Abortion and Infanticide


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ABSTRACTZENIT - Abortion and Infanticide Indexed Archive | Advanced Search | The World Seen From Rome Zenit? All about Zenit Testimonies Services Conditions of use How is Zenit financed Prizes and Recognitions Faqs Identity and Organization Technical Problems Receive zenit Subscribe by Email Unsubscribe Gift-Subscriptions Zenit in RSS Zenit on your Web Conditions of use Problems receiving Zenit Support zenit Send a donation How is Zenit financed Legal Status Participate Help Zenit Spread Zenit Give the gift of Zenit Recommend Zenit Contact us FAQ Identity and Organization Technical Problems Advertising Contact us English > See information Why I support ZENIT... SEND DONATION ZE12030904 - 2012-03-09 Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-34430?l=english Abortion and Infanticide Re-discovering the Slippery Slope By Father John Flynn, LC ROME, MARCH 9, 2011 ( Zenit.org ).- "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." While this quote from “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There” is from a work of fiction, it is an apt way to depict the article published on Feb. 23 in the Journal of Medical Ethics titled: “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” Authors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, academics based in Melbourne, Australia, argued 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.” Abortion is routinely permitted when the fetus is suffering from some type of defect or disease, or even for economic, social and psychological reasons, they said. And in Holland, under the 2002 Groningen Protocol newborns who have a “hopeless prognosis” may be killed. Instead of the universally accepted term of infanticide to describe such a procedure they argued in favor of their neologism, “after-birth abortion.” "The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual,” they claimed. They did not put any limit as to how long after birth this so-called abortion should be permitted, aside from noting that normally any disability would be detected in a matter of days. When the justification is on non-medical grounds they also omitted any time period, saying it just depended on the neurological development of newborns. Reasoned engagement Not surprisingly their article elicited a great deal of criticism. In reaction to this, in the journal’s blog on Feb. 20, Julian Savulescu, the editor of the journal, said their proposal of “after-birth abortion” was not disturbing, but what was disturbing were the hostile responses to what he termed “any kind of reasoned engagement.” In an open letter penned by the article’s authors, published March 2 on the journal’s Web site, they proclaimed their astonishment at the hostile reactions, saying: “It was meant to be a pure exercise of logic.” Their tactic of describing the article as an intellectual exercise was anticipated by Bill Muehlenberg in an article posted the day before on the Australian Web site On Line Opinion. “Decades prior to the Holocaust there were many academic positions and pronouncements which prepared the way for what Hitler and the Nazis did,” he pointed out. “Using the classroom and scholarly journals to make the case – coolly and calmly – for baby killing is not an indication of professionalism and progress,” he argued. “It is a sign of barbarism and regress.” Ideas have consequences, argued Trevor Stammers in an article published March 5 o.......