Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Freakonomists Blog Discusses Abortion

I am encouraging everyone to move over to and read the discussion called Abortion and crime: who should you believe? Where bestselling "freakonomists" Steven Levitt, and Stephen Dubner discuss their theory that abortion reduces the crime rate. As a person who respects all people, I am opposed to abortion as a form of social engineering. I have written one comment on the blog to this effect and gotten the expected boilerplate liberal responses.

Still, it is an interesting discussion, and the premise itself points out how statistics can be made to show anything you want them to. Certainly the appearance of correlation does not mean that true correlation necessarily exists. Click on over there, read some of the discussion, especially the comments...then come back here and comment.


At 12:07 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Abortion as "social engineering"? Aside from the fact that the always obtuse O'Reilly used -- or misused -- this phrase in his interview with Levitt, doesn't there have to be an element of government coercion, or at least government endorsement, before we can apply that phrase? Come to think of it, aren't the promotion of marriage and pre-marital abstinence by the government social engineering? Levitt merely reports that the fact of widespread abortion influenced crime rate declines; I don't recall him advocating one way or the other. And, really, doesn't his data confirm what our notions of good parenting tell us? That wanted kids -- those whose mothers would not have thought of aborting them -- are less likely to become criminals? And don't the same notions tell us the converse is true -- that children who would have been aborted but for a legal prohibition are more likely to be neglected or abused and thus more likely to turn to crime? It's manifest that one should want to have a child before having one. The rub, of course, is when do you get to make that choice? I know the pro-life position is that that choice is made when you have unprotected sex (or when your birth control fails). For those of us that disagree, letting that choice be anytihng other than a matter of individual conscience is unacceptable.


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