The Slippery Slope to Infanticide
One’s first instinct, after the initial shock and sheer, visceral disgust, is to disregard the argument put forth by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva in their paper, “After-birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” But, I think that would be a mistake. This is not some random rant on an anonymous website from the outer reaches of the blogosphere. This is a scholarly paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics; a respected, peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the field of medical ethics. No, it should not be ignored. If anything, I think this piece is something of a trial balloon, perhaps even a moral anesthetic of sorts, shocking us initially, but getting the idea out there in an attempt to numb us into slowly accepting the premise that a newborn baby is not a person.
So, what exactly are Giubilini and Minerva proposing? Here is the abstract from their paper:
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.