Medical Journal: Legalize ‘After-Birth Abortions’, ‘Infants Are Not People’

Medical Journal: Legalize ‘After-Birth Abortions’, ‘Infants Are Not People’

A paper just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics says that parents should have the right to kill their newborn infants, because infants are not people.

A paper in the The Journal of Medical Ethics, an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in medical ethics, argues that murdering newborn infants should be legalized.

The rational? “Infants are not people”.

After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?


Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. Women should have the right over their bodies to decide what to do if they do have an unplanned pregnancy. There are many places now where women can go for an abortion (in fact you can find out more about abortion information here). There are many other reasons though why abortion should be more widely accepted. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, 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.

By Alberto Giubilini1, 2
and Francesca Minerva3,4Author Affiliations

Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Correspondence to Dr Francesca Minerva, CAPPE, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia; [email protected]

Contributors AG and FM contributed equally to the manuscript.

Source: Journal of Medical Ethics

Gather weighs in:

Justifying the Murder of Infants

The authors of the study, Alberto Giubilini with Monash University in Melbourne and Francesca Minerva at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne arguethat they “prefer the term “after-birth abortion” as opposed to “infanticide,” as the latter conjures up images of a child rather than a “fetus,” which does not have the moral equivalent to life than a baby. The After-birth abortion would be justified in cases where, “the newborn would be putting the well-being of the family at risk.” They say, “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life.’ ”
To easier swallow the idea that a child is a “fetus,” those that support killing a child are skilled with their use of language to easier digest the idea of abortion. Clearly the authors of this study have the same idea with regard to verbiage. Recently, Joy Behar had a minor slip up in the accepted verbiage, while referring to a pending law in Virginia that would require a mother to get an ultrasound before committing to an abortion. Ms. Behar said that forcing a mother to “see the child, er, infant, er fetus, er ‘whatever it is’ before getting an abortion is downright evil!”


Source: Gather News

The Blaze adds more detail:

Ethicists Argue in Favor of ‘After-Birth Abortions‘ as Newborns ‘Are Not Persons’


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. This is a very sensative topic that could be completly avoided if more people used effective birth control methods. There are many different methods that someone could use including, wearing a condom, combined methods or using a Intrauterine Device (IUD). There are many advantages to using each of these methods, for example many women using IUD’s are filing law suits ( see as if the devices break they can cause serious internal damage!

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.

The authors go on to state that the moral status of a newborn is equivalent to a fetus in that it cannot be considered a person in the “morally relevant sense.” On this point, the authors write:

Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.


Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal.

Giubilini and Minerva believe that being able to understand the value of a different situation, which often depends on mental development, determines personhood. For example, being able to tell the difference between an undesirable situation and a desirable one. They note that fetuses and newborns are “potential persons.” The authors do acknowledge that a mother, who they cite as an example of a true person, can attribute “subjective” moral rights to the fetus or newborn, but they state this is only a projected moral status.

The authors counter the argument that these “potential persons” have the right to reach that potential by stating it is “over-ridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence.”

And what about adoption? Giubilini and Minerva write that, as for the mother putting the child up for adoption, her emotional state should be considered as a trumping right. For instance, if she were to “suffer psychological distress” from giving up her child to someone else – they state that natural mothers can dream their child will return to them – then after-birth abortion should be considered an allowable alternative.


Source:The Blaze

Does this mean we should also legalize after-incorporation abortions? After all, if infants aren’t people then corporations sure in the hell aren’t either.

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