The Roe effect.

Author:Nicol, Elizabeth
Position:Correspondence - Letter to the Editor
 
FREE EXCERPT

To be fair to Levitt and Dubner, authors of Freakonomics, they make the same point as Richard John Neuhaus does ("While We're At It," August/September) about the moral implications of eliminating potential criminals in order to reduce crime. After making the case that they believe establishes a link between the rise in abortions in the 1970s and the falling crime rates of the 1990s, they say, "It feels less Darwinian than Swiftian; it calls to mind a long-ago dart attributed to G. K. Chesterton: when there aren't enough hats to go around, the problem isn't solved by lopping off some heads." They say further that even if one does not equate a fetus with a child, as long as one attributes some value to the fetus--and they demonstrate how economists routinely make such outrageous calculations in insurance...

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