Tag Archives: Deterrence

Does abortion reduce violent crime? Does abortion reduce child abuse?

If abortion reduces crime, why does the evidence show that it doesn't?
If abortion reduces crime, why does the evidence show that it doesn’t?

Grr, my annoying co-workers are at it again this morning. This time, it’s the man who annoyed me about overpopulation fears, which I responded to earlier this week. He says to me this morning that Alabama is going to have a big problem with violent crime because they’ve stopped abortions. These sorts of views are common among TV-watchers, but not among those study-readers.

Life Site News reports on a Yale Law & Economics Research Paper.

First, let’s see the abstract:

Abortion may prevent the birth of “unwanted” children, who would have relatively small investments in human capital and a higher probability of crime. On the other hand, some research suggests that legalizing abortion increases out-of-wedlock births and single parent families, which implies the opposite impact on investments in human capital and thus crime. The question is: what is the net impact? We find evidence that legalizing abortion increased murder rates by around about 0.5 to 7 percent. Previous estimates are shown to suffer from not directly linking the cohorts who are committing crime with whether they had been born before or after abortion was legal.

And now, let’s see the Life Site News article:

Law professors John R. Lott, Jr. of Yale Law School and John E. Whitley of the University of Adelaide found that legalizing abortion increased murder rates by up to seven percent. They concluded that legalizing abortion is a contributing factor to the great increase in out‑of‑wedlock births and single parent families, which in turn contribute to increased crime rates. Since 1970, the percentage of single‑parent households in the United States has nearly tripled, from 11 percent to 32 percent, and the percentage of out‑of‑wedlock births has nearly quadrupled, from 11 percent to 43 percent of all children.7 Children born out-of-wedlock and raised by only one parent have a significantly higher incidence of crime.

There are many other fundamental problems with the conclusion that legalized abortion leads to a decrease in crime.

Statistician David Murray confirmed that young males between the ages of 17 and 25 commit the majority of crimes. However, if abortion had reduced crime, the crime rates in the United States would have dropped first among young people. They did not. Instead, the number of crimes committed by older people dropped first. Nearly 60% of the decline in murder since 1990 involved killers aged 25 and older — who were born before Roe v. Wade.8

Murray also found that other nations with high abortion rates showed a large increase in crime about eighteen years after they legalized abortion. For example, in Great Britain, which legalized abortion in 1968, violent crime has been rising steeply since about 1985 ― exactly when it should have been declining, according to the Donohue‑Levitt thesis. Additionally, Russia, with the highest abortion rate on earth, has experienced a tidal wave of every kind of violent crime following the breakup of the Soviet Union.9

FBI statistics showed that the murder rate in 1993 for 14‑ to 17‑year‑olds in the USA (born in the years 1975‑1979, which had very high abortion rates) was 3.6 times higher than that of kids who were the same age in 1984 (who were born in the pre‑legalization years of 1966‑1970). Additionally, since Black women were having abortions at a much higher rate than White women, we should have expected the murder rate among Black youth to have declined beginning in about 1991. Instead, it increased more than five hundred percent from 1984 to 1993.10

Finally, the huge increase in violent crime that peaked in 1991 and then began to decline is more closely related to the crack epidemic, not abortion. The Donohue‑Levitt study confirms that the crime rate rose and fell exactly where crack cocaine was most easily available ― in the large cities and among young Black males.11 This is also confirmed by the rise in crime during the time period 1984 to 1991, after a decline from 1980 to 1984. If abortion were the primary cause of a decline in violent crime, the crime rate would have been relatively stable during the time period 1980 to 1991.

By the way, a good book to buy on this is John Lott’s “Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don’t“. One third of the book covers this topic.

And if you’re wondering what caused the decline in violent crime rates in the 1990s, the answer to that is that it was multiple factors. Better policing, mandatory sentencing laws, legalized concealed carry laws, and other factors were responsible.

Abortion and child abuse

Sometimes, pro-abortion people put forward a similar argument about abortion preventing child abuse. This argument seems intuitive, but from an evidence point of view, it’s false.

Here’s a report from Life News about a study out of Bowling Green State University.

Excerpt:

For decades, evidence has existed showing abortion contributes to a rise in child abuse. Now a new study by a post-abortion research institute and Bowling Green State University professors finds that women who have abortions are more likely to abuse their children.

Published in the medical journal Acta Paediatrica, the study found that women who have had abortions are 2.4 times more likely to physically abuse their children. Pro-life advocates say it proves the need for providing women with post-abortion counseling to help deal with the emotional trauma of the abortion.

[…]The authors suggested that “emotional difficulties and unresolved grief responses” from pregnancy loss, whether voluntary or involuntary, could have a negative impact on women’s mental health and lead to unhealthy parenting responses.

According to the Illinois-based Elliot Institute, which released information about the study’s findings, prior surveys “have linked pregnancy loss to an increase in grief reactions, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which can have a negative impact on parent/child relationships.”

The post-abortion research group also points to a 2002 study published in the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology that found abortion has been linked to an increase in substance abuse and thoughts of suicide, which could also contribute to child abuse.

The new study also found that women who had more than one miscarriage or stillbirth were more likely to engage in child abuse than women who had just one. However, women who had abortions were more likely to abuse their children whether they had one or more than one abortion.

“Regardless of the specific mechanisms at play, maternal history of one induced abortion does appear to be a marker for increased risk of physical abuse,” the authors concluded.

Whenever I read about how studies contradict people’s intuitions about what will and will not work, it makes me sad that so many people who live life on intuitions and feelings are still allowed to vote. If only we had a society where reason and evidence were seen as indispensable for building up your view of the world.

By the way, if you’re looking for a good article for debating other aspects of the Alabama pro-life law, my friend William, who loves to debate everything, and he always wins, just posted this article about 9 myths about the Alabama pro-life law.

General advice on countering your co-workers

I found that if I passed on TV and movies, I could buy pretty much any book I wanted that has research-based responses to these common questions from secular leftists. All it takes is a commitment to dedicate your book-buying budget to the task of responding to challenges, instead of producing feelings.

I notice a lot of Christian women in my office reading fiction books, while the Christian men are always talking about TV and movies. Fiction and entertainment are useless for putting forward Bible-based views and supporting evidence in controversial discussions. Instead of wasting your money on fiction and entertainment, listen closely to what people in your office are saying, and then purchase and train with resources that help you to serve God in these discussions. Bible verses and prayers alone will not equip you to serve in difficult situations.

Who has the better record on foreign policy? Donald Trump or Joe Biden?

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Christians often like to try to make elections about a single issue, typically abortion. I’m pro-life, and opposing abortion is important to me. However, my goal is to get the election result I want in the real world, not just to be right in my own mind. So, I think conservatives should be able to discuss many different issues, like economics, energy, job creation, health care, education, etc. persuasively.

One issue you can use to convince people to vote Republican is foreign policy. Has Trump got a good record on foreign policy? Is it better or worse than Joe Biden’s record? Let’s take a look.

It’s always a good thing when a leader is able to make peace between warring countries. Trump is actually really good at this.

The Federalist explains:

Sudan will be removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and will begin a partnership with the United States and Israel, President Donald Trump announced on Friday.

[…]The agreement comes just weeks after Trump secured two other historic peace deals in the Middle East through the signing of The Abraham Accords with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which established full diplomatic relations of the countries with Israel. These deals facilitated by the Trump Administration are meant to bring “stability, security, and prosperity” in the region.

[…]Trump granted Sudan’s removal from the terrorism list after the nation paid “$335 million to compensate American victims of past terror attacks and their families.”

In addition to those deals, Trump’s diplomatic team just brokered a deal to get Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop shooting at each other.

The Wall Street Journal explains:

Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have spent nearly a month engaged in a violent conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, have agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire, the U.S. and the two Caucasus neighbors said Sunday afternoon.

The cease-fire, based on commitments made in Moscow earlier this month, will take effect at 8 a.m. local time on Monday, according to the joint announcement.

[…]Sunday’s announcement follows a series of meetings in Washington aimed at preventing the long-simmering conflict between the two former Soviet republics from expanding to the wider region.

Trump didn’t start any new wars in his first 4-year term, and kept his promises about bringing troops home. That’s a lot better than Joe Biden, who was VP during THREE failed US interventions in Egypt, Libya and Syria. And the Obama-Biden administration pulled us out of Iraq, which caused the rise of the Islamic State caliphate. Trump actually had to clean up the ISIS mess, and he did: reducing them from a massive area of influence to a tiny area of influence.

Trump also likes to deter Iran, the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world. He pulled out of the Iran deal, which Biden championed. That deal gave Iran pallets of cash, and allowed them to work on developing nuclear weapons. In contrast, Trump has been very tough with Iran.

The Washington Examiner explains:

Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian military general who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq on Thursday, was responsible for the deaths of over 600 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

“General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” the Pentagon said. “He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months — including the attack on December 27th — culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”

The Department of Defense added that the strike against Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Quds Force, the extraterritorial wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, “was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”

And just this past week, Trump continued to sanction Al Qaeda leaders.

Sky News reports:

The man believed to be al Qaeda’s second-in-command has been killed, Afghan security forces have said.

Abu Muhsin al-Masri was on the FBI’s most wanted list and was charged with conspiracy to kill US nationals.

[…][Al-Masri] had also been charged in America with providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organisation.

Very good, and much better than Joe Biden, who seems to be always wrong on foreign policy.

The Washington Examiner again:

In his 2014 memoir, Duty, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates famously shared his view that Biden, then the vice president and previously chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had been wrong about “nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

[…]Early on Jan. 7, Biden was savaging Trump as “dangerously incompetent” for the strike that had killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps terrorist leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani a few days earlier. Biden claimed that Trump was close to starting an “endless war in the Middle East” and that “this outcome of strategic setbacks, heightened threats, chants of ‘Death to America’ once more echoing across the Middle East, [and] Iran and its allies vowing revenge — this was avoidable.”

None of Biden’s predictions ever materialized, because he knows less about foreign policy than my keyboard.

Biden is terrible on Osama Bin Laden and the Cold War:

This is the man who once tried to dissuade Obama from his operation against terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden; who supported the Iraq War and said in 2003, “I voted to go into Iraq, and I’d vote to do it again”; and who vocally opposed President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup and the Strategic Defense Initiative, which helped bring down the Soviet Union.

The Obama/Biden administration created ISIS by retreating from Iraq:

Biden claimed he had atoned for his Iraq War vote by spearheading Obama’s 2011-2012 withdrawal from Iraq. But that withdrawal was a disaster, and it led to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Joe Biden was also part of the administration that traded FIVE top Taliban commanders for Private Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl put his fellow soldiers in danger when they had to go searching for him, after he deserted his post. And then there was the Benghazi scandal, when the Obama-Biden administration abandoned their people when they came under attack by terrorists. Then they blamed the attack on a YouTube video.

We shouldn’t put someone with a bad record on foreign policy – Biden – into the White House, when we can have someone with a good record on foreign policy instead: Trump.

Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about capital punishment

Bible study that hits the spot
Bible study that hits the spot

Reformed Baptist theologian Wayne Grudem speaks on the Bible and capital punishment.

About Wayne Grudem:

Grudem holds a BA from Harvard University, a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. In 2001, Grudem became Research Professor of Bible and Theology at Phoenix Seminary. Prior to that, he had taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he was chairman of the department of Biblical and Systematic Theology.

Grudem served on the committee overseeing the English Standard Version translation of the Bible, and in 1999 he was the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is a co-founder and past president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He is the author of, among other books, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, which advocates a Calvinistic soteriology, the verbal plenary inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the body-soul dichotomy in the nature of man, and the complementarian (rather than egalitarian) view of gender equality.

The MP3 file is here.

The PDF outline is here.

Topics:

  • what kinds of crimes might require CP?
  • what did God say to Noah about CP?
  • what does it mean that man is made in the image of God?
  • is CP just about taking revenge?
  • what does CP say about the value of human life?
  • does CP apply to animals, too?
  • could the statements supporting CP be understood as symbolic?
  • one purpose of CP is to protecting the public
  • another purpose of CP is to deter further wrongdoing
  • but the Biblical purpose of CP is to achieve justice by retribution
  • does the Pope make a good argument against CP?
  • what is the role of civil government in achieving retribution?
  • do people in Heaven who are sinless desire God to judge sinners?
  • should crimes involving property alone be subject to CP?
  • is the Mosaic law relevant for deciding which crimes are capital today?
  • should violent crimes where no one dies be subject to CP?
  • is CP widespread in the world? why or why not?
  • what are some objections to CP from the Bible?
  • how do you respond to those objections to CP?
  • should civil government also turn the other cheek for all crimes?
  • what is the “whole life ethic” and is it Biblical?
  • what do academic studies show about the deterrence effect of CP?
  • how often have innocent people been executed in the USA?
  • should there be a higher burden of proof for CP convictions?

The Bible is awesome because it gives us knowledge about God’s character. How are we supposed to act in a way that is pleasing to God if we don’t know what he thinks of the issues of the day? We won’t know how we are supposed to act unless we know who God is first. And that’s why when we read the Bible we should be looking to find out the truth about who God is.