After birth Abortion

Katherine - posted on 04/13/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Conservatives were horrified when the Journal of Medical Ethics published an article advocating "after-birth abortion" for handicapped, or just inconvenient, babies. They are correct that it is a disgusting piece of amoral analysis, but that is its virtue. As much as conservatives hate it, progressives hate it more. Many are convinced that it's a plant by the pro-life crowd. What progressives cannot articulate, but intuitively understand, is that by applying a reductio ad absurdum approach to the notion of abortion, the article forces pro-abortion people to confront the Big Lie that underpins their willingness to terminate a pregnancy, even an advanced one.



Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini have advanced a very simple proposition, which is that only "a person" deserves to live:



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.



[snip]



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.'



In the authors' lexicon, to be a "person" deserving of life, one has to have a cognitive sense of self, akin to Descartes' proposition that "I think, therefore I am":



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.



Because babies lack a higher existential sense, they have no greater right to life than other biological entities without an existential sense of self -- say, for example, a cockroach or chicken. Downgrading a baby's status from "person" to something equivalent to a cockroach leads to the next step in the analysis, which is that adults have the absolute right to terminate this living, breathing non-person's existence:



[W]hat 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.



We've been down this path before. It ended in Auschwitz.



For the pro-abortion crowd, the problem with the article's analysis is that it reveals the amoral, illogical, unscientific approach justifying the current no-holds-barred approach to abortion. The article says a baby is not a person, but only a potential person. The pro-abortionist says the fetus is not a baby, but only potential baby. "It" (with "It" being the proto-person) begins as a zygote, then becomes a thing indistinguishable from a similarly situated chicken or a dog thing, and then slowly develops into a potential human. While in the womb, It does not breath or eat, nor does It think or have an awareness of itself or of others. It is a simulacrum of a person; It looks like a baby but lacks minimum human attributes. Being un-human, It therefore has no right to life.



Many pro-abortion folks are uncomfortably aware, at least at a subliminal level, that this is a Big Lie. With modern medicine, fetuses that have passed the 24-week stage can become part of the breathing, eating, communicating, aware, thinking world, simply by being born. More importantly, biological reality is that all fetuses, from conception onward, are nascent persons. Just as life outside the womb is a continuum from cradle to grave, with the soft, fuzzy baby becoming the desiccated centenarian, so too is there a continuum within the womb, as the zygote transitions into a fully fledged -- and viable -- infant.



The after-birth abortion article, by applying to a viable infant the same logic that the pro-abortion crowd applies to a fetus, explodes the magical thinking that allows people to pretend that the continuum of life begins at birth, not at conception. The article's authors are exactly right when they analyze an infant: the baby doesn't have existential awareness, no more than next week's dinner does. Just as the cow whose flank will one day make a nice stew doesn't stand around in the pasture thinking, "Yes, the grass is sweet and the air fresh, but tomorrow I die," neither does the infant think, "I really like this lady who's holding me in her arms and filling my tummy. I just hope she doesn't suddenly decide to kill me."



Both cow and infant live in a world of feeling. The difference is that the infant, unlike the cow, will eventually develop a greater awareness, one that includes recognizing its mortality. Because this existential awareness develops long after infancy passes, the article's ineluctable logic allows a mother to kill her four-year-old because he's too expensive or just because she dislikes the way motherhood suddenly has her shopping at Costco.



Most pro-abortion people are not horrible human beings. Instead, they have been conditioned to believe that "a woman's right to choose" is a moral end in itself, and one that trumps all other considerations. To sustain this belief system, they must buy into the little deceptions that feed the Big Lie about a fetus's lack of humanity. None of these people, however, can pretend that a living, breathing baby, even one with a birth defect, is not a human. Reading an article that advocates a living child's death horrifies them. The further realization that the article repeats the same tropes that underlie their pro-abortion views is a sledgehammer shattering the cognitive dissonance behind which they hide.



Despite the ugliness of this post-birth abortion article, many pro-abortion people will continue down their current path. They'll castigate the article for being evil, either on its own terms or as a malevolent pro-life plant, but they'll still say that women must have the right to terminate a pregnancy if they know that they (or society) cannot manage the costs or inconvenience an infant will cause. If challenged, they'll have left only non sequiturs about "the right to choose" and "government off my uterus."



What makes the article valuable is that other people, more thoughtful people, people who have been affected by seeing sonograms of their own baby or their little niece or nephew, will find unsustainable the cognitive dissonance that the article creates. They will no longer be able to pretend that the fetus isn't deserving of life because it doesn't have an existential sense. They will understand that, if one accepts the article's logic, one has opened an easy pathway to killing any people who arguably lack self-awareness. It's a death knell for those with head injuries, advanced brain tumors, serious stroke deficits, Alzheimer's, etc. The next step is to look at an entire group of people and conclude that, by virtue of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, etc., that group lacks personhood and doesn't deserve to live either.



Whether Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini are the genuine moral monsters they appear to be or are skillful counter-propagandists, they have done the world a valuable service by focusing on the reality behind abortion's culture of death. It's not about "a woman's right to choose." It is, as they explicitly state, about whether a human deserves to live.



Bookworm is the proprietor of the website Bookworm Room.



Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/a...





Wow. What are your thoughts? Do you think this will change any pro-choicer stances? I mean really?



It's not about "a woman's right to choose." It is, as they explicitly state, about whether a human deserves to live.

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Johnny - posted on 04/13/2012

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They have chosen to completely ignore the fact that extremely late-term abortions and a "post-birth abortion" (read infanticide) are done being done to beings that are generally able to exist independently of the mother's body. It is not some artificial line. It is a vital line between the rights of the host over the rights of the "parasite". Each woman has the right to choose what happens to her body, but once that being is able to exist independently of her, it is no longer about her bodily rights. That being now has its own human rights and there is no conflict.

Jodi - posted on 04/13/2012

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These people are philosophers. It is merely a philosophical argument from a pro-life perspective. Sure, the argued philosophy is repugnant, it is supposed to be. They aren't actually proposing that this should happen, they are putting forward a philosophical position that IF you are ok with a baby being aborted at, say, 20 weeks, then you should be ok with this. I totally agree that the two are different, they are merely arguing that the two things are the same. *shrug* Philosophers do this shit.

Caitlin - posted on 04/16/2012

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This makes me think of a documentary I recently saw of Parents (in canada) who have children with debilitating diseases who are now adults and cannot wash themselves, walk, move, eat, drink on their own, all their food is given by feeding tube straight into the stomach and it seems like a horrible existance. The parents were mostly saying, if they could end their childs pain by injection, they would do it, but the only legazl way to do it is to remove the feeding tube and watch them starve to death. I couldn't do that either. It is a horrible position to put parents/caregivers into. Watching your child starve is legal but "euthanizing" them is not. One case that struck me most was a mom who had 2 children, a son and daughter who had a genetic disorder, who were fine as kids, but started to degenerate when they were around 4 and got progressively worse to the point where they cannot do anything on their won any longer, they are now adults, and she cares for them herself. Now, post term abortions seem wrong of course, if a child is healthy, then you can give it up for adoption if you don't want it, if the child is destined for a life of pain and suffering - it falls to euthanasia (which I am 100% for btw.. After 2 doctors sign off on it).

Jodi - posted on 04/13/2012

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OMG, I don't know ANYONE that is "pro-abortion", what an ignorant term. That in and of itself tells us this is an incredibly biased article, obviously written by someone who is extremely pro-life.



It IS about a woman's right to choose, they can try to make it about anything else they want, but as long as a woman's body has to play second fiddle to an organism living in her body, it IS her right to choose what happens with her body. I agree with Little Miss, there are very few instances where I agree with late term abortions, there are a few, but they are extreme. Once the baby is able to live outside the mother's womb to a "normal" extent (meaning, yes, a baby could be born SUPER early, but if they're going to be in a vegetative state forever or whatever.) then I'm ok with a woman choosing her body and future over that.



I don't think this will change the minds of very many pro-choicers at all. Let's face it, late term abortions are incredibly rare to begin with, so THIS...this is just absurdity from pro-life people at their best.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/13/2012

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I love how they keep saying "pro-abortion" people instead of "pro-choice". I am pro choice. I do not agree with after birth abortion. That is not abortion. That is killing an infant. Abortion IMO is reserved for when the fetus is still in the uterus and cannot survive outside of the mothers body.

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Jennifer - posted on 04/17/2012

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I think that anything that makes someone think about things is a good start. I am pro-life, always have been, always will be. BUT, I also support euthanizasia, at least to a certain degree. The irony of that stance is not lost on me, either! I think that people who are in pain, who have no chance of recovery, and those who are in a vegatave state should be allowed to die in a quick, pain free as possible way. I also feel that it may be better if some severelly handicaped children would be allowed to die; I'm talking feeding tubes, no response, and no hope for anything more. Again, I would NOT support aborting them before birth. Why? We have several children that docs said would be much worse than they are, and if those mistakes can be made, I don't feel it's right to end the life.



I also feel that any steps we take towards 'allowing' someone to make choices on right to life issues needs to be heaviliy weighed. Things progress, and not always to a good end. If our kids make choices on ending our lives, and it becomes common place, are our grandkids going to become cavalier about it? Will our great-grandkids return to the days of killing any slightly handicapped person 'for the good of society'? Far fetched, yes, of course, but it isn't so far out there as to be unthinkable....... Eugentics was not an idea that Hitler came up with. It was popular, and gaining momentum. He learned of it in England and the US. That was my gramma's childhood. We have not come far from that time..............



I also feel that many of these issues would not be a problem, if it were not for modern medicine. Maybe that could be a starting point. If the person could not survive with out medical intervention on a daily basis, we should evaluate their quality of life?

Jodi - posted on 04/17/2012

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Stifler's Mum, you've heard of removing life support right? For some, they can breath on their own, so their life support IS tube feeding and IV fluids...and to remove it is considered removing life support. So yes, it's totally legal...and yet euthanasia is not...

Sarah - posted on 04/16/2012

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I have always been pro-choice, even though I know I probably could never make that choice, I'm not even sure that in the case of rape I could, but it's my belief that if you have made the choice not to abort the pergnancy then you have made the choice to bring this child into the world. there are parents out there who would love to have the chance to love your baby, and if a teenager can be prosecuted for killing their child after they are born then what right do we have to say if a doctor does it it's not murder because they arn't a person yet??

Jodi - posted on 04/15/2012

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Kind of, but euthanasia isn't just reserved for terminal illnesses though. It would apply to people in an irreversable vegetative or comatose state. Those people could "live" to old age if left on oxygen, IV and/or tube feedings. But your choices in THAT situation would only be to remove the life sustaining measures taken, causing that person to suffocate, starve and/or dehydrate to death. I really don't equate euthanasia with abortions, I don't consider it a life until it has a chance or is viable outside of the womb, so you can't euthanise something that hasn't been born. Euthanasia is reserved to those already born. But, that's just my opinion on the matter.

[deleted account]

Isn't aborting an ectopic pregnancy just another form of euthanasia though? We have a being that is incapable of living past a certain time and will absolutely die. If we kill it beforehand, isn't that just as much euthanasia?

Jodi - posted on 04/15/2012

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I support euthanasia in extreme cases. Especially if the other option is a slow and painful death by starvation. If one is allowed, why not the other? Bah!

Jodi - posted on 04/14/2012

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Tracey, I have it in my will that yes, please take me off of life support (including withdrawal of food and water) if I'm in that state. And in most states, it is legal to withdraw food and water or other life support machines (such as breathing machines). But to euthanise is illegal as far as I know. So actually yes, you can kill those with no hope of recovery, brain damaged or in a vegatative state if you remove any and all life sustaining measures taken, you just can't give them an injection to get it over with quickly, you have allow the person to suffocate, starve or dehydrate for a matter of hours, days or weeks.

Tracey - posted on 04/14/2012

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If we are going to kill all people who lack the ability to think should this also apply to those in intensive care who have no hope of recovery, brain damaged, vegetative state etc?

Sally - posted on 04/13/2012

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My head aches. This is something i really will have to think about@ very cleverly done

Alahnna - posted on 04/13/2012

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I couldn't even read that whole article, it makes my stomach turn. A newborn infant has no moral rights? UGH!...

Janice - posted on 04/13/2012

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Yes, exactly what Little Miss CBW said. Pro- abortion would be someone who thinks all pregnancies should be aborted. I am 100% against late term abortion but I am also 100% pro-choice. A fetus that has not yet developed enough to survive in the world is completely different than than fully developed baby that actually is living.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/13/2012

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"What makes the article valuable is that other people, more thoughtful people, people who have been affected by seeing sonograms of their own baby or their little niece or nephew, will find unsustainable the cognitive dissonance that the article creates"

What they are neglecting to see, is that many women that already HAVE children opt for abortion. This is not just for childless whores.

Also "
Both cow and infant live in a world of feeling."

Um...yeah...I don't think they will stop butchering cows anytime soon.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/13/2012

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I do not support late term abortion. There are very few reasons that I would change my stance on that.

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