Paul Moses March 1, 2012 - 10:26pm
I can't say I know much about medical ethics, so I'll just offer the unlearned opinion that this article in the Journal of Medical Ethics - After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live? - is chilling and creepy, all the more because it is published in a respected forum. It concludes:
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.
The article does not touch on the legal implications - "after-birth abortion" would be murder.Thanks to the Catholic Moral Theology blog for pointing the article out.[Update] And thanks to Charles Camosy for pointing out today's response from the authors of the "After-birth abortion" article:
... we never meant to suggest that after-birth abortion should become legal. This was not made clear enough in the paper. Laws are not just about rational ethical arguments, because there are many practical, emotional, social aspects that are relevant in policy making (such as respecting the plurality of ethical views, peoples emotional reactions etc). But we are not policy makers, we are philosophers, and we deal with concepts, not with legal policy.
About the Author
Paul Moses, a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College/CUNY, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009).