One Benefit of Greater Abortion Access

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The Supreme Court this morning made it more difficult for states to restrict access to abortions. The ruling may have an unintended side benefit: fewer homicide deaths among young children.

A 2012 study concluded that, “between 1983 and 2002, the average increase in the number of homicide deaths for children under 5 years of age was 5.70 per state among states that implemented stricter abortion policies over that time, and 2.00 per state for states that did not.”

“While these data do not allow us to discern precise pathways via which state abortion-restrictions can lead to more child homicide deaths,” writes a research team led by Bisakha Senwe of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, “we speculate that state restrictions on abortion may result in a disproportionate increase in children born into relatively high-risk environments.”