In 2001, Freakonomics author Steve Levitt shocked the world with his theory that legal abortion helped to reduce crime.
He suggested that unwanted children are more likely to become troubled teens who are prone to commit crimes. Seven years later, he is still defending his research, despite several studies to the contrary.
In a lecture on Monday at the Penn Museum, Levitt admitted the topic was controversial but refused to back down. A new report from the U.K. may force him to reconsider.
In concert with economists in the U.S., a British team found that violent crimes had “increased steadily over the years following legalized abortion.” In fact, none of the four “crime measurements” they analyzed showed the slightest decline.
The findings are consistent with others that suggest the Levitt link is a myth. In August of last year, a University of Maryland study demonstrated that legalized abortion also led to higher rates of crime and murder rates, in particular.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t take a statistical genius to recognize the flaws in Levitt’s theory. Abortion has played a major role in people’s perception of the special nature of human life.
When Americans devalue life, it doesn’t detract from crime—it leads to it.
Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council. This item is excerpted from the update that he compiles for the FRC.