In the previous part of this series, I addressed empirical objections that Ord anticipated. Now I will respond to his anticipated philosophical objections. See here and here for the first two parts in this series.
It’s not clear how he arrives at his number of 90 million, but he has not even made an argument for how many people would have to die before we should halt all other issues and try and solve this one issue, alone. Ord’s Conclusion simply doesn’t follow. To reiterate, the fact that embryos die naturally does not justify our killing them intentionally. So even if pro-life people were inconsistent by failing to end miscarriages, it would not justify elective abortion. (Plus, there is no reason to count the death of embryos in our average lifespan since, having survived until birth, dying as an embryo, which has dangers that are far different than the ones we encounter outside the womb, is no longer a threat to anybody.)
Considering that most unborn human beings who “spontaneously abort” do so before a woman even discovers she’s pregnant, I’m not sure Ord’s thought experiment even makes logical sense. Just how would Ord expect pro-life scientists and doctors to save these microscopic embryos? He would likely reply that it’s our problem and not his, but it may not even be possible to save these embryos. The fact that they die naturally does not give us an obligation to save every last one of them, though I would agree that we have an obligation to save as many as we can.