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Is society better off without the unborn children who were aborted since Roe v. Wade? Even the suggestion withers polite conversation. But according to economists Dr. John J. Donohue III of Stanford and Dr. Steven D. Levitt of the University of Chicago, a large part of the last decade's dramatically reduced crime rate may be traceable to 1973's Roe v. Wade decision and the ensuing upsurge in abortions.

In a recent, much publicized but still unpublished study, Donohue and Levitt find that the drop in crime coincides with the period when children born shortly after Roe v. Wade would be reaching teen age. Furthermore, in states such as New York and Hawaii, which legalized abortion before Roe v. Wade,

* The decrease in murder was 16.2% greater than for the rest of the nation.

* The decrease in total violent crime was 34.4% greater.

* The decrease in property crime was 35.3% greater.

According to Dr. Levitt, "What our paper, says is that when you remove a government prohibition against a woman choosing, the woman makes choices that lead to better outcomes for her children."

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Publication:Free Inquiry
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 1999
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