In Mark Rienzi's Aug. 22 letter, he mischaracterized the study of abortion's effects on crime. He stated that the study implies that abortions among poor and minority women reduced crime, when it says no such thing. It states that babies born to mothers who do not want them, due to life circumstances, are more likely to grow up neglected and/or abused, which makes them more likely to turn to crime.

That is proven by many studies of children. The authors simply are stating that fewer unwanted children mean reduced abuse and neglect; reduced abuse and neglect means reduced crime. Sounds logical to me, and race has nothing to do with it.

KIMBERLY LEVINSON

Tallahassee, Fla.

"Theory Ties Abortion to Crime Drop" [news story, Aug. 10] suggests that an increase in abortion leads to a decrease in crime.

More than 30 years ago, Hans Forssman at Sweden's Goteborg University followed 120 children born after their mother's requests for abortion had been denied. These unwanted offspring had significantly higher rates of crime, mental illness, welfare dependence, school misbehavior and alcoholism. The unwanted girls had more early and out-of-wedlock pregnancies. The unwanted boys were behavior problems in their military service. The recent study confirms these findings.

THOMAS P. LOWRY

Woodbridge