In support of the pro-abortion position, Dr. Alberto Giubilini and Dr. Francesca Minerva published a morally repugnant paper in the Journal of Medical Ethicswherein they redefine morality to justify killing newborns in what they call “after-birth abortion.”
Infanticide is the natural progression in the culture of death. If embryos can be destroyed for research or discarded, babies can be killed in the womb during an abortion, and a baby can be half inside and half outside the birth canal when it is killed, then killing a newborn baby is a logical next step.
From the days of Roe v. Wade to the present, pro-lifers argued that life begins at conception and that it is a baby, not a blob of tissue. Sonograms show anyone willing to look that it is indeed a baby.
The moral relativists stipulate in the paper that fetuses are human beings, but they postulate “when a subject starts or ceases to be a ‘person.’”
“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.
“Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life.’ We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, and criminals where capital punishment is legal.”
To whom must a fetus or infant demonstrate sufficient legal reason for being? According to the authors, it is to “actual people” defined as “parents, family, [and] society.” The authors state, “Therefore, the rights and interests of the ‘actual people’ involved should represent the prevailing consideration in a decision about abortion and after-birth abortion.”
When the authors say “after-birth abortion,” it means “infanticide,” although they pretend it does not. “In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘infanticide’ to emphasise [sic] that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortion’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.”
In the authors’ view, killing a baby is not a bad thing, because a fetus and a newborn are not “actual people.” They bleed and feel pain, but because they cannot defend themselves, killing them is acceptable.
According to God, the moral relativists are wrong:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
- Jeremiah 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
To the authors, the properties necessary to become an “actual person” take time to emerge. “Although fetuses and newborns are not persons, they are potential persons because they can develop, thanks to their own biological mechanisms, those properties which will make them ‘persons’ in the sense of ‘subjects of a moral right to life’ that is the point at which they will be able to make aims and appreciate their own life.”
According to God’s Word, every person has value from before they were formed in the womb:
“For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”
- Psalm 139: 13-16 (NASB)
For pro-abortion supporters, first the fetus had no value; it was just a blob of tissue. Now that sonograms show that this “blob of tissue” is a baby, a baby has no value until it can grow old enough to justify its existence to its parents, family, and society. It is utter hubris that some people should know better than others who is worthy to live and who should die. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, thought that way; she was a proponent of eugenics.
God is the creator of all life and does not seek our justification for living:
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘Why did you make me this way?’”
- Isaiah 45:9-10 (New Living Translation)
The paper equates embryos and aborted fetuses with murderers. However, someone who has been arrested, charged, prosecuted, and convicted by a jury of their peers of a capital crime and lost his or her life through legal action is not the same as a discarded or experimented-upon embryo or a fetus that has been dismembered, disfigured, and killed during an abortion. The convicted murderer had a choice not to kill. Aborted babies and embryos used in research had no choice – they were victims.
The authors argue that if abortion is legal then killing one’s infant should also be an option. For consistency, that makes sense. If you do not value all life, what difference does it make when you kill the baby? Why shouldn’t parents be allowed to kill their newborns for reasons such as cost or inconvenience? Why stop with newborns? If, after three years, the child doesn’t talk, isn’t potty trained, or has a chronic ear infection, couldn’t parents, family, and society declare the child a burden and be allowed to kill it?
The authors’ conclusion is chilling in its total disregard for human life:
“If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.
“Two considerations need to be added.
“First, we do not put forward any claim about the moment at which after-birth abortion would no longer be permissible, and we do not think that in fact more than a few days would be necessary for doctors to detect any abnormality in the child. In cases where the after-birth abortion were requested for nonmedical reasons, we do not suggest any threshold, as it depends on the neurological development of newborns, which is something neurologists and psychologists would be able to assess.
“Second, we do not claim that after-birth abortions are good alternatives to abortion. Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.”
Moral relativism provides cover for those who are unwilling to take personal responsibility for their lives and choices.
God regards all life as worthy of protection:
“LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so mere people can no longer terrify them.” Psalm 10: 17-18 (New Living Translation)
Moral relativism makes a case for infanticide. God’s moral absolutes declare the sanctity of all life.
Originally published on 3/19/2012.