These folks have jobs, y’all, where they teach doctors how to make life or death decisions. Comforting, isn’t it?
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. 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.
That anyone, let alone someone hiding behind the façade of “ethicist,” can suggest in a professional setting that (1) fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as you or me is deeply troubling for myriad reasons, least of all that it’s patently false. But to argue point (2)–even if you accepted the first invalid premise–requires a certain degree of willful ignorance: how can anyone argue that a newborn infant isn’t a person? It’s not a potential person. It’s a living, breathing, unique individual with needs, wants and desires. That a newborn cannot inform others of the needs, wants and desires isn’t unique to newborns. I just read pjKid a book about Helen Keller. She couldn’t communicate for years. Granted, to most “medical bioethicists,” that is sufficient for saying Helen Keller wasn’t capable of living life fully, therefore she should’ve been “aborted,” too. The final argument presented is one of sheer convenience: oh, bother. I shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. I shouldn’t have carried the baby. Why wrestle with the emotional haggle of giving the child up to someone who desperately wants a baby, dear me, I should legally have the right to just kill it. And my doctor agrees! I don’t like the kid’s kinky hair or dark brown eyes. Dammit, he looks like my mother-in-law. It cries too much! Ah, kill it! We’ll try again next time.
So, if a woman has a mixed racial affair, she and her same race husband should be able to prevent gossip and embarrassment by killing the baby? (I know of one such case, although the woman wasn’t married, she aborted simply because she didn’t want to have a mixed race child.) Heck, if the baby’s life is worth so little, let’s harvest her organs and give them to those babies whose parents want them to live.
How unsettling to some that a few of us do want babies to live.
(What proof of Joe Klein’s opinion, no?)
UPDATE: Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!