Yesterday the anti-gun movement was dealt a stunning blow by the release of a study from the Justice Department indicating that, despite increases in the rate of civilian gun ownership in a growing population, gun crime has declined significantly over the last several decades.
In analyzing the study, Pew suggests that a contributing factor in the decline in violence is legalized abortion:
Some researchers have proposed additional explanations as to why crime levels plunged so suddenly, including increased access to abortion and lessened exposure to lead. According to one hypothesis, legalization of abortion after the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision resulted in fewer unwanted births, and unwanted children have an increased risk of growing up to become criminals. Another theory links reduced crime to 1970s-era reductions in lead in gasoline; children’s exposure to lead causes brain damage that could be associated with violent behavior. The National Academy of Sciences review said it was unlikely that either played a major role, but researchers continue to explore both factors.
It’s impossible to either prove or disprove this theory, because we have no idea what would have happened in terms of crime if the tens of millions of babies aborted after Roe vs. Wade had been allowed to live. Perhaps crime would have gone up. Elsewhere in the study it is suggested that the decline in violent crime is due to the “baby boomers” demographic bubble moving out of age demographics that are the most prone to violence.
Yet, birth rates in America have been declining anyway – something having more to do with economics than abortion – so it’s hard to see how abortion has made much of a difference one way or another.
But even supposing that abortion has lowered crime rates, isn’t that a rather ghoulish sort of thing to be proud of? By touting such a thing as a benefit of abortion, we’re crossing the line into the ugly world of eugenics.
Whatever valid arguments there may be for justifying abortion, killing off babies because they might have become criminals or they might have become welfare cases simply isn’t an ethical argument to make.