“Aborting” Already-Born Babies

More than 30  years ago, Francis Schaeffer told us that if we allow people to voluntarily kill their unborn children, then the next that would be killed were the most vulnerable in society, the elderly and the newborn. We’ve already seen at least one woman who strangled to death her newborn and threw the body away, and got no jailtime (read about it here).

Now we have educated people who are openly advocating that people be allowed to kill their healthy newborns for no other reason than they want to. The article appeared in the 2/23/12 issue of Journal of Medical Ethics. Read about it here.

(the full article was originally online, but after the article hit the news sources, it somehow disappeared from the Journal’s website)

That people are openly advocating murder of newly born babies, and that such an article would appear in a peer-reviewed journal, is evidence that our society is indeed falling apart at the seams.



About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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5 Responses to “Aborting” Already-Born Babies

  1. R.Ross says:

    Perspective is important when assessing such things. This is one article by a couple of researchers which most people would reject. The article and the people involved have no power; they merely make a logical case that if you are prepared to abort ‘damaged’ babies before birth then why not abort them after birth?
    This is a position sourced in the materialistic mindset of modern science and modern medicine (albeit a position which is beginning to change in the latter owing to greater understanding of the mind/body connection) where the human being is no more than machine, or to paraphrase one term: ‘a bag full of hormones and chemicals.’
    Of course we are much more than that and such articles highlight how ridiculous it is to extrapolate from such a materialistic position. While it is not an argument that most people would accept, for all sorts of reasons, it is an opportunity for people to sensibly discuss the issue of abortion and allowing ‘damaged’ babies to die.
    The fact is doctors do and have always allowed damaged babies to die. Few people today however, would consider as they did in decades past, that Down’s Syndrome children are so damaged they should not or could not live. There is a point where life is not viable – that point may have changed over the years but there still remains a point where a decision has to be made for some babies (and for some children and adults) where medical treatment is stopped.
    What is different is that medicine now intrudes into the womb in order to facilitate what it believes is the production of the ‘perfect’ baby and society has been encouraged to believe that this is possible – or something which can be controlled.
    The irony here also is that as modern medicine encourages the death of babies deemed to be ‘damaged’ while they are in the womb, it is instrumental in producing ‘damaged’ babies who will grow into disabled children, through saving extremely premature babies. This is a topic which people should address and discuss. Most parents and probably most people would say it is acceptable to abort a damaged baby but not fine to allow a pre-term baby which will have ongoing disabilities, to die. There is a contradiction if not hypocrisy to that which the article highlights.
    If this extreme position does anything it makes people think about and talk about the sanctity of life. Well, it could, if it were not hijacked in a propaganda war against abortion. As an ethical question it is important. Modern medicine has become cavalier in its approach to life, or that which could be described as the sanctity of life and if there is a target in this debate it should be modern medicine, not the right of a woman to control her own body. The materialistic mindset of science-based medicine has created a lack of respect for life where ethics give way to greed and making money matters more than the sanctity of life. A procedure like IVF has become big business, where babies are produced with numerous ‘parents’ – created from donated, sperm, egg, womb and then handed over to parents who might be a man and a woman with some or no biological connection, or two men, or two women or one man or one woman – and barely a voice is raised in protest. Well, except perhaps in the case of same-sex parents but that reflects religious dogma rather than the rights of the child involved.
    One can only ask if those who protest abortion also protest the unwanted foetuses killed in the womb as part of the IVF process to ensure a greater chance that one or two viable babies will survive. An ethical question to be asked is what trauma do these surviving babies experience, aware as they are, of the murder of one, two, or three siblings by their sides?
    And, given what we know about the traumas of adoptees who desperately want contact with or knowledge of their biological parents, these babies are likely to have major psychological problems searching for the truth of who they are. Science and medicine have been instrumental in creating babies who are likely to grow into wounded if not damaged adults.
    So the issue raised here is one involving both the sanctity and the quality of life and the system of modern medicine which so betrays the principles on which it claims to be founded. The article takes an extreme position which highlights that hypocrisy.
    The fact is that we ‘kill’ through omission, both babies and adults alike and while one would wish for a world where abortion is used minimally, the fact is we will never have a world without abortion and neither we should. Neither should anyone other than the pregnant woman have a right to tell her what to do with her body.
    But, what is needed is honest discussion and acceptance of the fact that abortion – or allowing to die after birth – is taking life; is sacrificing. And that sacrifice of life needs to be recognised and honoured. The Japanese have one of the highest rates of abortion in the world, but they also have a social attitude which recognises and accepts it as a killing of the child, a sacrifice, for a ‘greater’ purpose and they have rituals and ceremonies to honour that lost life.
    Interestingly, while links have been made between abortion (and miscarriage) and breast cancer – the breasts symbolic of mothering and abortion or miscarriage representing a lost child for which one needs to grieve – the Japanese with the highest rates of abortion have the lowest rates of breast cancer. But then they have done their grieving. They have admitted to themselves and to society what they have done.
    We have yet to reach that place in the West. Anyone who remembers the horrors of a world where abortion was illegal would never wish such a place again. The fact is no society can ever stop a woman ending her pregnancy if that is what she wants. But what a society can do and needs to do is to work to ensure that the ‘act’ itself is seen for what it is and not one brushed aside as mere procedure. Neither should the act be judged as right or wrong for unless you ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’ you have no idea why they do what they do. Few women have an abortion lightly and those who may think they do so, will carry with them emotional and psychological scars.
    That understanding is what can come out of an article like this if people can put aside their outrage and beliefs and discuss rationally and sensibly what works best in a world where abortion and allowing babies to die will always exist, to lesser and greater degrees.

  2. humblesmith says:

    First, there’s no such thing as a “damaged” human; this is merely an excuse to not deal with something we’d rather not deal with. I entirely reject the idea that sick people are damaged and need to be killed.
    Second, even if we were to accept the ‘damaged’ perspective for the sake of argument, the authors specifically make the opposite statement. They say “we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.” Well, “all circumstances where abortion would be” includes terminating a child’s life for any reason whatsoever, for the law in the US is that a mother can voluntarily kill her child for no more nor less reason than she wants to.

    • R.Ross says:

      I was using the terminology akin to that which doctors use. But I think you have to be realistic, some babies are seriously damaged – some non-viable and some non-functional. I don’t support the idea of killing either but I absolutely support the right of any woman who is pregnant with a child to make up her own mind about what is right for her and her family. There are people who can accept a seriously damaged child and devote their life to caring for that child but there are some who cannot and no-one should be forced into it.
      I know from friends and family members the terrible toll which is taken in the best of famlies on other children. It is not a simple decision and no-one should ever have the right to dictate to someone else what that decision should be.
      The authors of the article are making a point. It’s a good one – think harder about abortion because it is killing a life; it is a sacrifice. Recognise what you do and
      understand why you do it.
      There are few parents and even fewer mothers who have not looked at their child and thought: ‘If something happened to you and you were a vegetable I could not kill you.’
      But that is not the point. The point is that at varying stages on the process of pregnancy a woman can end the pregnancy. We know the utter horrors which existed before abortion was legal and no-one could wish to return to that. All we can do as a civilized society is counsel wisely to ensure that there are as few abortions as possible and that the women who have them work through it as honestly as they can for their physical, emotional and psychological health.
      It is impossible for society to control a woman’s body and it is wrong to seek to do so. When abortion was legal it still happened, it was just hidden, and thousands of women died in agony along with their babies. Children were left motherless and husband’s were left to raise the family alone. The reason why abortion was made legal was because it was the civilized thing to do. If you cannot stop it and you cannot – it is utterly impossible without imprisoning every pregnant woman on the planet -then all you can do is make the process as civilized as possible.
      Given the levels of sexism still rampant in the world there are still many women worn down by the burden of children, family, and in this day and age, often holding down a part-time job as well and still doing most of the work in the home, men still refusing to take half share of the burden – the accidental third, fourth, fifth – or in the Third World, sixth, seventh or eighth child is simply too much. A woman has the right to decide what will work best for her and her family and the only right society has is to support her in her choice in as gracious, compassionate and effective way as possible.
      Pregnancy is one thing over which only one male can and should ever have a say – the father- but, at the end of the day, it is her body, not his, and she is the one who carries the burden physically, emotionally and psychologically. One of the more shameful aspects of Christianity is turning abortion into a political propaganda football which seeks only to demonise women who face the hardest choice of all.

  3. Julia says:

    God is the one that gives life and He is the only one who should take life. Abortion today is killing the unborn and killing women from depression, alcohol, drugs, anger, guilt, and so much more. A woman has the right to make the choice of getting pregnant but not the right to kill their unborn baby after she becomes pregnant (in my view and in God’s view). I work with women who have had an abortion – these are some of their comments “My abortion didn’t end my pain, it began it.” – “For the first time in 15 years, I was able to share my grief, my guilt, and anger.” – ” I tried everything to dull the pain… counseling, drugs, alcohol. Nothing worked.” “I thought I had moved on, but then I had other children. I constantly worried for their safety and was way overprotective. I yelled at them for the smallest things. I knew something was wrong.” You know millions of women hold the secret of abortion deep inside, and many are suffering severe consequesnces. You know also there are million of people out there wanting so much to be parents and can’t have a baby. Why would killing a baby be better then placing that baby in the hands of someone who would love to care for that baby/child. We are a self center world and I will never understand ANY REASON to kill the unborn or the born babies. There is an estimated claim that 43% of childbearing age have experienced an abortion. Many stuggle for years with repressed memeories, guilt, shame and depression. Most women feel theya re not allowed to talk about their abortion experience because it was their “choice.” The fact is many women who have had abortion also experience symptioms of post abortion trauma. Often othe medical, professional counseling and pastroal communitites overlook abortion as a risk factor in a woman’s physical and emotional health. If you are struggling please call a pregnancy center or look on line for help. You can start the journey towards to healing and restoration.

    • rosross says:

      Abortion has always existed and will always exist. The horrors of a world where abortion is illegal are too well known. The best that society can do is support women who have unwanted pregnancies to make their choices and to help them with whatever choice they make.
      There is no doubt that the ‘reality’ of abortion needs to be known and accepted but there is also no doubt that if a woman wants to have an abortion then no-one has the right to prevent her from doing so.
      If abortion must be had then dealing with the feelings that sacrificing a child can bring – all women are different and all will respond differently – as the Japanese do, will help women who choose freely to have abortions to process healthily what they have done.
      Not everyone believes in a God who gives and takes life and the views of those who do believe should never be imposed on others. Every individual woman has a right to decide what happens to her body no matter what anyone else may think.
      Yes, there are many people out there who want to adopt but in this day and age they don’t adopt anyway – they spend countless thousands of dollars and hours on IVF – buying sperm, egg, womb, in order to produce a child while millions of children around the world remain without parents.
      Those who demand pregnant women avoid abortion and give up their babies for adoption should also demand that IVF be stopped until all orphans in the world have a family!

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