As you all know from previous posts, I am passionate about defending unborn lives. I seize every opportunity to speak up for them and I applaude others who do the same. Over my spring break I enjoyed reading Atonement Child by Francine Rivers. It is a beautifully written novel about a young woman savagely attacked and raped who soon finds out that she is pregnant with the assailant’s child. A sincere Christian, she is torn between the popular consensus to abort and her conviction that how it came to be is not the child’s fault. The journey leading to her final decision unveils many dark secrets in her family’s past and leads many to forgiveness and healing.
I also watched the new movie, October Baby, starring John Schneider and and Rachel Hendrix. It is the story of a young woman’s startling discovery that she is an abortion survivor, which leads her on a trip of self-discovery, untold stories, and faithful love. The directors of this movie did a careful job of showing that abortive mothers are the other victim in abortions, rather than demonizing them. They also revealed the humanity of infant souls. Movie trailer
While rejoicing in these beautiful works of artistic writing that defend the innocent human life, I encountered the Journal of Medical Ethics’s recently published article defending practice of after-birth abortion (formally known as ‘infanticide’). They claim that countries which have legalized abortion are inconsistent if they do not permit parents to do away with young children suffering from physcial and mental disabilities that cause them to be burdens to their caregivers. The writers of this article believe that harm is subjective, not objective and infants, or those with the mental capacity of infants, are not self-conscious enough to fear death. Authors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva boldly state that,
“The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.
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. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. 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. ” Read Article