Wednesday, January 22, 2003


Ramesh Ponnuru writes in National Review Online: Maureen "Dowd, like a lot of people, including Peggy Noonan in a fine pro-life essay published yesterday, assumes that America's population would be 40 million higher if not for abortion. I find this hard to believe. I suspect that the rate of careless conceptions increased after Roe."

Indeed, social scientists have estimated that 60%-75% of the fetuses aborted in the 1970s would not have been conceived if not for legalized abortion. (That was just part of my debate in Slate with the U. of Chicago economist who theorized that legalizing abortion in the 1970s had caused the low crime rates of the late 1990s, through imposing a prenatal death penalty on those more likely to grow up to be bad apples. I pointed out that the acid test of this hypothesis was that the juvenile murder rate should have gone down in the early 1990s, when this abortion-winnowed post-Roe generation reached ages 14-17. Instead, the teen murder rate for those born post-Roe was 3.6 times higher than for the cohort born immediately pre-Roe.)

Other than this, where I actually had something unique to say, I don't like to get into debates on abortion because I don't think I've got much new to contribute. Still, as an adopted child, let me just say that I am glad I was born before Jan. 22, 1973.

And here is the Ramesh Ponnuru essay mentioned above.

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