|This Jonah Goldberg article which appears in the latest issue of National Review may qualify for the most hair-raising that I have read in recent memory, because it unearths a reborn philosophy, formerly advocated by Peter Singer, as published in a recent issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, which condones the 'abortion' of healthy infants if they turn out to be an inconvenience to their mothers. |
The depth of evil in some pro-abortion minds apparently has reached heretofore uncharted lows.
(Francesca Minerva, one of the co-authors)
Slaughter of the Inconvenients
The Journal of Medical Ethics recently ran an essay calling for the right to murder infants. Not fetuses. Infants.
In “After-birth Abortion: Why should the baby live?” the authors, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, answered their own question straight off. “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.”
The authors focus on when a child is disabled, disfigured, or defective in some way. But in much the same way that the forces in favor of “traditional” abortion always keep that extra option open — usually with the phrase “health of the mother,” which in­cludes the convenience of the mother — the authors also believe that you should be able to kill the baby in its crib if the father skips town or if the mother just got a great job offer that makes taking care of a baby a big hassle.
Now, of course, this is a moral horror. It is also a perfect illustration of why I lean toward the pro-life position. My faith isn’t sufficient to tell me that blastocysts or embryos are people. But my reasoning tells me that fetuses in the eighth month are obviously babies. It’s a conundrum. But one thing I don’t want is the government deciding who is a worthy human being and who isn’t. That can only lead to horror. Unmoored from dogma on these issues, you get “experts” telling us it’s okay to put down a healthy baby like it was an old, sick cat.
That’s what gets me to my real point, though. The authors also believe the cat — or some other animal — has more of an inalienable right to life than a baby does. In other words, these people are bat-guano crazy.
It shouldn’t exactly stun the reader that the Journal of Medical Ethics got some angry e-mail. Around here, if I say “Friedrich Hayek was a lousy dresser,” I’ll get deluged with furious e-mails. Imagine if I wrote that it’s okay to murder babies if you have a case of the Mondays?
But it did shock the authors of the article. “We are really sorry that many people, who do not share the background of the intended audience for this article, felt offended, outraged, or even threatened,” they wrote. “The article was supposed to be read by other fellow bioethicists who were already familiar with this topic and our arguments.” After all, this high-minded discussion about infanticide “has been going on for 40 years.”
The authors are arrogant schmucks. But they’re also right. They have been talking about this stuff for years, a point well illustrated by the “world’s foremost ethicist,” Peter Singer, in his decades-old essay “Killing Babies Isn’t Always Wrong.”
And herein lies the challenge for con­servatives. When we ghettoize and withdraw from mainstream institutions, those institutions don’t go away. Instead, they become intellectually inbred. What passes for reasonable discourse on college campuses and in professional journals is often absolutely crazy. But having the support of your colleagues and community builds courage and confidence. Sandra Fluke was suave in her insistence that the Catholic Church must pay for her birth control and her claim that any other position amounts to banning contraceptives. Such savoir-faire comes from knowing that everyone in your universe agrees with you.
It’s like the genetic drift that caused miniature elephants to evolve on islands cut off from the normal population. Except the islands of academe don’t stay cut off. We keep repopulating them with fresh minds to miniaturize, and we populate elite media with the castaways as well. And that’s why the extremism of experts is brushed aside and the normalcy of conservatism is treated as extreme.
— JONAH GOLDBERG