Abortion, Free Speech And Crime

It turns out there really is no such thing as a “single issue.” Life and reality are complicated. And inter-related.

Leave aside, for purposes of today’s discussion, the inconvenient historical research confirming that the real impetus of the “pro-life” movement was the desire to protect segregation, not fetuses. Leave aside also the breathtaking hypocrisy of people who obsess over those “unborn babies” but are entirely unconcerned about toddlers in cages at the border, the children drinking unsafe water in Flint and elsewhere, the children without enough to eat….Etc.

Let’s just talk about those dots we Americans don’t like to connect.

Let’s begin with free speech. Almost everyone claims to be a staunch believer in free speech–until, of course, someone is saying something with which they disagree, or even worse, fails to say something we want them to say. In North Dakota, lawmakers have passed a law to “protect the unborn” by requiring doctors to lie to their patients.

That was a bridge too far even for the famously timid and nonpolitical American Medical Association.

One of America’s leading medical organizations has filed a lawsuit to block a North Dakota abortion law requiring doctors to tell women that a medication-induced abortion can be “reversed,” an assertion medical experts say is scientifically unsound.

The American Medical Association has joined the Red River Women’s Clinic, the last abortion facility in the state, and its medical director, Kathryn Eggleston, to argue that the law violates doctors’ constitutional right to free speech by forcing them to lie to patients. The plaintiffs also contest an existing provisionin North Dakota law that requires a doctor to tell a woman that the abortion will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being,” a statement they argue is ideologically biased and “forces physicians to act as the mouthpiece of the state.”

It’s the second time this year the AMA has sued over an abortion-related issue. In March, the organization filed a lawsuit in Oregon over a provision in the Trump administration’s new rules for the federal family planning program–rules that would, among other things, ban doctors and other health professionals from referring pregnant patients for abortions.

I can’t help wondering why we haven’t heard from all those opponents of national health care who are terrified of government control over their medical providers.

It isn’t just that efforts to deny women personal autonomy require intrusions–infringements–of other constitutional liberties. There are equally inconvenient sociological “dots” to connect as well.

Crime rates in the U.S. have fallen by about halfsince the early 1990s. A new working paperfrom the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that legalized abortion following the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 accounts for 45% of the decline in crime rates over the past three decades.

The paper’s authors, Stanford University economist John Donohueand University of Chicago economist Steve Levitt, take new data and run nearly the same model they used in their influential — and controversial — 2001 analysispublished in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, where they first suggested an association between abortion and crime.

In the 2001 paper, they found that legalized abortion appeared to account for up to half of the drop in rates of violent crime and property crime to that point. They also predicted crime would fall an additional 20% over the next two decades. Levitt featured the research in the 2005 bestseller Freakonomics. The new paper also looks at violent crime and property crime.

When you think about it–assuming you do think about it– it makes sense. As the authors put it, “unwanted children are at an elevated risk for less favorable life outcomes on multiple dimensions, including criminal involvement, and the legalization of abortion appears to have dramatically reduced the number of unwanted births.”

The authors examine crime in states that legalized abortion before Roe; crime in states with high and low abortion rates after Roe; differences in crime patterns in states among people born before and after Roe; and differences in arrest rates within states among people born before and after Roe.

If we really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, we would create a society that supported women and nurtured children–a society in which birth control was easily obtainable and babies were not additional, resented burdens to impoverished mothers.

But that might require connecting some dots……

 

17 thoughts on “Abortion, Free Speech And Crime

  1. LOL; my apologies to all of you, I realized I must first research a section of the United States Code referred to in Trump’s Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religion Liberty, issued May 4, 2017 before continuing. Be right back!

  2. Well, which is more important, the right to free speech or the right to keep women barefoot and pregnant? We might find the current SCOTUS thinks it’s the latter.

  3. I believe this is the section of the code Trump refers to: “(4) with respect to women, such additional preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph.2″:
    (5) for the purposes of this chapter, and for the purposes of any other provision of law, the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Service Task Force regarding breast cancer screening, mammography, and prevention shall be considered the most current other than those issued in or around November 2009.
    Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a plan or issuer from providing coverage for services in addition to those recommended by United States Preventive Services Task Force or to deny coverage for services that are not recommended by such Task Force.”

    Trump’s Section 3 of his Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty:
    “Conscience Protections with Respect to Preventive-Care Mandate. The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience based objections to the preventive care mandate promulgated under section 300gg-(a)(4) of the title 42, United States Code.”

    Does this section of this Executive Order not translate to Pence’s RFRA, referring to religious freedom, and his severe anti-abortion laws, often necessary preventive care, enacted in the state of Indiana; which Pence stated he will take to the federal level? And to the law suits filed in Republican states which the ACLU is now fighting? There certainly is no such thing as a “single issue” in this particular “single issue” which involves decisions regarding obstruction of necessary or optional medical care by women…and their primary physicians who are not blocked (obstructed) by personal religious beliefs or Section 3 of Trump’s Executive Order.

    “It’s the second time this year the AMA has sued over an abortion-related issue. In March, the organization filed a lawsuit in Oregon over a provision in the Trump administration’s new rules for the federal family planning program–rules that would, among other things, ban doctors and other health professionals from referring pregnant patients for abortions.”

    Again I apologize for the length and copied and pasted technical inclusions but this issue is of personal interest to me. I lost my 24 year old granddaughter who suffered from a seizure disorder which could at any time be fatal; her pregnancy increased the possibility of her death greatly but she chose to try to carry her baby girl to term. She was 5 months pregnant when the fatal seizures struck. Those girls and young women forced to maintain pregnancies which endangered their lives are just as dead, and so are their babies, if they were denied the option of an abortion. We will never see those statistics.

  4. This, your last paragraph copied below, speaks volumes…..

    If we really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, we would create a society that supported women and nurtured children–a society in which birth control was easily obtainable and babies were not additional, resented burdens to impoverished mothers.

  5. What do we do with all the men who create babies but don’t take responsibility for them?

    If you look closer at the impoverished women collecting state services, there is always an absent or irresponsible father somewhere in the background. Sometimes, one or two or three.

    The anti-abortion crowd focuses only on the women but never take into account the man who wanted 10 minutes of bliss and then wanted nothing to do with the outcome. The Child Support courts are full of dead beat dads in this county. I’m sure it’s the same elsewhere.

    Free condoms are helpful but we need tougher laws for deadbeats to discourage them from engaging with women and then disappearing. Many of the men even choose jail because it’s easier than working and paying back their support they owe.

  6. Ideological extremism, irrespective of the source, is the bane of mankind and yet another expression of tribalism, racism and outright bigotry. Ideological extremism doesn’t care about basic human rights for those who aren’t in their particular tribe.

    I don’t think that’s ever going to get fixed to any degree, because humans evolved their societies as tribal things with all sorts of identifying trappings. What’s pathetic, though, is that the very beings who bring forth another member of the species are preyed upon by the vultures of ideology – no matter what sign is in their front yards.

  7. Todd, your observations are correct and the same in the county I reside in.

    We need to offer free and easily obtainable birth control in this country. Just this one taxpayer sponsored healthcare option alone would save our country billions of dollars in other healthcare expenses, not to mention the future crimes, etc. But, of course, common sense has no place in the world of evangelical brain washing and male domination.

  8. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

  9. Reaching for the common sense button Sheila Kennedy again hits the nail on the head. Here is a good quote:
    “If we really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, we would create a society that supported women and nurtured children–a society in which birth control was easily obtainable and babies were not additional, resented burdens to impoverished mothers.”
    Sheila again illustrates the complexity of the issue but amplifies the answer. Read the quote. Taking care of immigration and all the other “dots” of issues is just the same. We need to get at the root cause. Money and power – fear.

  10. I wonder why so many “Liberals” would deny a national healthcare program as practiced in most industrialized/civilized countries to these very same women?

  11. “If we really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, we would create a society that supported women and nurtured children–a society in which birth control was easily obtainable and babies were not additional, resented burdens to impoverished mothers.”

    Stephen Bartram; the majority of the above mentioned society in Sheila’s quote do not need to be created; they already exist and comprise the majority but there is no cohesion, no organization such as the federal government has in the Health & Human Services, Office Of Civil Rights and Trump and Vice President Pence and the entire administration, upheld by McConnell, who have the power over the majority of Americans. Their “conscience protection” is upheld by the crimes they commit in office against democracy, Rule of Law and the Constitution. They are the root cause, comprised of money and power and we are living in fear as we in this country have never faced before due to their power and the complexity and vast number of issues tearing this country apart.

    I will again say that the November 2019 election is vital, possibly more important than November 2020 election; losing it will automatically herald the Trump/Pence/McConnell win in 2020.

  12. When Dems discuss social problems, it’s largely a performative dance focused not on addressing those problems but using those problems to validate their own social status. They are charity oriented, not liberty oriented.

    Impoverished mothers?

    National Healthcare? According to apparatchiks at this very forum,We Can’t Do It. Just like the Repubs would tell her;” Tough Shit, You’re On Your Own.”

    Raising wages? Can’t do it. That’s like giving that mother a pony. Next thing ya know, she’ll want a unicorn! 40+ Years of stagnant wages can’t solely be blamed on Republicans.

    Democrats and Republicans work to diminish the dignity of the impoverished. The only time Democrats give a shit about these mothers is allowing them the option to abort. Beyond that,nothing.

  13. Thank you,Sheila,and other for pointing out how this issue only holds the females responsible for actions and outcomes which come from a joining of two bodies.

    With DNA and opening of adoption records many men perhaps will be surprised at how their moments of bliss, which Todd so aptly pointed out, might make them somewhat more prone to responsibility for human lives they turned away from. I certainly try hope so….might change the voice of calling for no abortions for anyone, in any situation.

  14. Remember that State laws are confined to the State grounds. Not every State legislature has the same constitutional laws. If doctors and nurses wanted to perform surgical removal of fetuses — cysts, tumors, failed mechanical bits and pieces — what is to stop them in Indiana? Asking tax-paying health personnel to pay for such ‘rights’ is one approach; asking everyone to step in for the absent parent is another. Health officials have 18 years to establish maternity and paternity for each citizen since 1948. Such surgeries do not affect the majority of citizens but the constant propaganda does about killing spirits lifelong for entertainment purposes — not changing taxes.

  15. All of you have lost your souls, your conscience, but I am glad there are more people who believe that life is sacred from the womb to the tomb – no exceptions!

  16. Mary Helen; your obvious exception regarding sacred life are the girls and women with life-threatening health conditions who DIE pregnant…this KILLS the baby they are pregnant with. So two lives are lost.

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