A new study suggests that abortion reduced crime rates (see story, page 1). Pope John Paul II suggests that the opposite may be true.

In his homily at Denver's World Youth Day on Aug. 15, 1993 (Nos. 3-4), he said the abortion mentality has allowed crime and immorality to become more prevalent.

We are … witnessing the spread of a mentality that militates against life—an attitude of hostility towards life in the mother's womb and life in its last phases. At the very time that science and medicine are increasingly able to safeguard health and life, threats against life are becoming more insidious. Abortion and euthanasia—the actual taking of a real human life—are claimed as "rights" and solutions to "problems," problems of individuals or those of society. The killing of the innocent is no less sinful an act or less destructive because it is done in a legal and scientific manner.

In modern metropolises, life—God's first gift and a fundamental right of each individual, the basis of all other rights—is often treated more or less as a commodity to be … manipulated at will.

All this takes place although Christ, the Good Shepherd, wants us to have life. … He knows how many young people are wasting their lives, shirking their responsibility and living in falsehood. Drugs, the abuse of alcohol, pornography and sexual disorder, violence: these are some of the grave problems which need to be seriously addressed by the whole of society, in every nation and at the international level.

Why do the consciences of young people not rebel against this situation, especially against the moral evil which flows from personal choices? … Is it because conscience itself is losing the ability to distinguish good from evil?