This idea has been discussed in many forums, online journals, news sites, etc, but I was interested in what our college students thought.
Some campuses where the high school, college students, local activists and staff members of 'Created Equal' have encountered this opinion and videotaped or recorded conversations, interviews include Ohio State, Purdue, University of Minnesota, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Pomona College in Claremont, UC San Diego, and University of Central Florida.
Reporter Joe Biggs got a number of students at the University of Texas in Austin to sign a petition for “post-birth abortion” that would allow killing children up to five years old. His efforts were captured on video.
[ NOTE: THE INTERVIEWS LISTED ABOVE WERE RECORDED AND TRANSCRIPTED, NOT INVENTED.]
One young man at the University of Minnesota thought it was alright to kill children if they were under the age of 5 years old, as he did not consider them persons until that age.
FIVE? A FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD?
IF THEY AREN'T 'PERSONS', WHAT ARE THEY, I WONDER?
YES, SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT.
SOME PEOPLE DON'T HOLD LIFE AS SACRED.
THEY HAVE THAT RIGHT, RIGHT?
NO, IT ISN'T A HOAX.
IT'S A CURRENT ETHICAL QUESTION BOTH HERE AND ABROAD.
IN CANADA, THIS IS REFERRED TO AS "LIVE BIRTH ABORTION".
"“These incidents appear to be homicides,” wrote MPs Maurice Vellacott, Leon Benoit and Wladyslaw Lizon, in their Jan. 23 letter to the RCMP commissioner.
"Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued."
I searched, fully expecting to find no such evidence of Americans, young or old, who would agree that killing a newborn was acceptable.
i was wrong.
SLATE magazine did an article on this "trend" ,
"After-Birth Abortion: The pro-choice case for infanticide".
“Partial-birth abortion” is a term invented by pro-lifers. But “after-birth abortion” is a term invented by two philosophers, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva. In the Journal of Medical Ethics, they propose:
"[W]hen circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible. … [W]e propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus … rather than to that of a child.
Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.
Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk."
That entry into the Journal was submitted 25 November 2011.
I had no idea this was being discussed so long ago!
Let's examine the abstract...
AbstractAnd in their introduction:
"A serious philosophical problem arises when the same conditions that would have
justified abortion become known after birth.
In such cases, we need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human. "
After discussing the failure to diagnose rare diseases in utero and a child being born with a "surprise" affliction, they go on to say...
"However, such rare and severe pathologies are not the only ones that are likely to remain undetected until delivery; even more common congenital diseases that women are usually tested for could fail to be detected.
An examination of 18 European registries reveals that between 2005 and 2009 only the 64% of Down's syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing.2
This percentage indicates that, considering only the European areas under examination, about 1700 infants were born with Down's syndrome without parents being aware of it before birth.
Once these children are born, there is no choice for the parents but to keep the child, which sometimes is exactly what they would not have done if the disease had been diagnosed before birth."
OF COURSE THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE CHOICE TO "KEEPING THE CHILD"... SURRENDER THE CHILD, JUST TURN THE BABY OVER TO A STATE AGENCY OR AN ORPHANAGE.
THE JOURNAL ARTICLE CONTINUES:
" Abortion and after-birth abortion
Although it is reasonable to predict that living with a very severe condition is
against the best interest of the newborn, it is hard to find definitive arguments to
the effect that life with certain pathologies is not worth living, even when those
pathologies would constitute acceptable reasons for abortion.
It might be maintained that ‘even allowing for the more optimistic assessments of
the potential of Down's syndrome children, this potential cannot be said to be equal to that of a normal child’.3
But, in fact, people with Down's syndrome, as well as people affected by many other severe disabilities, are often reported to be happy.5
Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.
On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion.
Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur such that they would have justified abortion, what we call should be permissible."
FOR ME, THAT READS LIKE THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT PUPPIES, OR KITTENS, OR....?
CONTINUING THE SLATE ARTICLE:
The response from Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, was that it would be arbitrary to use any point in that timeline to draw a legal limit on abortion rights.
Giubilini and Minerva seem to share this view. “Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons,” they write, conspicuously omitting the idea that abortions at an early stage are better than late ones for moral reasons. “Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life,” they write. “Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life,” such as “spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted” or “fetuses where abortion is permitted.”
I’ve seen this position asserted in countless comment threads by supporters of abortion rights.
Giubilini and Minerva add only one further premise to this argument: Personhood doesn’t begin until sometime after birth.
Once that premise is added, the newborn, like the fetus, becomes fair game. They explain:
[I]n order for a harm to occur, it is necessary that someone is in the condition of experiencing that harm. If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all. … In these cases, since non-persons have no moral rights to life, there are no reasons for banning after-birth abortions. … Indeed, however weak the interests of actual people can be, they will always trump the alleged interest of potential people to become actual ones, because this latter interest amounts to zero.
Giubilini and Minerva merely push this idea one step further, calling their proposal “‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice.”
Accordingly, “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.”
An after-birth abortion might be warranted by any “interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being”—including “the interests of the mother who might suffer psychological distress from giving her child up for adoption.”
Fetal development can turn tragic at any point.
Most people agree that abortion should be permitted when a grave defect is discovered at amniocentesis. In the partial-birth abortion debate, pro-choicers extended this rationale, arguing that abortions in the third trimester should be permitted when horrible defects were identified at that stage. Giubilini and Minerva take this argument to the next level, noting that defects often remain undiscovered until birth:
An examination of 18 European registries reveals that between 2005 and 2009 only the 64% of Down's syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing. This percentage indicates that, considering only the European areas under examination, about 1700 infants were born with Down's syndrome without parents being aware of it before birth. Once these children are born, there is no choice for the parents but to keep the child, which sometimes is exactly what they would not have done if the disease had been diagnosed before birth.
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.
THAT'S AN INCREDIBLE NUMBER GIVEN THAT THERE WAS, IN 2014, ONLY 62 MILLION WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE IN THE U.S. AND ONLY 43 MILLION OF THOSE WERE "AT RISK OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES"!
WHY WE ALLOW THIS IS A MYSTERY TO ME.
THOSE STATS ARE ALSO VERY TROUBLING TO ME.
SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG ABOUT ALL OF THIS.
NOT ONLY ARE OVER A BILLION FETUSES "DISPOSED OF", NOT ONLY HAVE 58 MILLION AMERICAN WOMEN USED ABORTION, BUT NOW WE'RE HAVING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT KILLING NEWBORN BABIES?
STOP THE WORLD!
I WANT TO GET OFF THIS PLANET IF INFANTICIDE IS GOING TO BE LEGAL!
THIS IS INSANE!
JUST SHY OF 58 MILLION.
ALMOST ONE AND A HALF BILLION, BILLION, WITH A "B".
LOOKING AT THE STATS FOR WHO USES CONTRACEPTION IN THE U.S. AND WHO IS "AT RISK FOR UNWANTED PREGNANCY", CAN IT BE THAT PERHAPS ONLY 10% OF AMERICAN WOMEN ( THE 10% WHO USED NO FORM OF BIRTH CONTROL) HAD ALMOST 58 MILLION ABORTIONS IN THE PAST 30+ YEARS?
DID ABORTION TAKE THE PLACE OF CONTRACEPTION HERE?
HAS IT SIMPLY BECOME A "QUICK FIX" FOR SOME WHO DON'T USE CONTRACEPTION?
DID WE VOTE FOR A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE JUST SO ANYONE CAN BE LAX ON BIRTH CONTROL AND THEN JUST GO HAVE AN ABORTION?
I CAN'T ACCEPT THAT AS ETHICAL.
SURE, IF A WOMAN NEEDS AN ABORTION TO SAVE HERSELF, OR TO TERMINATE A HEART-BREAKING PREGNANCY IN WHICH THE FETUS HAS NO CHANCE OF SURVIVAL ANYWAY, OR TO TERMINATE A PREGNANCY DUE TO INCEST, RAPE, OR ONE THAT WILL BE TOO GREAT A BURDEN FOR THE FAMILY TO BEAR EMOTIONALLY OR IS INCAPABLE OF BEARING FINANCIALLY, WHEN ONE MUST ADMIT THE SAD FACTS AND END A PREGNANCY, SURE, OKAY.
BUT TO USE ABORTION INSTEAD OF COMMON SENSE BIRTH CONTROL?
THE ETHICS OF THAT IS NONEXISTENT.
AND TO EVEN HAVE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT ALLOWING THE MURDER OF A SINGLE NEWBORN, OR A ONE-YEAR-OLD, OR, AS THE SEVERAL INTERVIEWED SAID, UP TO AGE FIVE?
THAT IS CRIMINAL, AND BEYOND ABOMINABLE!