Monday, March 12, 2012

Mohler on the After-Birth Abortion Controversy

A new controversy is arising called After-Birth Abortion. Actually, its not new, its old. After-birth abortion is a new term for what is more commonly known as Infanticide. As the title suggests, after-birth abortions take place after an infant is born thus this academic discussion proposes the murder of born children for the same reasons we murder the unborn.

I have already commented on infanticide and abortion extensively for years on this site and have some chapters on the subject in my book.  Perhaps the best treatment and survey of this "new" argument is from Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Here are some of the highlights:

The debate over abortion comes down to one essential issue — the moral status of the unborn child. Those making the case for the legalization of abortion argue that the developing fetus lacks a moral status that would trump a woman’s desire to abort the child. Those arguing against abortion do so by making the opposite claim; that the unborn child, precisely because it is a developing human being, possesses a moral status by the very fact of its human existence that would clearly trump any rationale offered for its willful destruction. . . .

In the main, abortion rights advocates have drawn the moral line at the moment of birth. That is why, even with our contemporary knowledge of the developing fetus, abortion rights activists have persistently argued in favor of abortions right up to the moment of birth. Anyone doubting this claim needs only to consider the unified opposition of leading abortion rights advocates to restrictions on late-term abortions.

From the beginning of the controversy over abortion, this supposedly bright line of the moment of birth has been unstable. Abortion rights activists have opposed efforts to restrict the even gruesome reality known as partial-birth abortions. The moment of birth has never been the bright line of safety that the defenders of abortion have claimed

It should be noted here that this line of birth, though is common sense, is itself arbitrary.  Pro-life advocates have noted repeatedly that if a woman aborted a child in the third-trimester she was a hero for the feminist cause but if she gave birth to the child at the same moment in her pregnancy and then killed it, she's a murderer. Likewise, if a drunk driver hits a pregnant woman and the baby dies, he is charged with double homicide. But that same woman can go to the abortion clinic and end the pregnancy and no one says a word.

Its all arbitrary. If you rationalize the killing of the fetus then determining when it goes from choice (thus a right supposedly) and murder must be determined somehow and society has gone back and forth on this.

Mohler goes on:

Now, an even more chilling development comes in the form of an article just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Professors Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, now argue for the morality and legalization of “after-birth abortion.” . . .

The argument put forth in their article bears a haunting resemblance to the proposal advocated by Dr. Peter Singer of Princeton University, who has argued that the killing of a newborn baby, known as infanticide, should be allowable up to the point that the child develops some ability to communicate and to anticipate the future.

Giubilini and Minerva now argue that newborn human infants lack the ability to anticipate the future, and thus that after-birth abortions should be permitted. . . .

These “medical ethicists” argue that a traditional abortion is a preferred option, but then state:

“Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, 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.”

Nothing could possibly justify the killing of a child, but these professors are so bold as to argue that even “economical, social, or psychological circumstances” would be sufficient justification.

This article in the Journal of Medical Ethics is a clear signal of just how much ground has been lost to the Culture of Death. A culture that grows accustomed to death in the womb will soon contemplate killing in the nursery. The very fact that this article was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal is an indication of the peril we face

Mohler then highlights the slippery slope argument.  The slippery slope applies to any moral issue that the culture decides need to be redefined like marriage or, as in this case, life. If life can be killed at conception or even at the third trimester based on arbitrary and selfish reasons, why not at the end of life (euthanasia) or even shortly after birth (infanticide)?

For years now, pro-life activists have been lectured that “slippery slope” arguments are false. This article makes clear the fact that our warnings have not been based in a slippery slope argument, but in the very reality of abortion. Abortion implies infanticide. If the unborn child lacks sufficient moral status by the fact that it is unborn, the baby in the nursery, it is now argued, has also not yet developed human personhood.

The publication of this article signals the fact that a medical debate on this question has been ongoing. The only sane response to this argument is the affirmation of the objective moral status of the human being at every point of development, from fertilization until natural death. Anything less than the affirmation of full humanity puts every single human being at risk of being designated as not “a person in the morally relevant sense

You can read the rest here. Mohler, as always, is dead on. I do not think that this will be seriously considered in our culture anytime soon.  America, it seems according to polls, is becoming more pro-life and the past few years, in spite of electing the most pro-choice President in history, has seen a lot of ground gained at the state level fighting against the cancer of Roe vs. Wade. But that is not why this academic article matters. It illustrates just how far the academia is from the average person.  It illustrates how easily, and without any care or emotion, one can rationalize the irrational.  We are talking about stopping a beating heart here.

It also illustrates how the thirst for blood knows no end.  Abortion, as Dinesh D'Souza has said, is the debris of the sexual revolution.  Whenever we worship the idol of sex, children become a depressing curse that ought to be eliminated and when birth control and condoms don't do the trick, there is always the surgeons knife or the morning after pill. The question of abortion is really that simple. It is postmodern eugenics, euthanasia for the unborn, and murder by any means necessary.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. - Something Deadly This Way Comes — “After-Birth Abortion” 

For more:
Blogizomai - The Personhood of Animals:  The Argument is Made Again
Blogizomai - The Question of Infanticide:  The "House of Horrors" & the Debate Over Life 
Blogizomai - "When You Bring Your Baby Home:"  Infanticide and Arbitrary Definitions of Life
Blogizomai - What To Do With An Abortion Survivor:  Italy, Infanticide, and Secular Moral Confusion 
Blogizomai - "Badly Botched" Abortion:  Another Way of Saying Infanticide and Murder
Blogizomai - Are Ultrasounds Enough:  The Centeredness of the Sacredness of Life in the Abortion Debate 
Blogizomai - On Why Darwin Still Matters
Blogizomai - The Threat of Trig Palin:  The Return of Life Worthy of Life
Blogizomai - Which Will We Choose?:  The Theology of Death or the Theology of Life - Peter Singer, Evolution, & the Ethics of Human 
Blogizomai - From White Sheets to White Coats:  Abortion and the Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights  
Blogizomai - Eugenics in the Present Tense: Eugenics in America Today - Part 1
Blogizomai - Eugenics in the Present Tense:  Eugenics in America Today - Part 2
Blogizomai - Eugenics in the Present Tense:  Eugenics in America Today - Part 3
Blogizomai - Logizomai Book Now Available
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