Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (5):353-356 (2013)

Authors
Regina Rini
York University
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.
Keywords abortion  infanticide
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2012-100640
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References found in this work BETA

The Moral Significance of Birth.Mary Anne Warren - 1989 - Hypatia 4 (3):46 - 65.
The Moral Significance of Birth.José Luis Bermúdez - 1996 - Ethics 106 (2):378 - 403.
The Perils of Personhood.Roslyn Weiss - 1978 - Ethics 89 (1):66-75.

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Citations of this work BETA

If Abortion, Then Infanticide.David B. Hershenov & Rose J. Hershenov - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (5):387-409.
What Must Pro‐Lifers Believe About the Moral Status of Embryos?David B. Hershenov - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):186-202.

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