The journal article: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? And this isn't just any publication; it was found in the Journal of Medical Ethics. The juxtaposition of the idea of ethics with what's put forth in this journal is ironic at best.
Here are some quotes from the article itself. First the abstract (emphasis mine):
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.Later (emphasis mine once again),
An examination of 18 European registries reveals that between 2005 and 2009 only the 64% of Down's syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing.2 This percentage indicates that, considering only the European areas under examination, about 1700 infants were born with Down's syndrome without parents being aware of it before birth. Once these children are born, there is no choice for the parents but to keep the child, which sometimes is exactly what they would not have done if the disease had been diagnosed before birth.The authors actually use a pro-life argument to present their anti-life stance: "The newborn and the fetus are morally equivalent," ergo if it is permissible to end the life progression of a fetus through abortion, it should be permissible to end the life progression of a newborn through "after-birth abortion." They prefer that term over (a) "infanticide" because the newborn is not yet a person by their definition or (b) "euthanasia" because the reasons for after-birth abortion don't have to be compassionate to the newborn. They write (once again, emphasis mine),
In their conclusion, they leave the door open for just about any reason to permit after-birth abortion: "if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford."
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’. 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. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.
my son moments after he was born in 2007
As Christians, we cannot afford to be silent. As I've written before, if we value life, we don't get to choose which lives we value.
If I'm honest, I'm more offended by this news than I have been any of the other times I've written on this topic, including here and here and here. Why? Because it's closer to home. As a family, we are doing the exact opposite of the "ethical" argument given here as we adopt a sweet girl we already consider our own, a precious baby who happens to have a disability that would render her unworthy of life by these definitions. She was abandoned by her mother and rejected by other prospective adoptive families. When we were contacted about her need, our gut reaction was to say no as well, but now we are ecstatic to be bringing her home sometime this summer because God through prayer changed our hearts and made it clear that Zoe Amanda is part of our family.
May God change hearts of those who agree with the authors of this article and open the eyes of His people that we would not remain silent to atrocious arguments such as these.