Abortion has and always will continue to be a very controversial issue. This issue of terminating a life, and the right of an individual in making that decision, was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. The general argument carried in the Roe v. Wade decision was that attempts by any level of government to restrict access to abortion violated a person's 4th Amendment rights by interfering in the private relationship between a patient and a doctor (Justia.com , 2011).
Could it be that the government’s intervention by legalizing abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision lead to the dramatic reduction in crime? Did the government inadvertently save my life by preventing the birth of criminals? This paper will first explore the generally accepted theories advanced as to why the crime drop has occurred. Secondly, explain the theories behind Levitt and Dubner’s reasoning for the crime drop due to the legalization of abortion. And lastly, explain how researchers have used statistical data to negate Levitt and Dubner’s abortion theory, and assert that the crime drop was due to a confluence of events which when taken as whole all played a role in reducing crime in the United States.
Many factors may have led to the decrease in crime, but there are five very plausible explanatory factors as causal to the crime decline. The first is the demographic change, specifically referring to the changing composition of the population (Rosenfeld, 2011). Crime is a young mans game, and the aging of the baby boom generation is an important factor behind the drop, because older populations generally commit fewer crimes (Rosenfeld, 2011).
The second factor is growth in imprisonment (Rosenfeld, 2011). This factor is controversial in that some studies have shown a decrease in crime because of the high incarceration rates while other studies have shown a lack of correlation between the two (Rosenfeld, 2011). Also, it is interesting to note, that some studies have shown diminished returns on crime as the level of incarceration increases (Rosenfeld, 2011).
The third factor is the expansion and contraction of the urban crack market (Rosenfeld, 2011). Homicides and robberies increased in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, this was attributable to the rise of killings and delinquency of juveniles and young people under the age of 24 (Rosenfeld, 2011). The killings were due to the sudden rise of urban crack markets and the growing use of handguns which became a way of life for those involved. Since cocaine was very expensive and crack was fairly easy to make and cheaper to buy, it became the drug to sell for the common street dealer. In essence, as older dealers were being incarcerated, violence among the younger inner city drug dealers increased, younger dealers on the streets were more apt to be quicker on the draw than their older predecessors (Rosenfeld, 2011).
The fourth factor is the change in police size and the strategies employed by them (Rosenfeld, 2011)....