Where Have All the Criminals Gone

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Where have all the criminals gone?
Sherri Ryan
Medical Careers Institute

In Steven Levitt and Stephen Dunbar’s article, they argue that there is evidence to support a link between the abortion rate and crime reduction. The authors first talk about the abortion history in Romania, how a dictator named Nicolae Ceausescu imposed his will on the people by enacting a ban on abortion in order to increase Romania’s population. By doing this however, he was denying the rights of many teenage mothers who at the time may have not wanted a child. “…The cohort of children born after the abortion ban would test lower in school, they would have less success in the labor market, and they would also prove much more likely to be criminals” (Freakonomics, Dubner and Levitt). According to Ceausescu, "The fetus is the property of the entire society. Anyone who avoids having children is a deserter who abandons the laws of national continuity.” (http://www.ceausescu.org/ceausescu_texts/). The consequences of Ceausescu’s actions resulted in an entire generation of unwanted children being born into a situation where their mother’s may not have cared and nurtured them in a loving manner because they were forced against their will to have these children. The policies in Romania in the early twentieth century would be a reverse mirror image of what was happening in the United States at the same time. The situation in the United States was that the parents of unwanted children now have a choice. This choice has been a subject of debate for many years and will remain that for many years to come.

In the 1990’s in the United States, there was a sudden drop in the crime rate that was nearly unexplainable by logical methods. Researchers attributed the crime drop to a number of different explanations, but most really could not pinpoint one major factor. Abortion up until this point in the history of the US was a largely restricted practice limited to upper class women...
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