Sunday, April 24, 2005

Read Sailer's Article, and...

I have to say it appears to be a pretty thorough fisking of Levitt on the claim that legalized abortion caused the drop in crime in the '90's.

Most damaging was Sailer's simple observation that Levitt did nothing to describe the cause of the initial INCREASE in crime that occured at about the same time that abortion was legalized (in some places, it was legalized prior to Roe). If Roe v. Wade caused the steep decline in crime rate, the crime rate would have to have been steady since abortion bans were first introduced in the early 20th Century. Instead, as Sailer demonstrates, the 70's and 80's ushered in a huge spike in crime that seems to have been uncorrelated with any abortion policy, whether pro-choice or pro-life. Thus, a change in abortion policy likely had no effect on the underlying causes of that spike in the crime rate.

Anyway, divorcing abortion policy from crime control is good news for activists on both sides of the abortion political spectrum. (Just observe how both sides reacte to the notion that there is some sort of link.) Pro-life people rightfully bristle at the notion that pre-emptively destroying an innocent life is a legitimate policy to achieve any decline in crime. The Pro-choice crowd, then, doesn't want to be accused of offering such a, well, Swiftian not-so-modest proposal. And to be fair, the Pro-choice crowd in fact does not proffer crime control as a policy aim of its position.

Rather, the pro-choice activists simply don't see any human value, and thus no human rights vesting, in a fetus until it's cranium "breaks the plane" of the birth canal. In my mind, this is as arbitrary and divorced from reality as the other extreme -- that a egg becomes a full-fledged life the instant it is fertalized. Becoming alive should not hinge on one's head making it to the "end zone". Further, I haven't yet heard any pro-choicer distinguish a partial-birth procedure from infant euthenasia on any grounds other than simply pushing the legal fiction that life starts at the threshold of the birth canal.

Further, I haven't yet seen the intellectually honest pro-choicer come forward to distinguish between the legal problems represented by the Roe decision -- specifically that it represents gigantic overreaching by the Supreme Court to invent a constitutional right out of whole cloth simply based only on the notion that such a right would be popular in the current Zeitgeist -- while still arguing that pro-choice policies are the best. But, hey, that's how liberal activists work--convince life-appointed lawyers to act as a super-legislature and then pound their decisions as immutable law.

4 Comments:

Blogger Amalie said...

**Rather, the pro-choice activists simply don't see any human value, and thus no human rights vesting, in a fetus until it's cranium "breaks the plane" of the birth canal. In my mind, this is as arbitrary and divorced from reality as the other extreme -- that a egg becomes a full-fledged life the instant it is fertilized. **

And what about the woman, no rights for her? That once the egg is fertilized, no matter how, i.e., rape, then the woman's rights are super-ceded by the now "fertilized" egg. Are you familiar with how many eggs are produced by the Mother, in her lifetime? Perhaps the unfertilized eggs should have their rights too. They could petition to have the Mother stop contraception such as a birth control pill and then file suit against each other when only one or two get spermed and demand to be protected from their once a month purge.

Sun Apr 24, 01:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tanker J.D. said...

Amalie

"That once the egg is fertilized, no matter how, i.e., rape, then the woman's rights are super-ceded by the now "fertilized" egg."

That's not my position... I said that that position was "arbitrary and divorced from reality."

Sun Apr 24, 03:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tanker J.D. said...

Amalie

Both extreme positions are untenable, in my mind.

Of course the mother has rights. But the pro-choice crowd ends the inquiry there, without a second thought to whether a viable fetus' ought to have *any* consideration. I'm in favor of balancing the competing rights, and assigning limited rights to the child as it develops...

Sun Apr 24, 03:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Sarah D. said...

that a egg becomes a full-fledged life the instant it is fertalized. Becoming alive should not hinge on one's head making it to the "end zone".

The age old question. If not at fertilization, then when? One week? Two? When it first kicks?

Sun Apr 24, 10:41:00 PM EDT  

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