"[W]hen circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible," they wrote, suggesting the term "after-birth abortion" be used instead of "infanticide" to "emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus … rather than to that of a child."
"Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk," they added.
A number of people found the idea disgusting and sick.
"Obvious next step. If you don’t really believe it’s a life in utero, what’s another 5-10 minutes?" tweeted The Blaze's Becket Adams.
The two philosophers, however, seemed to go far beyond just the first 5-10 minutes of life:
If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.
"[S]o, 5yrs later, you murder your kid & your defense is, 'I was going to have an abortion,'" one person said in response.
In essence, that is exactly what the two philosophers argued, and it's not the only time such an argument has been made.
We reported last March that Alisa LaPolt Snow, a lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, argued for a right to post-birth abortion in Florida during a hearing on the "Infants born alive" bill introduced in the legislature.
The bill passed the committee with a 10-2 vote.
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