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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    26 Mar '10 01:14 / 1 edit
    Someone mentioned Freaknomics on this board a couple of weeks ago.

    Probably the most central and most vigorously defended thesis in that book is that the most important reason for the dramatic crime reduction in the US in the 1990s and 2000s was the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Essentially, the authors argue, quite convincingly, that abortion rates obviously shot up after Roe. Furthermore, most of the people who could not afford legal abortions who could not previously arrange for illegal ones were the people who were most likely to be devastated by the birth of an unwanted child and most likely to fail to provide the child with a good home.

    Essentially, the thesis comes down to this: The people who would be committing the crimes were aborted. Crime started sinking in the early to mid 90s because the crop of would be criminals was decimated by abortions in the wake of the 1973 decision.

    Now, most people, in my experience, treat abortion as a moral issue or an issue of rights.

    Those against abortion often feel that the fetus has a right to life. Clearly, these people would not be swayed to allow the murder of a being with the right to life on the speculative chance that this murder might prevent a crime in 20 years.

    Those in favor of abortion rights often feel that the privacy right of the mother prevents the state from requiring her to bring the fetus to term. These people would likely believe that the privacy interest is the driving force behind the right and the crime reduction an irrelevant fringe benefit.

    But, is there anyone out there ambivalent enough on this question; or perhaps who believes that NEITHER of the above are true (the fetus has no right to life, but there is no compelling privacy interest in allowing abortions) who may be swayed by this statistical inverse correlation between abortion and crime (of course, assuming one buy's the Freakonomics analysis) to become more pro-choice?

    Is it morally suspect to even allow a concern like this to enter into the equation, even if one is sharply ambivalent on the underlying issue?
  2. 27 Mar '10 00:12
    who do you think would have easier access to illegal abortions, middle-class folks or lower-class folks?
  3. 27 Mar '10 00:15
    did the freakonomics guys take into account historical access to legal abortion?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Abortion_before_Roe

    There were few laws on abortion in the United States at the time of independence, except the common law adopted from England, which held abortion to be legally acceptable if occurring before quickening ....

    Various anti-abortion statutes began to appear in the 1820s. ...

    Many early feminists including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton argued against abortion for a variety of reasons. ...

    ...

    The criminalization movement accelerated during the 1860s, and by 1900 abortion was largely illegal in every state. Some states did include provisions allowing for abortion in limited circumstances, generally to protect the woman's life or pregnancies due to rape or incest. Abortions continued to occur, however, and increasingly became readily available. Illegal abortions were often unsafe, sometimes resulting in death, as in the case of Gerri Santoro of Connecticut in 1964.

    ...

    In 1967, Colorado became the first state to legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, or in which pregnancy would lead to permanent physical disability of the mother. Similar laws were passed in California, Oregon, and North Carolina. In 1970, New York repealed its 1830 law and allowed abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Similar laws were soon passed in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington. A law in Washington, DC, which allowed abortion to protect the life or health of the woman, was challenged in the Supreme Court in 1971 in United States v. Vuitch. The court upheld the law, deeming that "health" meant "psychological and physical well-being," essentially allowing abortion in Washington, DC. By the end of 1972, 13 states had a law similar to that of Colorado, while Mississippi allowed abortion in cases of rape or incest only and Alabama allowed abortions only in cases where the mother's physical health was endangered. In order to obtain abortions during this period, mother would often travel from a state where abortion was illegal to states where it was legal.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    27 Mar '10 00:35
    Originally posted by sh76
    Thought provoking post.
  5. 27 Mar '10 02:53
    Originally posted by sh76
    Someone mentioned Freaknomics on this board a couple of weeks ago.

    Probably the most central and most vigorously defended thesis in that book is that the most important reason for the dramatic crime reduction in the US in the 1990s and 2000s was the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Essentially, the authors argue, quite convincingly, that abortion rates obviousl ...[text shortened]... ike this to enter into the equation, even if one is sharply ambivalent on the underlying issue?
    I say kill off the bottom 30% on the socioeconomic ladder and see how much further we can drive down the crime rate.
  6. 27 Mar '10 08:40
    Why would it be morally suspect? If allowing abortion increases murder, rape, robbery, etc. then you should take that into the equation when considering whether or not it should be banned by law.
  7. 27 Mar '10 13:51
    You could use the same arguments with capital punishment.

    A major reason why capital punishment doesn't really do much to deter crime is because it takes so long after the crime before the execution occurs (if it occurs at all). The reason it takes so long is because we want to make absolutely sure that the person wasn't falsely convicted.

    We could adopt a looser approach and if there's simply a "preponderance of evidence", we have an immediate execution. And we could impose executions for a wide variety of crimes. Clearly, some of the people executed would actually be innocent of the crimes, but everyone would also know that committing crimes would have immediate and dire consequences. In all likelihood, the amount of total crime would drop by a large amount and countless people would escape death or serious harm.

    But even if you could prove that this policy would save more innocent lives than it cost, most people would still oppose it because the idea of specifically executing an innocent person would be inherently repulsive. Likewise, if you believe that the unborn child is a human being, it would be better to have a higher crime rate than to allow the killing of these innocent people.
  8. 27 Mar '10 15:01
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    You could use the same arguments with capital punishment.

    A major reason why capital punishment doesn't really do much to deter crime is because it takes so long after the crime before the execution occurs (if it occurs at all). The reason it takes so long is because we want to make absolutely sure that the person wasn't falsely convicted.

    We could ...[text shortened]... d be better to have a higher crime rate than to allow the killing of these innocent people.
    I believe unborn children are humans. I'm also in favour of abortion rights.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Mar '10 03:29
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    who do you think would have easier access to illegal abortions, middle-class folks or lower-class folks?
    Clearly, middle and upper class folks would have easier access to illegal abortions. Anything risky is going to be expensive.
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Mar '10 03:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    You could use the same arguments with capital punishment.

    A major reason why capital punishment doesn't really do much to deter crime is because it takes so long after the crime before the execution occurs (if it occurs at all). The reason it takes so long is because we want to make absolutely sure that the person wasn't falsely convicted.

    We could d be better to have a higher crime rate than to allow the killing of these innocent people.
    I certainly agree that, for most people who believe that an unborn child is a human being with a full right to life, this fringe benefit would be irrelevant. Capital punishment, whatever you think of it, certainly takes the life of a human being with a right to life.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Mar '10 03:31
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I believe unborn children are humans. I'm also in favour of abortion rights.
    Care to elaborate on how those two positions are consistent?
  12. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    28 Mar '10 03:41
    Originally posted by sh76
    Someone mentioned Freaknomics on this board a couple of weeks ago.

    Probably the most central and most vigorously defended thesis in that book is that the most important reason for the dramatic crime reduction in the US in the 1990s and 2000s was the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Essentially, the authors argue, quite convincingly, that abortion rates obviousl ...[text shortened]... ike this to enter into the equation, even if one is sharply ambivalent on the underlying issue?
    It's not 'morally suspect' it's one hundred percent utterly wrong.

    There is only one question to be settled, at what stage does the fetus become a human? And that haas been the subject of thousands of posts on this message board alone with no sign of anything being settled.

    Using stats to predict the chances of a child becoming a criminal? We see similar arguments used here over and over, a particular trait is assigned to a whole group based on some BS stats.

    Wrong

    We are all individuals.
  13. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    28 Mar '10 03:44
    Originally posted by sh76
    Care to elaborate on how those two positions are consistent?
    We're going to see some interesting contortions here trying to reconcile these two, best advice to KN, just schlep off.
  14. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    28 Mar '10 05:15
    Originally posted by sh76
    Someone mentioned Freaknomics on this board a couple of weeks ago.

    Probably the most central and most vigorously defended thesis in that book is that the most important reason for the dramatic crime reduction in the US in the 1990s and 2000s was the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Essentially, the authors argue, quite convincingly, that abortion rates obviousl ...[text shortened]... ike this to enter into the equation, even if one is sharply ambivalent on the underlying issue?
    I thought Levitt admitted that his code had an error and that upon correction these strong results disappeared.
  15. 28 Mar '10 08:40
    Originally posted by sh76
    Care to elaborate on how those two positions are consistent?
    I don't value all human life equally. In fact no one really does (many people support the death penalty, for example), and it's much harder to argue consistently that human life is all of equal value than to argue that it isn't.