Monday, June 19, 2006
Steve Levitt has a wonderful post at the Freakonomics Blog on the relationship between abortion and crime. A reader had pointed out to him that the Alan Guttmacher Institute of Planned Parenthood reported that the abortion rate among whites fell from 19 per 1,000 women in 1991 to 11 per 1,000 women in 1999 and asked if that decline in abortion might mean an increase in live births and, therefore, more 18-year-old males in the decade beginning in 2010 and, therefore, more crime.
It's a fair question. I urge everyone interested to read Levitt's remarkably thoughtful post here. He elaborates on the central contention in the Donohue and Levitt article, saying that the key relationship between abortion and crime comes not so much through the simple relationship between the number of abortions and later crime but between the number of unwanted children and later crime. It's a marvelous response.