There are many in the pro-choice movement who claim that the world is being overpopulated, that overpopulation contributes to food shortage, and an overall stress on the environment.
The implication is that abortion can help resolve all of these problems and lead to a better future for everyone.
However, there are a few serious flaws in this line of thinking.
– First, it should be noted that the vast majority of the Earth’s land surface, approximately 97% according to Dr. Paul Ehrlich, is empty. In other words, there is no shortage of land.
– Second, both the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme have stated there is plenty of food for everyone on the planet . In fact, it is thought that the relatively high population of today is what helps create large markets and cheap goods. While there are some who do not have access to food, this is oftentimes caused by bad economic policy, war, or corruption, not overpopulation.
– Third, according to some analysts, the world’s population may very likely to actually max out with approximately 8 billion people between 2040 and 2050 . After this time, the population may significantly plummet.
In addition to these things, it should also be mentioned that population control programs in other countries (often funded in large part by the United States) have sometimes had the effect of making these countries give priority to population control efforts over the health and well-being of its citizens .
For example, in the past the people of Peru have been under pressure from those who provide their country with foreign aid (namely the U.S.) to make population control a top priority. As a result, a large number of Peru’s medical professional traveled around the country as part of an effort to provide sterilizations. Routine health care took a back seat, tubal ligations were not always safe, and following their sterilization campaign, infection rates increased significantly .
Much damage has been caused in the effort to implement population control.
The unfortunate truth is that there will probably always be problems with poverty, starvation, and environmental degradation.
However, the cause of this problem is not overpopulation and the unborn are not the enemy.
 Food and Agriculture Organization. (2011). “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).” United Nations. N.p., 2011. Web. 21 Jul 2011. http://www.fao.org/hunger/faqs-on-hunger/en/
 Commission On Population And Development. (2011). “World Demographic Trends.” United Nations. United Nations, 2011. Web. 21 Jul 2011. http://www.un.org/esa/population/cpd/cpd2011/ecn92011-6buettner.pdf
 Mosher, Steven W. (2008). Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, http://www.issuesforlife.com/Population/TheUnderpopulationProblem.htm
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One thought on “Does Abortion Help Save the Environment?”
I like what you’re trying to do here. However, there are serious flaws in your thinking as well.
First, the fact that there is not a shortage of either land or food does not mean that the world is not overpopulated. Rather, it means that, solely with respect to land and food, the world is not overpopulated. There are many other resources that could be limiting factors on population.
Second, projections 30 to 40 years out are almost certainly going to be wrong, for it is not given to human beings to be able to see so far into the future. Regarding this, I am reminded of the American Congress who, in 1967, projected total Medicare expenditures in 1990 would be $12 billion (including the effects of inflation). Well, expenditures ended up being roughly 9 times that amount–$110 billion.
Finally, the fact that, in some parts of the world, population control efforts have superseded general health care efforts does not lead to the conclusion that population control is not a good reason for justifying abortion. Rather, it leads to the conclusion that those who are working to control population should focus more on improving the health of the population than they currently do.
Again, thanks for what you are doing. I am looking to familiarize myself with the pro-life position so I can better refute pro-choice arguments, and this site is, on the whole, a good resource. I comment because I believe the overpopulation argument is more sophisticated than this article makes it out to be and therefore pro-lifers who rely on this site are leaving themselves open to this line of attack.