evidence”? It’s already gone! There is now something titled “Three Mile Island Effect”, and a search produces the “Collage of Evidence” page with the same TMI video, ad nauseum.

    Help me find it!

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  8. Val says:

    What happened to the “Collage of Evidence”? It’s already gone! There is now something titled “Three Mile Island Effect”, and a search produces the “Collage of Evidence” page with the same TMI video, ad nauseum.

    Help me find it!

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