WASHINGTON D.C., May 30, 2001 ( – Two prominent researchers have asserted that a recent study—purporting to show that abortion causes a drop in crime—is simply not supported by the facts. The study, “The Impact of Abortion on Crime,” by John Donohue and Steve Levitt, was published in the May 2001 issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

STOPP International’s national director, Ed Szymkowiak reports that Ted Joyce, Ph.D., of the National Bureau of Economic Research, has released a counter study, using the same data, which shows that Donohue and Levitt are wrong. Joyce found no causal effect of abortion on crime. He will present his findings at the November meeting of the American Society of Criminology. (Joyce’s study is available on the STOPP web site at:

Carnegie-Mellon Professor Alfred Blumstein, director of the National Consortium on Violence Research, has also voiced disagreement with the Donohue/Levitt study. Blumstein told Szymkowiak in an interview that Donohue and Levitt are “off the wall” with their claim that abortion accounts for 50 percent of the crime drop in the 1990s. Blumstein has edited a new book, Crime Drop in America, in which several experts point to such factors as prison expansion and the waning of the crack epidemic as the real reasons for the crime drop.


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