Why we can’t have fact-based arguments in politics (unfortunately)

Currently, there is a heated debate on abortions. Whichever side you’re on you probably base your support of said side on some moral argument.

What if you had some facts about abortions? Would you use them. Did I hear you saying yes? What if I told you that legalizing abortions leads to a reduction in crime?

And what if I told you the reason behind this is that mothers will carry out abortions on unwanted pregnancies. An unwanted pregnancy usually means a neglected child and a neglected child is more likely to be a criminal.

Now, ghosts of eugenics or Spartans throwing disabled babies off cliffs loom over your beliefs, right?

In 2001, renowned economists Steven Levitt and John Donohue published a paper showing that the legalization in abortions in the 70s led to a reduction in crime in the 90s; in short, mothers who had unwanted pregnancies did not give birth to those babies. 20 years later the children who would have born in a far from ideal environment weren’t born so that they could become potential criminals.

But I’ll let Big Boo from Orange is the New Black to explain it better than I could.

Now, Levitt and Donohue’s paper has received criticism for various reasons and I don’t claim that it’s necessarily true.

The two economists revisited their research in 2019 providing more evidence for their theory.

However, even if their research was perfect and accepted by everyone, it would still never be used as an argument for abortion. Because the way politics is conducted, people don’t want to hear facts, data or research.

People want to feel that they are making the morally correct decision and that they are the good guys. Data will never achieve this; emotional speeches will do the job.

By the way, this article is not an effort to convince anyone in favor or against abortions. This is irrelevant to what I’m trying to say. And when it comes to Levitt and Donohue’s paper, there is not enough research to back it up entirely.

But what I’m trying to say is that before you vote for someone, do your research, read some research on the topic they’re debating and always be wary of big truths.

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