You have got to be kidding.  The slippery slope has now appeared and we’re on our asses sliding toward the abyss.  For decades we were told that abortions were a must, that they need to be legal so they could be safe and rare.  That they would not be used for things like gender preference or evolve to eugenics. Those defenses no longer seem to apply here.  Abortion has now moved from a women’s right of self-determination and ownership of her own body to the justifiable murder of an entity utterly incapable of attributing to their own existence at least some basic value which would justify them being identified as a “person.”  And as such, an infant being a “potential person” and not a “person” has no moral right to life.  And the crickets chirp, nothing more.

Look deeply into the eyes of a non-person...

In their article, “After birth abortion: why should the baby live?” recently published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva conclude that “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”  As repulsive as that conclusion sounds, they further clarify that it’s “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.

If this argument is based on an infants’ ability to attribute to their existence some basic value that justifies them being designated as a person, what would that criteria be?  Who decides?  Is it flexible, situational or based on mood or temporary preference?  Are infants safe once they reach age three?  Or when they start to walk?

Holy shit, what we’re really debating here is whether you have the moral right to kill another human being because you also get to set the criteria defining their person-hood. And don’t think for one moment that this attitude hasn’t already crept into the fabric of society. Katrina Effert killed her newborn son, strangling him with her underwear and throwing his lifeless body over the backyard fence.  Although she was convicted of infanticide, she’ll spend no time behind bars because, as the sentencing judge put it, “While many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”  No mention of the child, its life or rights at all.  In fact, I’m amazed that the term “infanticide” was even used.  Giubilini and Minerva try to make such actions palatable by changing the tone of the conversation, preferring to use the phrase “after-birth abortion” rather than “infanticide” to “emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus.”  And of course, we know that a fetus is not a person either because they just published a nice long paper on ethics telling us so.

Disagree with this position at your peril.  The authors will accuse you of being on a witch-hunt, implying that those who disagree want to hunt down and burn those who hold this view.  Seeming to take the victim role, they complain that there is a “drive to silence, and in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty.  That is not the sort of society we should live in.”   Not sure he intended or even noted the irony.

Maybe their dissenters just don’t feel that Giubilini and Minerva have adequately proven they possess those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.  Which, they would agree, is an entirely ethical position to hold.