Of course the baby should live

Against 'after-birth abortion'

Regina A. Rini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In a recent paper, Giubilini and Minerva argue for the moral permissibility of what they call 'after-birth abortion', or infanticide. Here I suggest that they actually employ a confusion of two distinct arguments: one relying on the purportedly identical moral status of a fetus and a newborn, and the second giving an independent argument for the denial of moral personhood to infants (independent of whatever one might say about fetuses). After distinguishing these arguments, I suggest that neither one is capable of supporting Giubilini and Minerva's conclusion. The first argument is at best neutral between permitting infanticide and prohibiting abortion, and may in fact more strongly support the latter. The second argument, I suggest, contains an ambiguity in its key premise, and can be shown to fail on either resolution of that ambiguity. Hence, I conclude that Giubilini and Minerva have not demonstrated the permissibility of infanticide, or even great moral similarity between abortion and infanticide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-356
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Fingerprint

Infanticide
baby
abortion
Parturition
Fetus
Personhood
Confusion
infant
Newborn Infant
Abortion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Of course the baby should live : Against 'after-birth abortion'. / Rini, Regina A.

In: Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 39, No. 5, 05.2013, p. 353-356.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rini, Regina A. / Of course the baby should live : Against 'after-birth abortion'. In: Journal of Medical Ethics. 2013 ; Vol. 39, No. 5. pp. 353-356.
@article{c9f51de6bb98437ea5f05d699d302ee0,
title = "Of course the baby should live: Against 'after-birth abortion'",
abstract = "In a recent paper, Giubilini and Minerva argue for the moral permissibility of what they call 'after-birth abortion', or infanticide. Here I suggest that they actually employ a confusion of two distinct arguments: one relying on the purportedly identical moral status of a fetus and a newborn, and the second giving an independent argument for the denial of moral personhood to infants (independent of whatever one might say about fetuses). After distinguishing these arguments, I suggest that neither one is capable of supporting Giubilini and Minerva's conclusion. The first argument is at best neutral between permitting infanticide and prohibiting abortion, and may in fact more strongly support the latter. The second argument, I suggest, contains an ambiguity in its key premise, and can be shown to fail on either resolution of that ambiguity. Hence, I conclude that Giubilini and Minerva have not demonstrated the permissibility of infanticide, or even great moral similarity between abortion and infanticide.",
author = "Rini, {Regina A.}",
year = "2013",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1136/medethics-2012-100640",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "39",
pages = "353--356",
journal = "Journal of Medical Ethics",
issn = "0306-6800",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Of course the baby should live

T2 - Against 'after-birth abortion'

AU - Rini, Regina A.

PY - 2013/5

Y1 - 2013/5

N2 - In a recent paper, Giubilini and Minerva argue for the moral permissibility of what they call 'after-birth abortion', or infanticide. Here I suggest that they actually employ a confusion of two distinct arguments: one relying on the purportedly identical moral status of a fetus and a newborn, and the second giving an independent argument for the denial of moral personhood to infants (independent of whatever one might say about fetuses). After distinguishing these arguments, I suggest that neither one is capable of supporting Giubilini and Minerva's conclusion. The first argument is at best neutral between permitting infanticide and prohibiting abortion, and may in fact more strongly support the latter. The second argument, I suggest, contains an ambiguity in its key premise, and can be shown to fail on either resolution of that ambiguity. Hence, I conclude that Giubilini and Minerva have not demonstrated the permissibility of infanticide, or even great moral similarity between abortion and infanticide.

AB - In a recent paper, Giubilini and Minerva argue for the moral permissibility of what they call 'after-birth abortion', or infanticide. Here I suggest that they actually employ a confusion of two distinct arguments: one relying on the purportedly identical moral status of a fetus and a newborn, and the second giving an independent argument for the denial of moral personhood to infants (independent of whatever one might say about fetuses). After distinguishing these arguments, I suggest that neither one is capable of supporting Giubilini and Minerva's conclusion. The first argument is at best neutral between permitting infanticide and prohibiting abortion, and may in fact more strongly support the latter. The second argument, I suggest, contains an ambiguity in its key premise, and can be shown to fail on either resolution of that ambiguity. Hence, I conclude that Giubilini and Minerva have not demonstrated the permissibility of infanticide, or even great moral similarity between abortion and infanticide.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84877359119&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84877359119&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1136/medethics-2012-100640

DO - 10.1136/medethics-2012-100640

M3 - Article

VL - 39

SP - 353

EP - 356

JO - Journal of Medical Ethics

JF - Journal of Medical Ethics

SN - 0306-6800

IS - 5

ER -