Scholar to Speak
on the Relation Between Abortion and the Falling Crime Rate in the
13, 1999 -- Why
has the national crime rate dropped in the 1990s? No one knows for
sure, but several possible explanations have been advanced.
the most controversial ideas is that proposed by two scholars, Steven
Levitt, an economist at the University of Chicago, and John Donohue
III, a law professor at Stanford University. Their recently published
research shows a strong correlation between the rise in the number
of abortions since the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973 and the drop
in the crime rate some 20 years later. By ending unwanted pregnancies,
they argue, women avoided raising potential criminals who would
now be entering their high-crime years.
on both sides of the abortion issue have lambasted the study. Anti-abortion
groups object to the idea that terminating pregnancies could have
a positive impact on crime, while pro-abortion groups dislike the
racial overtones and aspect of social control implied in the research.
The scholars say they are just trying to interpret the data as they
is scheduled to speak at the University of Virginia next week on
the relation between the abortion rate and the declining crime rate.
His talk is open to the public, but seating is limited and will
be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
talk, "Legalized Abortion and Declining Crime," will be given to
a graduate student seminar in economics
on Thursday, Oct. 21, in Rouss Hall, room 104, at 3:30 p.m.
more information on Levitt's talk, call Steven Stern at (804) 924-6754.
Charlotte Crystal, (804)