Casey Mattox

In embracing this familial right to terminate the life of newborn children, she stood on the shoulders of abortion “ethicists” who have long advocated for the family’s right to kill born infants without society’s meddling. Just last year Dr. Francesca Minerva published an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics defending the family’s right to “after-birth abortion” where it was in the family’s (except for the new member’s) best interests, explaining:

[W]hen circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible. In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.

Abortion ethicist Peter Singer has likewise argued for the family’s right to determine, free from the constraints of society, that a born child should be terminated because it would be “in the best interests of the baby and the family as a whole.”

Whether the child is born or unborn, the left apparently has a high regard for the family’s autonomy when it is determining whether the child should live or die. But as the MSNBC video demonstrates, that respect for the family is unique to the abortion context. And, of course, even then that respect for family autonomy evaporates if the family is trying to weigh in on their minor child’s abortion decision.

If MSNBC is really puzzled about why we have this “private idea that children belong to their parents or children belong to their families,” perhaps it should consider that the left champions that exact view—at least until sometime after the family has deemed their child a “keeper.”

Casey Mattox

Casey Mattox is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom

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