In a startling report from the British Journal of Medical Ethics, an Oxford research assistant and professor at the University of Melbourne, Dr. Francesca Minerva, and her co-author Dr. Alberto Giubilini, from the University of Milan, argue that “after-birth” abortion should be available to women on the same grounds “pre-birth” abortion is.
The reasons for their position include:
1. A young baby is not a real person and so killing a baby is not much different than aborting a child;
2. Even if a baby is healthy, if the child’s mother decides she is unable to look after the baby, the mother’s wishes should prevail;
3. Disabled children may be happy, but they will never reach the potential of a “normal” child;
4. To bring up a disabled child, may be a burden on the child’s family and society;
5. The child’s mother may not have the time or energy to care for a baby;
6. While adoption may be attractive, it could cause undue stress on a mother;
Needless to say, the fall-out from Dr. Minerva’s article “After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” has been received with shock by scholars, ethicists, and religious leaders in Britain. The question posed is as offensive as promoting the culling of the elderly, once they become less than useful members of the community.
The Journal’s editor defends the piece, saying the publication’s role is to present well-reasoned arguments and not to promote one particular moral view.
The scathing criticism leveled against Dr. Minerva came as a surprise to her she said, and she believes the article has been taken out of context:
“I wish I could explain to people that it is not a policy-and I’m not suggesting that and I’m not encouraging that.”
While infanticide was legal in Rome and other ancient civilizations, it boggles the mind to think that 21st century western culture could ever accept Dr. Minerva’s hypothesis, whether she believes it or not.
Dr. Minerva has the right to say what she thinks, but it is disingenous of her to suggest that her provocative thesis would not be met with alarm, even anger.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang