Taking Abortion to its Logical Conclusion

1984There is an additional reason why legalized abortion is such a horrifying phenomenon. It’s not just a matter involving unborn humans, although that’s horrifying enough. It’s the foundation of a slippery slope that is being used to justify the killing of born humans. Someday, somewhere in the world, it could be used to justify genocide.

A line got crossed in 2012 when an academic journal published a paper saying that if abortion is permissible, then killing healthy newborns should be permissible as well. And just last week, The College Fix reported that U.S. college students are increasingly accepting of “post-birth abortion”, i.e. the killing of babies. Even more outrageous, some students reportedly even would accept the killing of children up to 4 or 5 years old, on the grounds they are not yet “self-aware.”

That’s the logic of a materialist, atheistic worldview that sees humans nothing more than molecules that, way back in our evolutionary history, came together by mere chance. The value of a human life is no higher than that of an insect or an amoeba, based on this worldview.

It is chilling to read the dry, matter-of-fact summary of the 2012 paper, written by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, published in the U.K.’s Journal of Medical Ethics:

“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.”

With those 90 words, infanticide is given credence, legitimacy and affirmation in polite society.

Princeton professor Peter Singer is infamous for his writings on infanticide, mainly in cases where the infant is disabled. “Characteristics like rationality, autonomy and self-consciousness make a difference,” writes Singer. “Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings.”

Giubilini and Minerva go a step further, saying it is okay to kill healthy babies in addition to disabled ones.

Why not give the baby up for adoption? Because doing so may bring the mother psychological distress, they explain. They cite a source that states “Natural mothers often dream that their child will return to them. This makes it difficult to accept the reality of the loss….” The authors’ solution? Kill the baby.

No, this isn’t satire, science fiction, or excerpts from treatises of some past totalitarian regime. It’s what today’s culture of abortion has wrought. And it’s much more than the theoretical musings of the youthful Giubilini and Minerva. That a well-established peer-reviewed journal, whose editor hails from the Oxford University philosophy department, and whose editorship and board consist of numerous academics from Europe, the United States and elsewhere, would publish such a paper speaks volumes of the degeneration that is pervading aspects of Western academia.

The irony that the paper was written by “ethicists” and accepted by a publication called the Journal of Medical Ethics seems right out of the novel 1984.

The authors simply are taking abortion to its logical conclusion. Apart from the manner in which a newborn gets its oxygen and nourishment, there’s little biological difference between it and a developed fetus.

As the idea of infanticide gains greater acceptance in social and academic circles, it could gain greater acceptance in legal circles as well. A lawyer could argue that a newborn infant differs little from an infant still in the womb, and therefore if abortion is permissible, then infanticide should be permissible.

Once they’ve opened the Pandora’s box by declaring that birth is no longer the dividing line between personhood and non-personhood, then their logic can be applied to anyone. Killing a human of any age is consistent with legalized abortion.

That’s one of the reasons why abortion is so repugnant. Lack of sanctity for unborn human life spills over into lack of sanctity for all human life. Such ideas could help beget a colder, more callous world among ordinary persons, and more violent crime among the amoral. “Let’s go out and perform an after-birth abortion,” a criminal may say.

Another frightening potential application of this mindset involves governments. In the past, National Socialist and Communist governments justified their genocides using arguments by racist and Marxist scholars. In the future, governments of certain countries could engage in forced infanticide, selective homicide, or even genocide using scholarly arguments from publications such as that cited above, arguing that killing (born) humans is no different from abortion.

Typically, in the modern Western world, whenever someone uses media outlets to incite the killing of innocents, they’re quickly relegated to the ash heap of polite society. But that’s not happening with the pro-abortion/infanticide academics of today. Their ideas are gaining momentum.

Now’s the time to bring the issue of abortion to center stage, this time making clear that the stakes don’t involve just pre-born humans, but all of humanity as well.

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