The abstract says:
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.In the last 48 hours since this idea hit the online world, there has thankfully been a public outcry of horror and indignation at this trident of death. But before I could put words down to express my own rejection of infanticide, this is what got excreted out onto the world next: the journal editor’s defense of the authors’ approval of infanticide. ‘So what’s the big deal?’ Savulescu seems to ask. He cites that under certain circumstances, infanticide is already legal in the giant cemetery plot of land known as the Netherlands.
The logic of the article is consistent, he says, which goes something like: There is no meaningful distinction between fetuses and infants. If we do not assign moral value to fetuses in the womb, then we should not assign moral value to infants either. Therefore, killing infants (infanticide) is morally indistinct from killing fetuses (abortion). The logic is correct. But Savulescu, Giublini, and Minerva are very wrong. The metaphysics and ontology of a human being encompasses all stages of life—the “who” of a human person never changes from the moment of conception. Therefore, if moral value exists at all, it must exist at the beginning of life in order to have any real meaning thereafter. Killing fetuses and infants is a moral travesty.
But it gets better! Liberal is as liberal does, Momma always said. The main reason why Savulescu decided to stick up for his colleagues is not found in the substance of what they wrote but in the way he perceives they were treated on blogs! [Cough] If I knew at the beginning it was this easy to take his family jewels and put them in a thimble, I wouldn’t have bothered reading his defense. So, he reprints and rails against some unflattering ‘misspellings’ of Giublini and Minerva’s names and some visceral adjectives having to do with political progressivism, sprinkled with a few colorful expletives. Then, he sings the song of classic liberal indignation. “Racist!” “Hate speech!” he croons. Sadly for him, Savulescu has argued his way into a lonely solo. Such throaty whine is the symptom of a permanent laryngitis. He sang away his right to moral outrage the moment he believed it is permissible to kill the innocent among us.
My outlook on the human future teeters on the last vestiges of civilization’s ability to recognize objective moral transgressions when it encounters them. With our culture swimming and reveling in the culture of death, I wonder how enterprises such as the efforts to end sex trafficking and slavery will ever gain a moral foothold in any meaningful way. Sure, we are rightfully appalled by the utter depravity of infanticide, but for how long? As Peter Singer slowly becomes a household name, will his ideas also become household ideas? It has happened in a radically relativized society before, somewhere in the neighborhood of Germany in the 1930s. Our postmodern culture parades about like a Caesar, thinking it has conquered the darkness of objectivity for the light of self-directed moralism. All I can say is "beware the Ides of March." Not even Hitler (or even Singer!) would kill his own mother, yet taken to the logical end, these medical (un)ethics mean the death of many mothers and babies, including their own.