In twenty-first century American society, we value political correctness and tolerance so highly that actual moral values are viewed as conceited bigotry. We are expected to accept that everyone has different beliefs and opinions and that people’s values are relative.  Some of those beliefs and opinions and values that we’re supposed to accept are completely and unjustifiably wrong. There are things that should always be considered intolerable even if some people think they can justify them.

Apparently, a couple of professors recently published an academic article arguing that it should be legal to have an ‘after-birth abortion’. I found the article online, and they themselves even defined an after-birth abortion as ‘killing a newborn’, and still claimed that it ‘should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.’ They say that a child that has been born recently is no more a person than a child that has not yet been born, and neither is worth keeping if the parents choose to kill it.

I agree with them about one thing; killing an unborn baby is the same as killing a newborn baby from an ethical perspective. I would think, though, that anyone starting from that statement should come to the conclusion that all abortion is wrong, not that all infanticide is acceptable. (The authors did say that they choose not to use the word infanticide, although I don’t see why, because that’s exactly what ‘killing a newborn’ is.)

They refer both to fetuses and to newborn babies as ‘potential persons’, as opposed to real people who are old enough and have enough cognitive ability to make decisions for themselves and to experience enjoyment in their lives. I’m not sure where they draw the line between a potential person and a real person.  If being a person requires having control over one’s life and being happy with life, then I don’t think that I’m a real person yet, and I’m not sure if I know many people who are.

The article itself sounds like a joke; at first I almost thought it was a parody making fun of  people who argue for abortion. However, looking at the attention it’s gotten and the authors’ defense of it, it’s obvious that they really mean it. I understand that they are basing their arguments upon their definition of human life, not upon a psychopathic desire to kill, but the fact of the matter is that the definition of human life is not relative. Killing a human is murder, even if the murderer denies that the victim is a real person.