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Where have all Criminals Gone Essay (Critical Writing)

The article ‘Where have all Criminals Gone’ focuses on two major issues, abortion and crime in Romania and the United States. In 1966, Nicolae Ceausescu who had been president of Romania for one year declared abortion illegal. He was a dictator who neglected the citizens and only built himself palaces.

In addition, he ensured that the most prestigious positions in the government were occupied by his relatives. Before abortion in Romania was banned, it was used as a form of birth control. According to Nicolae, banning it was an effective way of strengthening the country. The ban produced the results he anticipated since within the first year the population had doubled. However, the children that were born after the ban often led miserable lives.

Their performance in school was poor and they did not succeed in the labor market. It was also discovered that they had high chances of becoming criminals. After the Romanian citizens could not tolerate the oppressive regime of Nicolae any longer, they launched street demonstrations to remove him from power. He was ousted and killed together with his wife when they were caught trying to escape.

At the time Nicolae met his brutal death, something else was happening in the United States. Crime was increasing at an alarming rate. It became the main talk throughout the country. In 1990, the rate started to fall suddenly in a manner that could not be explained. Nevertheless, it remained unclear where the criminals went after the sharp decline in the rate of crime.

This prompted experts to look for answers to explain the sudden decline. Eventually, the Romanian case was used as a point of reference in understanding whether there was any relationship between abortion and crime. This is basically the biggest issue that is addressed in the article.

Information Identification and Use

In a bid to understand abortion better, experts from the U.S started to analyze the country’s past policies regarding the matter. The country allowed abortion in its early years but by 1900, it was illegal in all the states. In the late 1960s, some states started legalizing it until the Supreme Court raised its voice on the matter. It gave a famous ruling in Roe v. Wade.

This ruling by the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the whole country. According to the court, there were valid reasons that compelled women not to have children. In the first year of Roe v. Wade, thousands of women opted for abortion. Most of those who aborted were in their teens, the poor and the unmarried ones.

Studies revealed that had the aborted children been born, they stood high chances of living in poverty and growing with single parents. It was therefore observed that the factors that led women in the U.S to procure abortion were the same reasons that would have led their children into crime had they been born. Legalized abortion had many consequences including increased conceptions and decreased births. However, the most critical consequence was its impact on crime. Studies showed that it led to a decline in the rate of crime.

Alternative Perspectives

There were numerous objections challenging the theory of legalized abortion and its influence on the rate of crime. To begin with, it was felt that the relationship between abortion and crime was correlational rather than causal. This prompted experts to develop ways of determining whether the relationship was causal as opposed to correlational. One of the methods they proposed to determine this was to measure crime data in five states.

These were the states where abortion was legal before the Supreme Court legalized it in the whole country. During this activity, the main focus was to identify the correlation between the rate of abortion in every state and its crime rate. By doing this, it was possible to note that the states with high abortion rates recorded less crime rates. On the other hand, the ones with low abortion rates had high crime rates.


Despite the fact that evidence shows that legalizing abortion leads to a decline in crime rates, the issue remains a controversial one. Not many people agree that abortion is a moral way of controlling crime rates. It may have a positive impact in that women do not give birth to unwanted children who turn into criminals.

However, most people view it as an immoral act that denies the unborn child a chance to live. Those who support its legalization argue that when the government gives women an opportunity to make their decisions on abortion, they figure out whether they can raise children or not. Those who cannot raise them obviously choose abortion.

Although it might be seen as a method of reducing crime, the bottom line is that it should not be legalized. Its legalization often leads to many limitations. One of them is that it leads to irresponsible behaviors among women. This happens because they can get rid of the unborn children once they conceive. The other limitation is that it impacts the population of a country negatively. Countries should identify alternative methods of reducing the rate of crime instead of legalizing abortion.

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"Where have all Criminals Gone." IvyPanda, 20 Nov. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/where-have-all-criminals-gone/.

1. IvyPanda. "Where have all Criminals Gone." November 20, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/where-have-all-criminals-gone/.


IvyPanda. "Where have all Criminals Gone." November 20, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/where-have-all-criminals-gone/.


IvyPanda. 2018. "Where have all Criminals Gone." November 20, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/where-have-all-criminals-gone/.


IvyPanda. (2018) 'Where have all Criminals Gone'. 20 November.

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