Does legal abortion reduce the crime rate?

That's the argument made by economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner in their bestselling book Freakonomics.

Levitt and Dubner argue that:

  1. The demographic most likely to have abortions--impoverished, inner-city minorities--is also the demographic most likely to commit crime.
  2. The crime rate dropped dramatically 20 years after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in all 50 states.

The Freakonomics hypothesis asserts that the unwanted children who would have reached the prime of their criminal careers in the 1990s were instead aborted, resulting in a drop in crime.

It's an insane--and racist--theory, but one that has surprisingly been taken seriously by many abortion advocates. 

On this episode of The 40 Days for Life Podcast, we sink our teeth into the Freakonomics abortion-crime hypothesis and answer the question: Does legal abortion reduce crime?

Steven Karlen, Campaign Director

Prior to joining the headquarters team, Steve directed several highly-successful 40 Days for Life campaigns in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. As campaign director, Steve helps local 40 Days for Life leaders build and improve life-saving efforts in their communities.