The Unforeseen Effect of Abortion

Never mind all those mayors who brag about the results of their tough-on-crime initiatives. A pair of respected researchers has come up with a startling alternative explanation for the recent drop in crime--those most likely to commit it were never born.

The legalization of abortion in the early '70s prevented a significant number of would-be criminals from coming of age in the 1990s, according to a controversial study, "Legalized Abortion and Crime," by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and Stanford University law professor John Donohue III. They suggest that the rise in abortions after the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in...

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