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J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100411
  • Law, ethics and medicine
  • Paper

After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

  1. Francesca Minerva3
  1. 1Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  2. 2Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Francesca Minerva, CAPPE, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia; francesca.minerva{at}unimelb.edu.au
  1. Contributors AG and FM contributed equally to the manuscript.

  • Received 25 November 2011
  • Revised 26 January 2012
  • Accepted 27 January 2012
  • Published Online First 23 February 2012

Abstract

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.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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