Abortion Means Less Crime
Here Is An Introduction To Why

A study, "Legalized Abortion and Crime," reported in August 1999, by Steven Levitt, a University of Chicago economist, and John Donahue III, a Stanford University law school professor, shows that abortion means less crime. A copy of the study was provided to the Chicago Tribune. The explanatory article by its Karen Brandon was in turn published in the Monday, 9 August 1999, Detroit Free Press and may be seen there.

Various explanations have been offered. The kids would have been in for a tough life, therefore presumably more likely to commit crime. Or, the economy or the aging population explains less crime.

See an elaboration of this by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, in Freakonomics (New York: William Morrow, 2005), pp 5-6, 12-13, 118, 137-142, and 206. Note that "the millions of women most likely to have an abortion in the wake of Roe v. Wade--poor, unmarried, and teenage mothers for whom illegal abortions had been too expensive or too hard to get--were often models of adversity. They were the very women whose children, if born, would have been much more likely than average to become criminals. But because of Roe v. Wade, these children weren't being born. This powerful cause would have a drastic, distant effect: years later, just as these unborn children would have entered their criminal primes, the rate of crime began to plummet . . . the pool of potential criminals had dramatically shrunk," p 6.

However, to medical analysts who have studied both abortion and crime, such other purported "explanations" are missing the mark. Such other "explanations" reflect ignorance of the actual 90% factor in crime. They are as erroneous as would be an explanation about lung cancer rates, that ignored the 90% factor in lung cancer.

Medical research has long shown both a smoking-abortion link and a smoking-crime link. The smoking-abortion link has been reported repeatedly since Ballantyne (1902). The smoking-crime link has been reported since before Dr. Alcott's 1836 reference to it.

Everyone in the criminal justice (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, police, jailers) knows the cigarettes-crime link. They see it every day. People in the system, not just doctors, have written narratives citing the fact. A prison official, Jackson, wrote a paper on the subject in 1854! The cigarettes-crime link has been repeatedly cited thereafter, including in court precedents. Then doctors began researching the subject, ascertaining why cigarettes lead to crime, and found the explanation in that era.

Smoker women have disproportionately more abortions. Smokers commit disproportionately more crime. Smoker mothers produce more babies with birth defects who become criminals in later life. When smoker women have disproportionately aborted babies who'd otherwise have disproportionately become criminals, naturally the crime rate went down.

Note the "dose-response relationship between amount of maternal prenatal smoking and arrests for nonviolent and violent crimes. Maternal prenatal smoking was particularly related to persistent criminal behavior rather than to arrests confined to adolescence," cited by Patricia A. Brennan, PhD; Emily R. Grekin; and Sarnoff A. Mednick, PhD, DrMed, "Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and Adult Male Criminal Outcomes" Arch Gen Psychiatry, 56(3):215-219 (March 1999).

"Here we are looking at male germline mutations, which are mutations in the DNA of sperm. If inherited, these mutations persist as irreversible changes in the genetic composition of off-spring." said Carole Yauk, Ph.D., in "Cigarette smoke alters DNA in sperm, genetic damage could pass to offspring," American Association for Cancer Research (1 June 2007). "We have known that mothers who smoke can harm their fetuses, and here we show evidence that fathers can potentially damage offspring long before they may even meet their future mate."

For more background, see Topic Search and the Commentary by William Bennett.

An example of a woman married to a smoker, who, if she'd had an abortion, would have saved 50 million lives, by preventing birth of a foreseeably aggressive and criminal-propensity child, was the mother of Adolf Hitler.

In the modern era, anti-smoking efforts have had some success. This has had a further reduction-in-crime effect.

Other "explanations" (about "unwanted" kids; the economy, etc.) are thus invalid.

As smoking re-increases, the crime rate will foreseeably resume climbing.

The cigarettes link to crime was brought to the attention of the Michigan House of Representatives in 1889. Iowa banned cigarettes in 1897. Tennessee banned cigarette sales in 1897. Michigan banned cigarettes in 1909.

This website, as stated above, is only an introduction to the subject, which has multitudinous ramifications. A significant amount of background data exists, which you are encouraged to read.

The Cigarette - Crime Link Website
The Cigarette - Abortion Link Website
The Cigarette - Birth Defects Link Website

Introduction to the Medical Causation Analysis Process
House Report on Cigarette Hazards - 1889
Iowa's 1897 Reaction - Banning Cigarettes
Tennessee's 1897 Reaction - Banning Cigarette Sales
Michigan's 1909 Reaction - Banning Cigarettes
Thomas Edison's 1914 Analysis of Cigarettes
Prof. Pearl's 1938 Tobacco Death Rates Analysis
Cigarette - Cancer Data 1925
Tobacco Addiction Data 1527 - Present
Tobacco and Mental Disorder
Tobacco and Brain Damage
Overview Links Site


William J. Bennett, 20-year smoker, and Reagan's Secretary of Education, naturally refuses to admit the tobacco-crime link, hence, takes the racist line: In September 2005, on his radio show, "Morning in America," he ridiculed the medical fact " that one reason crime is down is that abortion is up."

Instead of honestly admitting this, he displayed typical smoker brain damage symptom. He changed the subject:

"But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," said Bennett, a pretended moral expert, and author of The Book of Virtues!!

This site is sponsored as a public service by
The Crime Prevention Group. Please visit our homepage.

Copyright 1999 Leroy J. Pletten

Email TCPG