Her Choice, Our Future
The Conservative Case For Legal Abortion
The possibility that that the American Supreme Court might overturn Roe v Wade—and thus allow state legislatures to decide whether abortion should be legal—provoked such an intense emotional reaction from the already highly emotional Left that both Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase and the war in Ukraine were displaced as focuses of virtue-signaling. A video showed Senator Elizabeth Warren, surrounded by female pro-abortion activists, screeching with fury: “I am angry! [because] this will fall on the poorest women in our country. This will fall on those who have been raped. This will fall on mothers who are already struggling to work three jobs. . . .”
The tendency of many right-wing commentators was to gloat about this potential victory for the conservative-religious idea that life is sacred and begins at conception. Paul Joseph Watson sarcastically impersonated the typical feminist as despairing—“Nooo! You can’t just stop us murdering infants”—and referred to TikTok being “awash with shitlibs shocked at the prospect of not being able to execute new-born babies.” He concluded, alluding to Musk’s purchase of Twitter, that “free speech is in and baby-killing is out, and all the right people are wetting the bed over it. What a time to be alive!”
The implication is that banning abortion is a good thing because it is “baby-killing” —implicit in which is the equalitarian idea that all babies are constitutionally the same and have the same potential—and because the enemy are in favor of abortion. This argument is no more reasonable than the emotional screech of Elizabeth Warren about how she will fight so that America “Never!” returns to those dark pre-Roe-days. There are sound reasons, however, why those who are conservative, or simply those who favor the maintenance of civilization, should be pro-abortion. Put simply, abortion, to use an old-fashioned term, is “eugenic.”
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree
Psychological traits are significantly heritable, and they are significantly genetic. Intelligence in adulthood is about 0.8 genetic, meaning that it is overwhelmingly a matter of genetics, not environment. Intelligent parents, although there are exceptions, produce intelligent children, while low-IQ parents produce low-IQ children.1 This is extremely important because intelligence robustly correlates with traits that traditional conservatives, who tend to favor the good of the group over the selfish needs of the individual, tend to value highly.2 Specifically, intelligence is associated with diligence, altruism, health, belief in democracy, civic participation, industriousness and earnings, social skill, socioeconomic status, and trust. Low intelligence significantly correlates with accident-proneness (including accidental pregnancy), criminality, delinquency, poor health, addiction, illegitimacy, extremism, and authoritarianism.3 This is why countries that have low average intelligence are poor, corrupt, inefficient, politically unstable, authoritarian, unhealthy, and lawless, as many studies have found.4
And we are more than simply reflections of our intelligence. We are also reflections our personality—our modal way of being. Psychologists have reduced personality to five key traits: Openness (openness to new ideas), Conscientiousness (rule-following, impulse control), Extraversion (feeling positive feelings strongly), Agreeableness (altruism and empathy), and Neuroticism (feeling negative feelings, such as anxiety, jealousy and anger, strongly). These can be remembered with the acronym “OCEAN.” Such traits are at least 50 percent genetic.5 They also play a part in various psychological syndromes. For example, psychopaths—those who have anti-social behavior disorder—tend to be low in Agreeableness, low in Conscientiousness, and high in aspects of Neuroticism, such as anger. Psychopathic personality is itself about 0.5 heritable.6
Liberals and conservatives differ markedly in these traits. Compared to liberals, conservatives are high in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and low in Neuroticism.7 Liberals are high in Neuroticism, especially in depression and anxiety.8 They perceive the world as a dangerous, unfair place in which they are extremely unhappy and unfairly treated. Full of negative feelings, including self-doubt, they push for “equality,” so that they can get proportionately more. They are afraid to overtly play for power—but, paranoid, they will never feel fully empowered and always want more status and control. They tend to identify with out-groups, as they feel excluded, and because such an identification makes it easy to collaborate with them to attain status within their own group. The genetic component to political perspective is somewhere around 50 percent, while the heritability of traditional religiousness, which strongly crosses over with conservatism, is between 0.4 and 0.7, depending on what measure you employ.9 In addition the “Big 5” personality traits correlate with important life outcomes. Most obviously, Conscientiousness is associated with socioeconomic and educational success while low Conscientiousness predicts addiction, criminality and low social status. Low Agreeableness predicts criminality and generally anti-social behavior. Neuroticism is associated with addiction and, to some extent, violence and family breakdown.10
And remember, all of these traits are highly heritable. Yes, all babies are cute, for cuteness is their survival strategy. But it is probable that the baby of a low-IQ person with psychopathic traits will grow up to be a low IQ person with psychopathic traits, with everything that this predicts about such a person.
This being the case: who has abortions? If you desire, in the future, an advanced society, which is low in criminality, highly efficient, innovative, and technological, then this is important, because about 25 percent of pregnancies in many Western countries are aborted, this being more than sufficient to influence of the nature of the people.11 Moreover, where abortion is illegal, low-IQ women become pregnant anyway, with poverty predicting unintended pregnancy in such countries; thus, banning abortion does not act as an incentive against strongly genetic traits, as we would expect.12 Studies directly linking abortion to IQ are problematic because female subjects will tend to downplay the number of abortions they have had, with many females having multiple abortions.13 So, to understand the relationship with intelligence, we have to look at proxies for intelligence such as socioeconomic status.
Now, we would expect low-IQ women to be more likely to get pregnant by accident, as they would be more impulsive and would be less efficient users of contraception. A sound proxy for intelligence is educational attainment, which correlates with it at between 0.5 and 0.7.14 Data from Finland, which is of excellent quality because it has a small population and keeps detailed registers, is very clear, across cohorts, on what kind of women have abortions: “Women with basic education had a higher likelihood of abortion than others and the association grew stronger for later cohorts.”15 In other words, it is the least intelligent females—with the worst academic qualifications—who are the most likely to undergo abortion. And they do so because they get pregnant by accident. Ban abortion, and you compel low IQ females to have more children—as we know abortion’s illegality does not cause congenitally impulsive women to avoid accidental pregnancy, in a context in which there is already a weak negative correlation between fertility and intelligence.16 In other words, you accelerate decline into chaos. Interestingly, among young women who become pregnant by accident, the ones who have an abortion have better socioeconomic life outcomes. This may be due to having fewer children and also because they are intelligent enough to think about the future and the consequences of their having children in a way that those with even lower intelligence are not.17 But even so, it is fairly clear that very low intelligence predicts abortion overall. It is also clear from U.S. data that low socioeconomic status strongly predicts abortion.18
But what is the modal personality of women who have abortions? Unsurprisingly, for females who would be willing to kill their own unborn child, they do not tend to be especially loving people. A study of the psychiatric history of women who had undergone abortions—which looked at their psychology long prior to their having had an abortion—found them to be “three times more likely to report a history of any mental disorder. The highest odds were found for conduct disorder and drug dependence.”19 (“Conduct disorder” is, effectively, a synonym for psychopathic personality traits, with reference to those who under the age of 18.) “Drug dependence” implies low intelligence and also low Conscientiousness, an aspect of psychopathic personality. This is consistent with evidence that Agreeableness is positively associated with fertility. Altruistic people desire to nurture and to care for others, are high in empathy (so would never want to abort a healthy baby), and thus tend to have children and, indeed, have many of them.20
The other predictor of pursuing abortion is mental instability. A study found that women who have undergone abortion are elevated in mental ill health—such as depression and anxiety—by around 30 percent compared to those who have never had an abortion. Moreover, the study found that the abortion was not causal to the mental ill health. This is congruous with the study, discussed above, which found early life personality disorders among women who subsequently undergo abortion.21 This may be because depression and anxiety predict irrational or risky behavior, including sexual risk-taking. In addition, a pregnant woman low in these traits might feel that “everything will be okay,” whereas a woman high in them would be deeply anxious about the future and strongly absorbed in her own negative feelings.
Let Her Choose
In summary, women who undergo abortions, on average, have low intelligence and, even if they do not low intelligence, possess psychopathic traits and suffer from mental instability. If they have been raped, then the father, at least, will have psychopathic traits and pass them onto the offspring to a significant degree. Mental instability, it is worth noting, strongly predicts being left-wing and thus destructive of the interest of the group in favor of one’s own interest, dressed up as concern about “equality.” All of these traits are strongly heritable, meaning that their children are likely to have them. Such children, 25 percent of pregnancies, can be expected to have a strongly negative impact on society. Consistent with this prediction, modeling has found that the crime rate fell in the U.S. by 20 percent between 1997 and 2014 due to legalized abortion. Moreover: “The cumulative impact of legalized abortion on crime is roughly 45%, accounting for a very substantial portion of the roughly 50-55% overall decline from the peak of crime in the early 1990s.”22
In essence, society will function better and be better to live in if the kinds of women who want abortions are allowed to have them. Ban or restrict abortion, and you have more unintelligent, psychopathic and mentally ill people and thus more crime, more disorder, lower social trust and more left-wing people pushing their anti-group, destructive agendas with all the shrillness of Elizabeth Warren. Legalize abortion and you have a society which is more conservative, more intelligent, more reasonable, more law-abiding, and, by any measure, better to live in.
It’s as if these women know that they have socially damaging genetics; are unfit to be mothers; and will produce offspring that will be like themselves. Being impulsive and low in intelligence, they cannot stop themselves from getting pregnant but, having done so, their maladaptive genetics—the manifestation of the collapse of harsh Darwinian selection that began with the Industrial Revolution23—is urging them to resign from the gene pool. And it is in everyone’s interests that they do so. This is why any reasonable conservative should support Roe v Wade. My Body, My Choice: If you think like that, your abortion is the right choice for you—and the right choice for everybody else.
See Richard Lynn, Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations (London: Ulster Institute for Social Research, 2011).
Jesse Graham, Jonathan Haidt, and Brian Nosek, “Liberals and Conservatives Rely on Different Sets of Moral Foundations,” Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 96 (2009): 1029-1046.
Edward Dutton and Michael Woodley of Menie, At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for the Future (Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2018).
Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, Intelligence: A Unifying Construct for the Social Sciences (London: Ulster Institute for Social Research, 2012).
Daniel Nettle, Personality: What Makes You Who You Are (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
Catherine Tuvblad, Serena Bezdjian, Adrian Raine, et al., “The Heritability of Psychopathic Personality in 14 to 15 year Old Twins: A Multi-Rater, Multi-Measure Approach,” Psychological Assessment, 26 (2014): 704-716.
Brad Verhulst, Peter Hatemi, and Nicholas Martin, “Corrigendum to ‘The Nature of the Relationship Between Personality Traits and Political Attitudes,’” Personality and Individual Differences, 49 (2010): 306–316],” Personality and Individual Differences, 99 (2016): 378-379.
Emil Kirkegaard, “Mental Illness and the Left,” Mankind Quarterly, 60 (2020): 487-510.
Edward Dutton and J.O.A. Rayner-Hilles, The Past is a Future Country: The Coming Conservative Demographic Revolution (Exeter: Imprint Academic, In Press).
Daniel Nettle, Personality: What Makes You Who You Are (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
Smith Mundasad, “Abortion Study: 25% of Pregnancies Terminated, Estimates Suggest,” BBC News, May 12, 2016, https://www.bbc.com/news/health-36266873.
Jonathan Bearak, Anna Popinchalk, Bela Ganatra, et al., “Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion by Income, Region, and the Legal Status of Abortion: Estimates from a Comprehensive Model for 1990–2019,” The Lancet, 8 (2020): 9.
Michael Woodley of Menie, Justus Sanger, and Gerhard Meisenberg, “No Relationship Between Abortion Numbers and Maternal Cognitive Ability,” Personality and Individual Differences, 104 (2017): 489-492.
Dutton and Woodley of Menie, At Our Wits’ End, op. cit.
Heini Väisänen, “The Association Between Education and Induced Abortion for Three Cohorts of Adults in Finland,” Population Studies, 69 (2015): 373-388.
Dutton and Woodley, At Our Wits’ End, op cit.
David Ferguson, Joseph Boden, and John Horwood, “Abortion Among Young Women and Subsequent Life Outcomes,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 39 (2007): 6-12.
Christine Dehlendorf, Lisa Harris, and Tracy Weitz, “Disparities in Abortion Rates: A Public Health Approach,” American Journal of Public Health, 103 (2013): 1772-1779.
Jenneke van Ditzhuijzen, Margreetten Have, Ronde Graaf, et al., “Psychiatric History of Women who Have Had an Abortion,” Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47: (2013): 1737-1743.
Markus Jokela, “Birth-cohort Effects in the Association Between Personality and Fertility,” Psychological Science, 23 (2012): 835-841.
David Ferguson, John Horwood, and Joseph Boden, “Abortion and Mental Health Disorders: Evidence from a 30-year Longitudinal Study,” British Journal of Psychiatry, 193 (2018): 6.
John Donahue and Steven Levitt, “The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime Over the Last Two Decades,” Becker Friedman Institute, Working Paper, 2019, https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/BFI_WP_201975.pdf.
See Edward Dutton: Spiteful Mutants: Evolution, Sexuality, Religion, and Politics in the 21st Century (Whitefish: Radix, 2022).