The Roe effect.

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

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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