Monday, July 30, 2007

Violent crime has been dropping in recent decades. Some attribute it to the relaxing of gun laws--law-abiding citizens becoming more able to protect themselves, and potential criminals either being stopped by them or deterred by this knowledge. Others attribute it to a corellary of the Roe Effect: more potential criminals are getting aborted, so they never grow up to cause trouble and put more stress on troubled homes to drive even more people into crimes of desperation.

I know the former is at least partly responsible. In states where personal defense is or has become more legally feasible, crime has dropped or been consistently lower than other places where the government spends a lot of time intimidating non-criminals into being docile, such as California.

The more I think about it, though, the more I think that the Roe Effect might have some a beneficial effect on crime in the short run. Bear with me for a moment.

Roe is an artifact of a sterile cultural philosophy. After abortion became legal, it started getting more difficult to make political hay out of the issue. In 1973, decades of propaganda had culminated in enough support and wooly-headedness to get SCOTUS to conjure up some quasi-Constitutional right to abortion and use flimsy reasoning to base it on an otherwise-sensible inferral of a right to privacy. Since then, though, the people who were in favor of abortion tended to have, advocate, and finance them. Pro-life people had children and taught them to value life; pro-abortion people didn't have the human resources to keep up and had only propaganda to fall back on for trying to convert pro-lifers and fence-sitters who see more and more historical evidence that abortion isn't really a solution to a problem.

God is life. God loves life. It's no accident that sterile and actively life-hating philosophies tend to be self-limiting in the long run. Why might abortion seem to yield a drop in crime?

On the one hand, well, the moral scales don't tip; we're just exchanging drugs and armed robbery for prenatal infanticide. On the other hand, yes, there are fewer potential criminals growing up in troubled homes. On an absolute scale, crime might be dropping, but the overall population is not rising when children aren't born. So, what about per capita crimes? Do pro-abortionists have an out there, at least?

Without having to look at statistics, I can say "yes, but no."

It's the 21st century. People are living longer. There are more people at greater ages than before--population rises due to a reduction in mortality, not an increase in fertility. In the short run, the former can overtake the latter, especially if most crimes are committed by people who are younger than the average career-holding, family-starting person. Take them away, and sure, crime will drop. It'll just be a few years before we see employment (and unemployment) drop, school enrollment drop, before we see population seriously drop. Unless you look at Europe, at least; they're a little ways ahead of us.

Abortion can reduce crime? Abortion reduces everything. Don't let one lesser evil amongst many distract you.

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