Infanticide Blitz

Infanticide Blitz May 7, 2013

Okay, the news and net is flooded with stuff on infanticide. Here is some of it.

Top of the list is that the Journal of Medical Ethics has dedicated a whole new issue to the infanticide debate which includes a range of views about infanticide. The journal editor Julian Savulescu writes in his editorial:

In January 2012, the Journal of Medical Ethics published online Giubilini and Minerva’s paper, ‘After-birth abortion. Why should the baby live?’. The Journal publishes articles based on the quality of their argument, their contribution to the existing literature, and relevance to current medicine. This article met those criteria. It created unprecedented global outrage for a paper published in an academic medical ethics journal. In this special issue of the Journal, Giubilini and Minerva’s paper comes to print along with 31 articles from some of the best scholars in the world, from the broadest range of perspectives on abortion and infanticide, including those strongly critical of Giubilini and Minerva. The killing of a baby is among the most shocking of human practices. I am strongly opposed to the legalisation of infanticide along the lines discussed by Giubilini and Minerva. But I would like to explain why a journal of medical ethics published an article examining infanticide and now devotes a special issue to bringing a wide range of perspectives for further examination of these issues.

Aussie journalist Miranda Devine writes for the Daily Telegraph about The Logical End Game to a Culture of Normalized Abortion.

And the fact is that babies do survive late-term abortion, even in Australia, although few hit the headlines. There was the case of baby Jessica Jane, aborted at 22 weeks in Darwin Private Hospital in 1998, but who was born alive, weighing 515 grams, and with “good vital signs”. She lived for 80 minutes, alone in a kidney dish, though a sympathetic nurse wrapped a warm blanket around her as she died. At the time, the Northern Territory coroner said similar deaths had occurred elsewhere in Australia and that his counterpart in NSW had disclosed that “many terminated foetus live after they are expelled from the mother”. This apparently ho-hum fact was dealt with last year by Australia’s medico-ethical establishment when two Victorian academics published an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics advocating “after-birth abortion”. They claimed “the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn”. This is really the only logical end game to a culture of normalised abortion. Once you destroy the taboo protecting human life, Gosnell-style killing factories are the result.

Former Clinton Administrator Kirsten Powers writes for The Daily Beast on how the Abortion Rights Community has become the NRA of the Left:

Speaking as a liberal who endorses more government regulation of practically everything—banks, water, air, food, oil drilling, animal safety—I am eternally perplexed by the fury the abortion rights contingent displays at the suggestion that the government might have a serious role to play in the issue of abortion, especially later-term abortion. More and more, the abortion rights community has become the NRA of the left: unleashing their armies of supporters and lobbyists in opposition to regulations or restrictions that the majority of Americans support. In the same way the NRA believes background checks will lead to the government busting down your door to confiscate your guns, the abortion rights movement conjures a straight line from parental consent to a complete ban on abortion. Such an attitude makes having an honest conversation about abortion almost impossible. That is just one of the many reasons I hate talking about it. Additionally, there is no upside in our media culture to challenging this sacred cow. More likely, there is a price to be paid, which is why so few people take it on. However, I cannot legitimately say I am a person who cherishes human rights—the animating issue of my life and a frequent topic of my writing—and remain silent about our country’s legally endorsing infanticide.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Caio Peres

    Thanks for sharing it.

  • Dale Tuggy

    Relevantly, a newspaper editorial by me (a professor of philosophy).

  • Guest

    Still think it is exaggerated This is a must read; a powerful testimony to the horrendous practice of Partial Birth Abortion. Decades ago an intern made a decision that warms my heart today, but brings to light a dreadful reality. The Gosnell Clinic and places like it still do this “Procedure.” Please, read and share this true story.

  • Still think it is exaggerated? This is a MUST READ; a powerful testimony to the horrendous practice of Partial Birth Abortion. Decades ago an intern made a decision that warms my heart today, but brings to light a dreadful reality. The Gosnell Clinic and places like it still do this “Procedure.” Please, read and share this true story.

  • Wow, interesting timing. About the same time this blog was posted, I was engaging in a debate on Facebook with a friend of mine who is a staunch gun-rights advocate. I drew the same comparison between abortion-rights advocates and gun-rights advocates relative to the response evoked whenever the topic of “reasonable limits” is broached. His response: “Gun rights and abortion – really?” I clarified I was not drawing moral equivalences to the “rights” being advocated, only to the response of the advocates themselves. It’s gratifying to see there are self-professed liberals willing to see the aptness of the analogy.

  • Warren Wright

    I am writing this comment because I have been following the issue of infanticide in the tiny nation of East Timor; a people who have long endured mass human rights violations and a brutal occupation by Indonesia when human life was degraded and extinguished arbitrarily by the State. Today, East Timor is free of that and is one of the most staunchly Catholic countries. Perhaps the most important tenet of Christianity is the sanctity of human life – a sanctity that was descecrated for 2 and a half decades under the Indonesian occupation resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Which makes the present-day issue of infanticide in East Timor so perplexing. I have compiled several case histories of infanticide in East Timor over recent years and archived them on my blog, the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. Last week, the State Secretary for the Promotion of Equality was reported as saying that “throwing away babies” happened in East Timor “in every village” and that it is a growing social problem, with most cases involving schoool-age girls. So what is driving this phenomenon in East Timor? Is it poverty or unwanted pregnancies resulting from the lack of condom use at the command of the Church or is it a legacy of the occupation which violated the sanctity of life? The social stigma of a young unwed mother? Or all of these? Any insights that readers of this blog have would be much appreciated. The latest report on infanticide in East Timor may be read here: