Last week, conservative talk-show host Bill Bennett expressed misgivings about a caller’s hypothesis that Social Security would be solvent were it not for all the aborted payers. Bennett drew an analogy:
BENNETT: … I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don’t know. I mean, it cuts both – you know, one of the arguments in this book “Freakonomics” … is that … one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well …
CALLER: Well, I don’t think that statistic is accurate.
BENNETT: Well, I don’t think it is either … because first of all, there is just too much that you don’t know. But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could – if that were your sole purpose – you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.
Bennett was correct to draw the caller back to our basic moral arguments, that abortion kills children and hurts girls and women. Focusing on these truths stops the other side from enticing us to their rabbit trails – like this one.
Further, one of the authors of “Freakonomics” thought Bennett’s admittedly abhorrent hypothesis was likely correct, as he explained on his blog:
If we lived in a world in which the government chose who gets to reproduce, then Bennett would be correct … Of course, it would also be true that if we aborted every white, Asian, male, Republican, and Democratic baby in that world, crime would also fall.
Immediately after he made the statement about blacks, he followed it up by saying, “That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.” He made a factual statement (if you prohibit any group from reproducing, then the crime rate will go down), and then he noted that just because a statement is true, it doesn’t mean that it is desirable or moral.
I debated the aforementioned author on the radio once, citing studies indicating that crimes like homicide, murder, drug abuse and child abuse actually increase in post-abortive women and men.
Later, I wondered to myself if pro-lifers should just concede that point, agreeing that those who kill their own prenatal children are indeed felonious role models.
But I digress.
Liberal Democrat leaders – abortion extremists all – immediately censured Bennett as “hateful,” “inflammatory,” and “racist,” and demanded he not only apologize, but that Salem Broadcasting fire him.
But pro-aborts can’t have it every which way.
If abortion represents no greater moral significance than removing an appendix, what is hateful about recommending a baby’s disposal if s/he is problematic?
If abortion is a sacred constitutional right, why wouldn’t blacks getting abortions be celebrated as an American story of triumph?
If abortees aren’t persons who might grow up to commit crimes, why the outrage?
If it is racist to focus on abortions in the black community, why don’t Democrats call for investigations of abortion businesses, since they purposefully target blacks? According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, research arm of Planned Parenthood, the United States’ largest abortion provider:
Abortion services are concentrated in cities, so it is often easier for women residing in metropolitan counties to obtain these services. Nine in 10 women obtaining abortions reside in metropolitan areas …
The lowest abortion rate of all the racial and ethnic groups examined was among white women (13 per 1,000), while the highest rate was among black women (49 per 1,000) …
According to the U.S. Census bureau, 51.5 percent of blacks live in cities, compared to 21 percent of whites.
According to Guttmacher, black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to abort, while blacks account for only 13 percent of the population.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more blacks – 13 million – have been killed since abortion was legalized in 1973 than by violent crimes, AIDS, accidents, cancer, heart disease combined.
According to the U.S. Census bureau, there were 36 million blacks in the United States in 2002. If 13 million black children had not been killed by abortion, the black community would now number 49 million – it would be 36 percent larger. Abortion has killed over one-third of the black community in the last 32 years.
I’d say Bill Bennett is more a prophet than a theorist.