Saturday, 10 March 2012

Medical Study: It’s OK to Kill Newborn Babies

Joel Kontinen

In late February, the Journal of Medical Ethics published an online article entitled "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?" It is perhaps no surprise that it has made headlines all over the world.

Slaughter newborn kids, say academics,” the british tabloid The Sun interpreted the gist of the paper. It was not a misinterpretation, as the paper’s abstract says:

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.”

In other words, authors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argue that killing babies (regardless of what one chooses to call them) before birth is no different from killing them after birth. They are at least consistent.

What is troubling is their low view of human life. It seems to be inspired by Darwinian evolution and it reminds me of the opinions of Peter Singer and PZ Myers.

In contrast, here’s what Gianna Jessen, who survived an abortion, says about her life:


Giubilini, Alberto and Francesca Minerva. 2012. After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? Journal of Medical Ethics. (23 February) doi: 10.1136/medethics-2011-100411.

Wilson, Graeme. 2012 Slaughter newborn kids, say academics. The Sun (1 March).