Obtuse Observer

March 6, 2012

After Birth Abortion?

Filed under: Abortion,After Birth Abortion,Right to Life — Obtuse Observer @ 10:19 am

You just can’t make this stuff up.  Some of the best and brightest have recently been published in the Journal of Medical Ethics asserting  that recently born babies may be “aborted” after being born with no whiff of moral impropriety.  The short version of the argument is that because newborns are not “actual persons” they have “no moral right to life”.  I’m sure they have a very intelligent, cogent and otherwise brilliant proposal.  It must be.  How could anything so completely stupid be offered up to sane people as reasonable if it isn’t brilliant?

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From the article After-birth abortion; why should the baby live?:

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.

That such a notion should be regarded as worthy of publishing is frightening.  When we disregard as newborn as “morally irrelevant” we’ve stepped into an inhuman, immoral twilight-zone.

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  1. While I find this despicable, and I have not read their article, the theory makes perfect sense to me and I’m surprised at your position. Life begins at conception so any abortion is killing a baby (or fetus to be technically correct). The issue then becomes not about whether abortion is killing or not but what value is placed on that life. If a fetus’ life can be said to be subservient to one interest or another, then why not a born baby? I see no difference, especially when compared to a late-term fetus capable of survival outside the womb.

    Comment by JBS — March 9, 2012 @ 8:57 am

  2. I agree with most of that, except; my position has been consistent throughout this blog that the issue is, specifically, what value we place on life. I make no distinction between person and human life. I find such parsing vulgar and approaching the pinnacle of immoral.

    However, the authors of the journal article are, imo quite consistent. Fucked in the head but consistent. If the life is not a person, being the status which confers value, then there should be no problem with killing the life that is not a person. That being true, the issue of whether a life is or is not a person need only be determined by the legislature; or more easily, responsibility for determination of personhood status conferred upon an appropriate agency; to be determined according to what suits the agency best.

    Having accomplished this it is no matter to rid ourselves of any manner of non-functioning lives should they be unborn, comotose, severely retarded, terminally ill, sufficiently unactive in a useful manner, holding bizarre opinions (such as disagreeing with the author’s findings), or being left-handed (shudder). In short order we shall have rid or society of the unwanted, unproducted and diseased of thought. Who could possibly object?

    Comment by Obtuse Observer — March 10, 2012 @ 2:56 am

  3. It looks like a Modest Proposal.

    Comment by DCaldwell — April 26, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  4. probably a bit obscure but appreciated


    Comment by Obtuse Observer — April 26, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

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