Tag Archives: Jail

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.

Hillary Clinton supports jailing Christian clerk for dissenting from gay marriage

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

NBC News reports that a county clerk is now in jail for refusing to recognize gay marriage.

A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has turned away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, was found in contempt of court and taken into custody on Thursday.

Davis, 49, was in federal district court to appear before a judge after refusing to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples in Rowan County. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, has said doing so would “violate God’s definition of marriage” and infringe on her personal religious beliefs.

District Court Judge David Bunning said that she is bound by an oath of office to perform her duties under the law, and ordered her to jail.

Hillary Clinton tweets that Christians should be jailed for holding to the definition of marriage taught by Jesus:

Hillary Clinton tweets support for jailing Christians
Hillary Clinton tweets support for jailing Christians

Obviously, Clinton is as much a Christian as the atheist Obama: not Christian at all. And it turns out that all the talk of tolerance and diversity on the secular left was just lies.

Anti-marriage demonstrators cheer fascism

So the Christian woman is in jail. Here are some supporters of diversity and tolerance chanting their support for using the government to coerce someone against their religion and conscience:

They want to force us to agree with them, and our religious liberty is no defence to government coercion. Imagine this woman tried to run away from the police who were arresting her – what would happen then? This is the America we got for voting for the Democrats.

Some people who claim to be Christians actually think Jesus is a fool

You might think that jailing people for agreeing with Jesus would not be supported by many Christians, but actually, many people who claim to be Christian do disagree with Jesus on issues like marriage:

Which religions supported Obama most in 2008?
Which religions supported Obama most in 2008?

For some people, keeping the money coming from government is more important than actually following what the Bible teaches. That chart shows who is good at following the Bible and who is not.

What should she have done?

In this particular case the right course of action is civil disobedience until you are fired. It’s important to do this so that the public has a clear understanding of what is happening. If you substitute an example like Nazi Germany forcing a Christian in government to murder Jews, then you can see that there are some cases where Christans have to refuse to do what the government wants them to do. Marriage is one of the cases where Christians should prefer to be fired rather than act against conscience.

Now, if you can get a conscientious objection that allows you to recuse yourself from duties that conflict with your duty to Christ, that is a good enough compromise. Because then you keep your influence in government (which is important!). But if there is no opt-out, then just let them fire you. I would say that you can resign, but in this case it’s better to resist and let it become a news story. That way, in the next election, people will remember where the fascists stand on religious liberty. Maybe some of the fake Christians will actually vote the right way.

How to live your life in preparation for tyranny

I would suggest that Christians stop making bad decisions with their education and career. When things like this happen, it’s important for you to have savings and skills, so you can find another job. In a very real sense, your ability to be a faithful Christian is going to hang on the decisions you make about school and work and spending vs saving your earnings. Jesus was not a person who pursued fun, thrills and travel for travel’s sake. He did not go on adventures. I think it’s time that we start to get serious about having an influence and making ourselves defensible against threats like this.

Right now, the fascists are running everything, and we seem to be disinterested in doing the degrees and careers necessary to have an influence. Some people like to think that God is speaking to them through their feelings, and telling them to have fun, go on adventures, and feel happy. But God is not your feelings. These threats are real. You need to start doing what actually solves the problem, instead of following your heart.

You want to plan your life out in a way that will allow you to defend against these threats and recover from losses. That means you don’t get to do whatever you feel like. It means you study hard things, do hard work, pay off your debts, save and invest, and stop complaining that work is boring. Christianity is not about having fun.

Here are a couple more posts for you to read about this issue:

DOJ announces plan to release prisoners convicted of drug offenses

Story from Fox News.

Excerpt:

The Justice Department moved Wednesday to significantly expand the number of people eligible for clemency, issuing new guidelines allowing certain prisoners who already have served at least 10 years behind bars to apply for release.

The initiative is part of a broader Obama administration effort to ease sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

[…]DOJ leaders… argue that the new clemency changes are meant to address inconsistencies in sentences over time. The announcement is aimed primarily at drug prisoners, especially those sentenced under old guidelines that resulted in significantly harsher penalties for people caught with crack cocaine than for those who possessed the powder form of the drug. But it also applies to federal inmates imprisoned for other crimes, provided they meet the same criteria for clemency.

Keep in mind that this is the same DOJ that oversaw the sale of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels. At least one of which was later used to kill a Border Patrol officer. So no one should be surprised where they come down when the rights of the law-abiding conflict with the rights of criminals.

It would be nice if criminals who are released would only commit future crimes against the people who are making the decision to release them. But unfortunately that’s not what happens. Instead, the people who are released will go to the poorest communities and commit more crimes there. It’s the poorest people who have to bear the consequences for this “compassion”.

What kinds of anti-poverty programs really work?

Christians ought to be concerned about poverty. Is there a way to help the poor without making them dependent on the government?

Yes! In this article, the American Enterprise Institute discusses a great program called the Doe Fund, which is run in New York City.

Excerpt:

[…][F]or more than 25 years, the organization run by George and Harriet McDonald has helped homeless men. The program they run is based on a clear contract between the shelter managers and the homeless men. “You get up every day and go to work and stay drug free-and we will pay you and house you and feed you. It’s as simple as that,” Mr. McDonald said at his shelter on 155th street in Harlem. Doe Fund facilities are funded by revenue generation from their maintenance and cleaning business, government funding for homeless services, and private donations. The breakdown is roughly one-third each.

Anyone who enters one of the four Doe Fund facilities in New York City is handed a paper entitled: “Some of the Rules that You Will hear ALL the time.” Among the regulations are Rule No. 4: No standing or loitering in front of the building at any time of the day. Rule No. 10: You must not drink or drug while you are in the program. Rule No. 11: No cellular phones are allowed while you are working.

In return for a roof over their heads and a salary, residents of the Doe Fund shelters clean and maintain commercial strips all over New York City-real jobs, with real demands and shifts that start at 6 a.m. The Doe Fund crews add an extra touch not provided by the sanitation and park employees of New York City, and every day workers face real customers who include not only local business groups who pay for their services but also residents and pedestrians who benefit from the improved quality of life.

Hourly wages start at $8.15, which gives shelter residents a chance to save, as room and board are provided. Some men accumulate as much as $5,000 while they are in the six- to nine-month program.

According to the McDonalds, over the past three years 57% of the men who completed the six-month program got jobs at an average wage of $10.86 an hour. And 65% of those retained the job for at least six months. A 2010 Harvard University evaluation found similar results. For a program that works with homeless men, many of whom have served prison sentences, those are solid results.

In addition to a strong work and drug-free requirement (enforced by random drug tests), the Doe Fund also requires the men who are fathers to provide financial support to their children and to identify themselves to the city’s child-support enforcement office to be sure they comply with their child-support orders.

What is important about the Doe Fund is that it explicitly links aid with a strong enforcement of the rules. Doe Fund managers enforce the rules by restricting noncompliant residents to the shelter, reducing benefits or referring them to another city shelter where these opportunities are not offered. The Doe Fund is not alone in its approach-there are similar setups across the country, but in most such programs it’s still rare to tie behavior to consequences.

Now, this is the kind of anti-poverty program that I support. It’s not just handing out money with no strings attached. It’s easing people into the work force in a structured environment. I think that deep down, poor people really want to work, and this program is exactly how we should be getting them started at that.

But there is one thing that might hurt this program, and the article mentions it. Can you guess what it is? Look at the hourly wages these entry-level workers are being paid.

Here’s what it is:

It is troubling that at the same time the president has announced a new focus on helping young minority men, one of his administration’s top legislative priorities is a substantial hike in the federal minimum wage-a mandate on employers that is likely to reduce job opportunities for the very young men the president wants to help with My Brother’s Keeper.

If we really wanted to help the poor, we should be LOWERING the minimum wage, and then maybe the government can make up the difference. I would much rather have the government subsidizing work by topping off lower salaries than subsidizing bad behaviors.

Convicted criminal commits burglary, murder and rape hours after early release from jail

Here’s a sad, graphic news story from the NY Daily News that should make us all pause and reconsider whether the left-wing compassion crowd is right about giving lighter sentences to criminals. (H/T Dennis Prager)

Excerpt:

A 24-year-old man charged with killing an elderly couple and raping their 2-year-old great-grandchild had been released early from prison just hours before the attacks, state officials said on Tuesday.

Jerry Active was arrested on Saturday by police and has been charged in the murders of Sorn Sreap, 71, and her husband, Touch Chea, 73, and the rape of the toddler they were babysitting that night. Active is also charged with raping Sreap.

The elderly victims’ bodies had signs of blunt-force trauma, but autopsies will determine the cause of death, the Anchorage Police Department said in a statement.

[…]Active, who had pleaded guilty to breaking into a Dillingham, Alaska, home in 2009 and sexually assaulting a child and other residents, was released from prison on probation on Saturday morning after serving part of a seven-year sentence, said Kaci Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Corrections.

Do me, cases like this make it very clear that we need to be tougher on criminals. This would never have happened if this guy had been given the death penalty instead of early release for “good behavior”. What would the compassion crowd say to evidence like this? My guess is that they would say that the victims of the crime need to be more tolerant of criminals and not be so judgmental and vindictive. After all, the victims probably caused the attack and the attacker is the real victim. That’s how people on the left think.