“Is there no moral distinction between killing a newborn baby and aborting a fetus? And should an academic paper that seemingly advocated the killing of newborns have ever been published?
Those are the questions at the heart of a controversy that has erupted after the publication of a paper entitled ‘After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?’ in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Two Australian academics, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, argued that the moral status of a newborn baby was identical to that of a fetus. Given that most people view abortion as morally acceptable so, they argued, there is no reason not to see infanticide as morally acceptable, too, even in ‘cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk’. Indeed, Giubilini and Minerva reject the term ‘infanticide’, preferring to talk of ‘after-birth abortion’.
The paper, which would normally have been read only by a handful of moral philosophers, was picked by newspapers and websites and caused outrage worldwide. ‘Slaughter newborn kids, say academics’, read the headline in one British tabloid. Australian commentators, American chat show hosts and Catholic bishops weighed in, many claiming that infanticide was the logical consequence of the legalization of abortion. The two authors say that they have received death threats.”
Excerpt of an essay written by Kenan Malik. Continue HERE
Kenan Malik (born 1960) is an Indian-born English writer, lecturer and broadcaster, trained in neurobiology and the history of science. As a scientific author, his focus is on the philosophy of biology, and contemporary theories of multiculturalism, pluralism and race. These topics are core concerns in The Meaning of Race (1996), Man, Beast and Zombie (2000) and Strange Fruit: Why both sides are wrong in the race debate (2008).
His work contains a forthright defense of the values of the 18th-century Enlightenment, which he sees as having been distorted and misunderstood in more recent political and scientific thought. Wiki