Infanticide is Not a Human Right

Murder is murder. There is no moral difference between infanticide and abortion.

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It can never be successfully argued that it’s the right of a human being to kill an innocent human being. If such were the situation, then the person who made such a claim would have to expect to randomly meet a similar fate at the hands of anyone he encounters. Many secularists―claiming to be humanists―will argue this despite the obvious self-contradiction.

Essentially, the proponents of this argument are claiming “might makes right.” The child in utero is the de facto weaker individual and can’t defend himself against his attacker. As the child is perceived as “nonhuman,” an “inconvenience” or a supposed “threat,” it becomes acceptable to kill him. But, what of the rights of the human child who is about to face summary execution? What of those rare cases in which children miraculously survive abortions? Are they suddenly human once they’re born? Do they not have the right to bring to justice those who attempted at extinguishing their lives? If these children aren’t human, where do humans come from?

Again, secularists will claim that a human isn’t a human until he’s born. If this is true, then secularists are intentionally ignoring the nine-month, very human process by which that baby came into existence before his birth. Maybe they will also ignore the sexual act that brought that being into existence, as if the two events were not intimately connected biologically and spiritually. If they aren’t connected, it follows that rape can no longer be considered a reasonable excuse to abort a child.

A February 2012 article in the Journal of Medical Ethics called for the right for a mother to commit what the authors termed an “after-birth abortion” — in other words, infanticide. Drs. Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, the authors of the paper, insisted that the very reasoning that would allow a woman to kill her own child in utero, should be extended après-birth:

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.

Rather than being “actual persons,” Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva referred to newborns as “potential persons.” They explained: “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.’” Throughout history, self-appointed moral leaders would first identify an enemy, labeling them as less-than-human before they embarked on exterminating them. Giubilini and Minerva’s views bear a cold similarity to the Nazi reference to Jews, Roma (i.e., Gypsies,) Poles, homosexuals and disabled persons as non-humans and the Turkish view of Armenian Christians as “pigs and dogs” before the Armenian Holocaust in the early part of the 20th century.

Abortion polemicists Peter Singer, John Harris and Michael Tooley, among many others, have made similar claims that infanticide of both disabled and healthy children are acceptable depending upon the whim of the mother whose body is scientifically acknowledged as being completely separate from those of her children after having given birth to them. In fact, in 2004, John Harris promoted the “right” to commit infanticide, specifically asking, “People who think there is a difference between infanticide and late abortion have to ask the question: ‘What has happened to the foetus in the time it takes to pass down the birth canal and into the world which changes its moral status?’”

Those who believe there is a difference between infanticide and late-term abortion must explain what fundamental moral, psychological and biological change takes place in the unborn child during his passage through the birth canal and into the world which changes its moral status. Biological science and the Catholic Church both teach, of course, that there is no difference.

Interestingly, since infanticide supporters have now blurred the distinction between a neonatal and a late-term fetus, equating their respective moral statuses, the perspective generates an interesting moral dilemma and teaching opportunity. If infanticide is seen as morally repugnant by some pro-abortionists — as partial-birth abortions and late term abortions have become — because it snuffs out a human life, then why would should we allow any abortion at all? Further, as Trevor Stammers has pointed out in a recent article, if the term “after-birth abortion” has failed to “normalize” the killing of children (i.e., abortion and infanticide) by the injudicious use of verbal trickery, then it follows that we can now also refer to late-term abortion as “antenatal infanticide.”

“Pre-birth infanticide” might be a more descriptive term.

If infanticide becomes morally acceptable, women afflicted with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy―a form of sociopathic narcissism in which women will intentionally sicken and often kill their children in a bid to gain attention for themselves―will now be defended as “practicing their right” to commit infanticide. But what of filicide—killing one’s older children? When atheist leader Madalyn O’Hair’s oldest son Christopher converted to Christianity, she permanently disassociated herself from her son, calling the voluntary estrangement a “postnatal abortion.” Had she had the “right” to commit infanticide, she might have dispatched her adult son also. After all, if there’s no difference between an abortion and infanticide, what difference could there be between infanticide and filicide? Or between filicide and murder of a non-related individual? Of between murder and genocide? Or the total eradication of our species?

It can never be successfully argued that a child that is outside of a mother’s body is still within the purview of that’s women’s right to her own body. The reason people argue against abortion is because the child’s body is his own and, as we’re told, everyone has the right to his own body.