Wednesday, September 20, 2017
IFI Staff
'After-Birth Abortion' Coming Next?

We’ve all heard about the horror that is “partial-birth abortion.” Now two medical ethicists are championing the legalization of “after-birth abortion” in an article for the Journal of Medical Ethics.

In their article, the authors “argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

Although their logic is horrifying, at least its consistent. If it’s legal to kill a preborn child in the womb just hours before its birth, why is it illegal to kill that same child just minutes after its birth? “The same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human,” write the authors, both of whom teach in the philosophy department at the University of Milan in Italy.

According to the medical ethicists, “the newborn and the fetus are morally equivalent” in that neither is a “person” (they define “person” as one who is “able to make aims and appreciate their own life”).

This interpretation deviates from the historical understanding of personhood. For example, the first law textbook used in America explained that fetuses “in the mother’s womb” are legally considered “to be born”; thus, the law considered a fetus to be his or her own person, independent of the mother.

Similarly, James Wilson, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence and an original U.S. Supreme Court justice, taught his law students, “With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb.”

Because all human beings are created in the image of their Creator with dignity and infinite worth, life must be protected at all stages---in the womb, after birth, and at the end of one’s life. Everyone---regardless of health, disabilities, or capabilities---has a fundamental right to life.

We're not going to let this happen without a fight. Will you partner with IFI to defend and argue on behalf of the sanctity of human life?

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