The next step in abortion

A new study in Australia has come out arguing that we should consider allowing post-birth abortion, or as most normal people call it, infanticide. I’m not surprised, it is a logical step that follows from the reasons given for allowing normal abortions.

I’m pro-life, and a Christian. It is impossible to decide when a foetus becomes worthy of protection – there is no obvious transition point. Therefore I argue that since all fetuses have the potential to be born and have full lives, we should not deprive them of that potential. Moreover, as a Christian, I don’t think God is going to chastise us for being over protective of the most vulnerable – the unborn.

So what of this latest study? One of the common arguments for abortion is that a fetus cannot survive by itself – it is in effect a parasite. Hence, a foetus is not worthy of protection in the same way. However, children are utterly dependent on their parents for many years. By this argument for abortion, we could justly kill children until they are 4 or 5 years, perhaps older. If this strikes you as a misrepresentation, then what changes when a child is born? They can breathe for themselves now, but they can’t feed themselves.

William Briggs dissects their proposals and finds them wanting.

A more widely reported story, in Britain at least, was the concern over abortions being carried out on the basis of gender, which is apparently illegal. None of this makes any sense to me. If you are allowed to abort the fetus because the child will be an inconvenience (surely the #1 reason) how is it worse to do so because you really wanted a boy? Either both are wrong, as I believe, or both are acceptable. Tim Worstall covers the story with his usual style.

Lastly, to any other libertarians reading, if a fetus has the same status as a human being, then clearly abortion violates the non-aggression principle. So the only libertarian argument in favour of abortion is that the fetus does not have the same status as a human being. Any other argument is irrelevant. Of course in making that argument, you might run into the difficulties above!

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1 Response to The next step in abortion

  1. jimgthornton says:

    Hmmm. Richard Hare said something like; “Trying to draw a “personhood” line between egg, embryo, fetus and newborn, is a bit like trying to decide whether roller skating should be allowed by inspecting the skates, or close reading of the order regulating wheeled vehicles in the park.”

    Abortion is a hard problem. If you find it easy, you’ve not understood it.

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