Saturday, April 7, 2012

After-Birth Abortion?

. . . aka infanticide. Just in time for Easter, we find moral justification for killing new born babies, extending the logic of abortion beyond the womb. The poverty of thinking of so called ethicists on the left leaves me stunned. Alberto Guibilini and Francesca Minerva argue that since new born babies brains are still developing and they lack their own personalities, they have no inherent right to life. From BioEdge, your newsletter for bio-ethics from around the world.
They [Guibilini and Minerva] argue that both the fetus and the new-born infant are only potential persons without any interests. Therefore the interests of the persons involved with them are paramount until some indefinite time after birth. To emphasise the continuity between the two acts, they term it “after-birth abortion” rather than infanticide.
. . .
“We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.”

And I thought that it was just the radical right who said that late-term abortion would lead to arguments for infanticide. William Saletan at asks this question after a more lengthy discussion of the issue:
The challenge posed to Furedi [chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service] and other pro-choice absolutists by “after-birth abortion” is this: How do they answer the argument, advanced by Giubilini and Minerva, that any maternal interest, such as the burden of raising a gravely defective newborn, trumps the value of that freshly delivered nonperson? What value does the newborn have? At what point did it acquire that value? And why should the law step in to protect that value against the judgment of a woman and her doctor?
Where indeed does human life acquire value? Ultimately, these so called bio-ethicists are going to end up arguing for killing anyone whose existent isn't convenient to society. I believe its all wrong; abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment. The state should never sponsor nor condone killing of humans; that's an ethic I can live with.

H/T to SarahB of Lipstick Underground (though not published on her blog).


  1. My first thought is that they may be sponsored by the Chinese government, but we've seen this line of faulty reasoning through history, although usually in the context of limited resources for survival.

    Capital punishment is an entirely different subject (in many cases, too merciful).