Better Dead than Disabled? The Normalization of Infanticide

Gerber Baby

(Commonweal) – Concern about infanticide may seem kooky—the kind of alarmist talk that comes from extremist prolifers who won’t stay in their abortion lane. Sure, there was systematic infanticide in the ancient world.

Sure, it still happens in rural areas of China and India. Regrettably, there are stories of it taking place in some Western bathroom stalls or dumpsters. As a concern of social justice, though, it may seem as if our attention ought to be focused elsewhere.

But prolifers are not imagining things: arguments in favor of the autonomous moral and legal choice to commit infanticide are easy to find. Back in the 1970s and ’80s, such arguments were the province of respected moral philosophers like Michael Tooley and Peter Singer.

Indeed, though Singer was a groundbreaking philosopher on issues like global poverty and concern for nonhuman animals, he became famous (or infamous) for his views connecting abortion and infanticide. CONTINUE