Tuesday, February 28, 2012

if fetuses aren't people

you don't need to know much about babies to realise that they don't change much on the day of birth. they don't go from being a blob of limbs and blood vessels to a tiny human being once they leave their mummy's tummy. and almost no-one, not even the most ardent pro-choicer, is going to try and say they do. 

this is a fetus. looks like any new babe, right? 

pro-choice people have been saying for a long time that these little ones do not really have a right to live. not until their born, or until they reach a certain number of weeks gestation etc. i suppose i can understand- not agree with, but understand - the latter argument. unfortunately, it doesn't take much reasoning before this happens. 

yep. two australian ethisists from monash and melbourne university are now arguing for post-birth abortions to become an excepted practice. seriously. 

they say that " Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her." 

in other words, until you can articulate that your life means something to you, you don't really have the right to live one. 

"Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal."

a newborn with downs syndrome, via the age

the article goes on to say that children with serious disabilities such as down syndrome will be a burden to their families and the economy. since when did "being a burden" become any kind of reason for not allowing someone to live? can anyone say "fascism"?

 if we're talking about people who don't contribute financially to society, then there goes old people, seriously ill people, and chronic drug addicts. and this slippery slope just got steeper still. at what point does a normal, healthy infant become a person with rights anyway? do we really need to wait until they can say "i want to live. my life means something." 
this makes me so, so sad. 


  1. Even the name's misleading...

    "In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child..."

  2. it is just too brutal to think about :(