Why Not Infanticide?
For a number of years, when debating abortion, I’ve challenged those who defend the mother’s right to choose to end her unborn child’s life to tell me why the mother should not have the right to kill her newborn? After all, a newborn is no more able to sustain his/her own life than the unborn child is….so why not?
Well, apparently, a group of bioethicists have reached the conclusion that infanticide should be an option. Their conclusions have been published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
You can read more about this here.
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.
As the authors note, an examination of 18 European registries found that between 2005 and 2009 only 64% of Down’s syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing, leaving about 1,700 infants to be born with the condition. Since the mothers would have likely killed the child in utero, why should we not permit them to kill the child afterthe birth?
Sadly, this is not a reductio ad absurdum intended to show the illogic of abortion but a serious philosophical argument made in defense of infanticide: “. . . we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.”
This article—which, it should be noted, was published in a respected journal—shows that once we discard the Christian principle of inherent dignity of humans, anything we decide to do to an infant becomes “ethically permissible.”
HT: Gospel Coalition