I’m curious if you think these issues are relevant to abortion, and if so whether that has anything to do with whether the unborn are people or not.

Take the overpopulation issue, for example. Is it your view that overpopulation justifies abortion? Would this change depending on whether the unborn were people or not?

The reason I ask is because it seems to me that if you would use that same argument even if the unborn were people, then the argument could just as well be used to justify killing people who were already born. I mean if overpopulation is any justification for taking the lives of people, why stop at the unborn?

It seems to me that the argument for abortion from overpopulation would only work if you were already assuming the unborn were not people. But there are two problems with that. The first problem is that if the unborn were not people, then we wouldn’t need to offer overpopulation as a justification. Abortion would be no different, morally speaking, than removing a bunion or your appendix. The second problem is the real debate is over whether the unborn are people or not. Overpopulation is a red herring because it doesn’t even address the question of whether the unborn are people or not. A third problem is that since the real debate centers on whether the unborn are people or not, and the argument from overpopulation merely assumes that they are not, it’s a question-begging argument.

The same thing can be said about some of your other questions. All you have to do is replace the unborn with a born child to see this. Suppose I want to forbid women from killing their three year olds. Must I be willing to pay child support to all the women who keep them alive? Surely that’s absurd. A child’s life shouldn’t depend on whether I’m willing to pay child support or not. And nobody is justified in killing a child just because somebody else refused to pay child support.

Are we justified in killing people just because those people might get abandoned, grow up poor, or have mental problems? Can we kill people with schizophrenia or depression? Or must I be willing to pay everybody’s medical bills just because I condemn killing them? Or should we be allowed to kill people as long as nobody else steps up to pay the medical bills? Surely not.

It seems clear to me that the real debate centers around whether or not the unborn are people. All this other stuff about poverty, hardship, mental health, and overpopulation is irrelevant. They’re red herrings. You’d never use any of these things as an excuse to kill somebody who was born because you know those are people. If the unborn are NOT people, then none of these justifications are even necessary, so either way, they are irrelevant.

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