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Ethicists in Australia Call for “After-Birth Abortions”

by Steven Ertelt | Melbourne, Australia | LifeNews.com | 2/28/12 2:39 PM

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Two “ethicists” who are college professors in Australia are furthering the pro-infanticide arguments of American professor Peter Singer by calling for so-called “after-birth abortions.”

As The Blaze reports:

Alberto Giubilini with Monash University in Melbourne and Francesca Minerva at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne write that in “circumstances occur[ing] after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”

The two are quick to note that they prefer the term “after-birth abortion“ as opposed to ”infanticide.” Why? Because it “[emphasizes] that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.” The authors also do not agree with the term euthanasia for this practice as the best interest of the person who would be killed is not necessarily the primary reason his or her life is being terminated. In other words, it may be in the parents’ best interest to terminate the life, not the newborns.

The circumstances, the authors state, where after-birth abortion should be considered acceptable include instances where the newborn would be putting the well-being of the family at risk, even if it had the potential for an “acceptable” life. The authors cite Downs Syndrome as an example, stating that while the quality of life of individuals with Downs is often reported as happy, “such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”

This means a newborn whose family (or society) that could be socially, economically or psychologically burdened or damaged by the newborn should have the ability to seek out an after-birth abortion. They state that after-birth abortions are not preferable over early-term abortions of fetuses but should circumstances change with the family or the fetus in the womb, then they advocate that this option should be made available.

Giubilini and Minerva say that merely being a human being is not enough to warrant a respect for a person’s right to life.

The thinking has Live Action blogger Cassy Fiano upset.

“So if a baby is born with Down Syndrome, or another disability, then according to these two, a parent should be able to just kill it,” she says. “Or let’s say that the mother decides that being a parent is just too stressful for her. She should be able to kill her baby then, too. Baby costs too much money? Yep, just kill it.”

“All of these things are perfectly acceptable, because newborns aren’t real people yet. And as for adoption in any of these circumstances? Well, that could cause the mother emotional distress, so the answer would be… kill the baby! The fact that they see adoption as something that would cause a mother emotional distress but not the murder of their own child just shows how sick these two people are,” Fiano says. “The sad thing is, that this point of view is inevitable once you start allowing people to define just what a human being actually is. If we don’t value all life, then does it really make a difference when we kill a baby? At this point, what difference does it make if the baby is inside the mother’s womb or outside of it?”

“And while it sounds incredible that anything like this would ever be allowed outside of speculation in a bioethics journal, keep in mind the horrors of partial birth abortion. Keep in mind that our own president voted in favor of infanticide. And the arguments that these ethicists are making are the exact same arguments that pro-abortion advocates make for abortion every day,” she continues.

Matthew Archbold of the National Catholic Register also opines.

The second we allow ourselves to become the arbiters of who is human and who isn’t, this is the calamitous yet inevitable end. Once you say all human life is not sacred, the rest is just drawing random lines in the sand.

An ethicists job is like a magician’s. The main job of both is to distract you from the obvious. The magician uses sleight of hand to pretend to make people disappear. But when ethicists do it, people disappear for real.

It’s almost a pro-life argument in that it highlights the absurdity of the pro-abortion argument.

These two “ethicists” seem to draw the distinction I’ve seen elsewhere of “self awareness.” But isn’t that a sliding scale? Isn’t that a bit of a judgement call? Doesn’t this also put the crosshairs on the mentally disabled or those who have suffered brain injuries?

They throw around this term “potential person” like it’s a real thing. As if it’s science. But there’s no such thing as potential persons. It’s anti-science. There’s defenseless people. Maybe that’s what they mean. In fact, isn’t that really the point. There’s defenseless people and indefensible ethicists.

And Wesley J. Smith, the prominent American bioethics attorney, says bioethics now contians no ethics whatsoever.
Or to put it another way, too often bioethics, isn’t. On the other hand, to be fair, the ancient Romans exposed inconvenient infants on hills. These authors may want to take us back to those crass values, but I assume they would urge a quicker death.