It's a shocking idea--that a parent should be allowed to take a baby's life after birth, for whatever reason the child is unwanted. Sad isn't it that most of us find that more shocking than abortion.
In an online article posted by the Journal of Medical Ethics, authors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva postulate that parents should have the right to “abort” their newborn babies for the same reasons women are legally allowed to abort babies yet in the womb. According to Giubilini and Minerva, “The newborn and the fetus are morally equivalent… in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.” Describing both as “potential persons” they state that neither can possess a moral right to life because they do not yet “make aims and appreciate their own life.” This godless logic has a certain familiarity—they use the same arguments used in the past to defend abortion as a right of choice. By reducing certain human beings to the status of non-persons they declare their lives subject to the 'choice' of the parent.
The scope of the authors' argument is breath-taking. The authors propose that any parent, who determines that their own quality of life or that of their previous children will suffer harm (however slight, now or in the future) because of the life of the newborn, should be allowed to "abort" the life of the child (healthy or unhealthy).
What has brought us to this darkness? At least in part, the church bears a responsibility for having lost her voice in the matter of abortion in our society. While the early church spoke strongly to condemn both infanticide and abortion, the modern church has been largely silent or has even condoned abortion as a "morally acceptable choice." This is a sharp contrast to the early voices of Didache, and Epistle of Barnabas, Athenagoras and Tertullian all who condemned abortion as “murder.” Minucious Felix, in the early 3rd century called abortion "infanticide before they give birth to the infant."
Giubilini and Minerva were right when they stated that the newborn and the fetus are equivalent, but they lack a Christian understanding that values life because God revealed Himself as Creator and owner of each life and prohibits the shedding of innocent blood. Early Christians opposed abortion and infanticide because they viewed it as a sin against the most vulnerable of innocents created in God’s image.
Why this darkness? The church has light to shed on issues of life and death and it is time for us to recall our voice on the matter! It is time to declare with Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being of not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.