Briggs on Academics Uriging Infanticide

In the book AN EVIL GUEST Gene Wolfe sardonically predicts a culture where ‘post-natal abortions’ that is, killing the baby after he is born, would be commonplace.

As it turns out this science fiction writer, attempting to imagine the lower deep of depravity to which future civilization might fall was merely a year or two ahead of his time, not decades or generations.

William Briggs has an article titled Academics—Who Else?—Call For The Killing Of Babies. It is a criticism, nay, an autopsy of a peer reviewed paper issued by bioethicists in Australia defending the infanticide of weak, crippled, inconvenient or otherwise useless and unwanted babies.

If you recall, the field of ‘bioethics’ is the field, made necessary after the Nazi experiments in World War Two, to invent new and shiny excuses for medical crimes against humanity aside from those the National Socialists used. The favored excuse is utilitarianism, combined with a breathtaking pretense of ignorance of the basics of biology.

Apparently, in Cloudcuckooland, homo sapiens give birth to a transitional form of life which is non-human, but which becomes human either at the age of seven years, or when when the skull clears the birth canal, or when the mother or a judicial body bestows whatever Linnaean taxonomic classification on the organism whim sees fit: I do not see why a mother, if it is she who decided if her baby is homo sapiens, cannot with equal godlike authority declare him to be a spaniel or a goldfish instead. This makes us the only known species who does not reproduce itself directly, but instead engages another species, creatures called fetuses, to produce us.

Ah! But we who know grammar-school biology, we are the mystics and nutbags cruelly attempting to tyrannize the mother, and rob her of her rightful magic powers to decree that humans are livestock, babies are parasites, A is not A.

Briggs lists the claims and with a manful reticence to use the type of withering sarcasm and flaming rage such nakedly evil claims should provoke, he list the logical fallacies involved in the claim.

It is to be noted that this gem appears in his comments box:

With respect, your focus on a single event to act as a threshold of a right to life is, at best, sidetracking. They already clearly acknowledge the lack of a solution to the threshold problem. The moment of conception is also imperfect as it is not clear to the non-religious why this cell should have an absolute right to life and arguably the religious texts do not give clear guidance either. “My threshold is best” is not an infallible line of attack, especially if you already accept is as a prior due to your religious convictions.

Obviously there are non-religious reasons for defining human life as human, if one wishes to rely on erring human reason rather than on inerrant divine commandment. But it is interesting to note that Mr Briggs does not mention or even allude to religion anywhere in his critique: he merely points out lapses of logic.

Interesting, because this commenter, rallying to the flag of the infanticides, immediately points his barrage against the Church, as if she were the main, or the only, enemy or obstacle to the Culture of Death.

This gives away the whole game, the motives, the final causes.

The pro-death camp, or, excuse me, the pro-choosing-death-for-babies camp are attempting to defend, promote, and (with ideas such as this) expand the right of the strong to betray and kill the weak for their own comfort and convenience. In each case they use necessity, what Milton called ‘the tyrant’s plea’ to excuse the crime, specifically that it is necessary for the innocent baby to die so that society will not have to go to the expense and effort of raising and caring for him, and effort which is (in a summary fashion) labeled ‘unbearable’ in this article.

Now it is possible that some intellectuals are merely sociopaths, and unable to make the simplest moral judgments about whether there is or is not something wrong with killing babies, Negroes, Jews and rape victims to achieve momentary pleasure or temporary convenience.

It is possible that they worship Moloch, and to see babies sacrificed to the dim and bloody gods of remote pre-history gives them a drunken thrill in their jaded lives, a sense of power, and soothes their terror of the devils and trolls they think rule the chaos they opine the cosmos to be. Since they are moderns, one might assume they are as unaware of their own motives as they are of simple moral principles.

The other possibility is that some or all of them are haunted by the tiny ghosts, crying for mommy, of babies never born, which number in the millions, and can be heard weeping along the moors on moonless midnights; and therefore the intellectuals seek to silence the voice of conscience which forms the only ears by which mortal hear the voices of ghosts. In their minds, the conscience means the Church, and so they point their weapons against her.

In other words, the opposition here, or one of them, has admitted both that the Church is the bulwark and guardian of the conscience in this fallen world, and that he knows the acts he and his promote are evil.

Read the Briggs’ article here, and savor the adroit and sardonic yet elementary logic against which the intellectuals, allegedly our moral and mental superiors, flounder fecklessly.

I regret seeing such an article, so shamelessly promoting the worship of Moloch. It is like hearing a fire alarm, but not hearing the sirens of the approaching fire truck. Our mansion, the heritage of the West, as already ablaze, and the arsonists cannot be reasoned with.


  1. Comment by Stephen J.:

    You know, I can’t help but wonder if maybe this is some kind of Trojan horse.

    Back in the days when I could still watch Law & Order with some enjoyment I would occasionally speculate on possible plots and scenes, and one notion I came up with was this: “What if a defense lawyer, charged with defending a mother who had been discovered to have killed her own baby, claimed that this was no morally different than aborting that baby before birth, based on the practical identical status of helplessness, dependence and immaturity, and therefore it should be legally permissible?”

    The defense flops, of course, and the mother is convicted — but in the tag, it comes out that the defense attorney is a pro-lifer, and deliberately introduced a defense he knew wouldn’t work solely to get an anti-Roe vs. Wade precedent on the books about the equivalent legal status of post-birth and pre-birth infants. The furious McCoy points out that the defense attorney should be disbarred for this abuse of his client, and the attorney rejoins, “Prove it. Should be easy — you’ve been ‘proving’ babies weren’t human for thirty years.”

    Now I wonder if the authors of this paper deliberately wrote it to provoke exactly the reaction it’s provoking: To make people realize that there is no rationalization for abortion which doesn’t also apply to a <1-year-old infant, and therefore if we reject the latter we must reject the former too.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      You are assuming the argument is based on logic, and that the pro-deathers actually believe that a baby in the mother’s womb is not a baby. When my wife was pregnant, several times complete strangers, usually children or young women, charmed by the miracle of new life, wanted to touch her belly. Not a single one of them asked to feel the ‘fetus’ kick.

      No expectant parents set aside a room to be a nursery, decorate with blue or pink, and buy a crib for the ‘fetus’. No new Dad and Mom sit around discussing what to name the ‘fetus’.

      The word ‘fetus’ refers to a stage of development of an organism. It is not an organism. Maturity is a stage of organism, and infancy is a stage of organism. You can have a mature oak or spaniel or goldfish, or an infant oak or spaniel or goldfish, but you cannot have an organism that is “an infant” and not a member of its parent’s species. Nor more can one have ‘a fetus’ that is not the fetal stage of development of a (Blank-Out). Using the word this way is like claiming the attic is not in the house, on the grounds that ‘attic’ is a story, therefore not part of any building.

      No, the argument is not now and has never been logical. It is an excuse, a rationalization, and it follows the psychological tricks and tics of a psychological rationalization: screaming belligerence, changing the subject, counter-accusation, paranoia, fear of accusation, fleeing when none peruse, and on and on, including a refusal to admit that any of this guilt-prompted behaviors are out of the ordinary.

      The deathers are using an excuse to throw an unwanted child into the pit of Apothetae. The excuse used is a legalistic one, that the child is an unperson, a nigger, an untermenschen, not human. The rest is paranoia, as if to prevent a mother from committing a horrible crime is the same as enslaving her, and indeed as if to refuse to fund or aid a horrible crime is the same as preventing her. For these Leftist nutcases, not to help them murder a child is the same as enslaving a woman, and so they scream about liberty and health and power and whatever it is they want to scream about, without once even let slip the smallest hint that they know what they are doing.

      Political Correctness is the most powerful drug their is. Once your ability to reason is numb, anything is permitted.

      • Comment by deiseach:

        “pro-deathers actually believe that a baby in the mother’s womb is not a baby”

        You would be shocked, Mr. Wright. I had the experience of wading through a comment thread on a post about abortion (an experience akin to wading through thick, glutinous muck) where one pro-abortion commenter rebuked those who were arguing against it by saying “You keep referring to it as a baby. It’s not, it’s a fetus. Use the correct medical terms!”

        Ah, the advantages of a Latinate term for making the medicine go down easier! Of course, “foetus” is Latin for “baby”, but why stop there? For the post-birth abortion, why not say “It’s not a baby, it’s a neo-nate”? Even though “neo-nate” means “new-born” – but if it’s a medical term, then that makes it all right!

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I would not be shocked. I have had my English corrected by Thought Police, both on that topic, and on all others. My corrector did not have the nuts to tell me it was a ‘medical term’. My friend who is a nurse practitioner tells me the politically correct term in use in medicine is ‘products of conception.’

          This is why I posted a notice on my blog (see to the right) saying that I would simply delete such corrections in times to come.

  2. Comment by deiseach:

    To do this much credit to the authors of that paper, they are merely extending the logic of abortion to its ultimate conclusion: if abortion is permitted for reasons which boil down to convenience (and not restricted to rape, incest or immediate grave life-threatening conditions), then what is the logic behind saying “Three minutes before the head exits the birth canal, the foetus may be legally killed, three minutes afterwards, it may not”?

    I also note, with dark amusement, that the grounds for abortion (both pre- and post-natal) are shifted to “personhood”. Since the argument on humanity was clearly lost (what is the offspring of a human but a human, and not a banana, rock or tree sparrow), and since the advances of medical science mean that the limits of viability are pushed back and that foetal development within the womb is better understood and, thanks to ultrasound technology, made visible, that argument is in the process of being lost.

    So all they can fall back on is personhood – it’s alive, it’s even human, but it’s not a person yet. You’re not a person until you attain to, and retain, a level of sentience and sapience – which also neatly means that should you lose that level (due to old age, illness or accident) or never attain it in the first place (any Down’s Syndrome babies their negligent parents permit to be born), why then, you lose your personhood and may be put down mercifully like a dog – killing no murder!

    I also derive black humour from the plaint of the editor of the journal in question, where he breathlessly informs us the authors of that article have been insulted, vilified and even received death threats! Those weren’t death threats, those were offers to extend the benefits of post-birth abortion to the individuals in question, sir :-(

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      And yet it is this same philosophy which has us dispose of Terri Schiavo not with a clean shotgun blast to the cranium, as one would kill a mad dog, but slowly, slowly, by refusing to feed her or give her water. In late term abortions, the babies are killed in the cruelest possible way, having their tiny skulls punctured by scissors, the skull collapses, the brain stuffs vacuumed out, the tiny limbs snipped off, and the dismembered bits of still warm corpse pulled out of Mommy’s womb, the one place on Earth where a baby should be safe. Whatever their purposes, these devils, avoiding the infliction of pain is not one of them.

      What was it one wag joked about Herod? Safer to be the swine of Herod than the sons of Herod. Well, we are all Herodians now.

      And the slaughter of the Innocents is not being done for a rational purpose like Herod securing his thrown from a prophesied rival: it is being done for money, or convenience, or to rid the world of Negro babies — at least, that was the express purpose of the founder of Planned Murderhood, Margaret Sanger.

      • Comment by deiseach:

        I think the only reason that patients are killed by being denied food and water is because society as a whole has not yet quite gotten over its squeamishness about directly killing the sick, so we don’t permit lethal injections – not yet.

        So the ethicists and the cruel sentimentalists have to work by degrees to soften us up and get us to the stage where we are content to allow trained professionals to give overdoses of drugs to patients in order to put them down quietly and humanely. That is the choice we are being driven towards; not between permitting people to live and taking care of them because of their innate dignity and worth as humans or disposing of them as inconveniences and burdens, but between death and death – a slow, lingering death by starvation and thirst, or a quicker death by the latest poison.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I see you give them more credit than I do. You think that an unsqueamish person would starve a dog to death rather than kill it painlessly?

          No, this is all about Political Correctness, which is, simply put, the Unreality Principle. The way the principle works is this: whatever you do not admit is real, is unreal. Nothing unpleasant nor humiliating to one’s excruciatingly sensitive nerve need ever be discussed nor contemplated. All harm and evil is caused by the insensitive intrusion of reality into the flowery consensus unreality. To kill the sick out of mercy quickly and painlessly is too REAL for them. To starve the sick slowly to death is merely allowing nature to take its course, and can be pretended to be the suspension of extraordinary medical measures. That the sick suffer is no consequence, nor more than the suffering of babies during late-term abortions. Only the unreality matters. The only thing that matters is maintaining the unreality at all costs.

          This is why those who will not play along with the unreality principle are sent for ‘sensitivity’ training. The conceit is that truth is insensitive, or, better yet, truth is hate, or, best of all truth is psychotic hate combined with sadistic hunger to oppress the weak and downtrodden, as misogyny or race-hatred.

    • Comment by Mary:

      which also neatly means that should you lose that level (due to old age, illness or accident) or never attain it in the first place (any Down’s Syndrome babies their negligent parents permit to be born), why then, you lose your personhood and may be put down mercifully like a dog – killing no murder!

      Or sleep.

      The logical consequence of their argument. One that has many advocates sputtering with rage or hastily fudging up new requirements when they confront it.

  3. Comment by deiseach:

    Not alone Moloch, but (if I am to trust the word of Aleister Crowley in his novel “Moonchild”) Hecate, or “her Hebrew equivalent, Nahema, the devourer of little children, because she also is one aspect of the moon”.

    When in a sorcerous operation of black magic, in order to induce the miscarriage of the mystical pregnancy the white magicians are fostering, Hecate is invoked, a surgeon performs an abortion on the pregnant woman who represents the woman they wish to miscarry. Now, whatever Crowley’s real opinion on abortion, even in the person of a magician and sorcerer he talks of it as “a crime which is tantamount to murder in the opinion of all right-minded men” and (in a jab at his real-life occult rival, Annie Besant) puts these thoughts into the mind of the surgeon assisting at the ritual:

    “Balloch, who had been all his life high-priest of Hecate, had never been present at an evocation of the force that he served. He shuddered — not a little — as the sorcerer recited his surgical exploits; the credentials of the faith of her servant then present before her. He had committed his dastardly crimes wholly for gain, and as a handle for blackmail; the magical significance of the business had not occurred to him at all. His magical work had been almost entirely directed to the gratification of sensuality in abnormal and extra-human channels. So, while a fierce pride now thrilled him, there was mingled with it a sinking of the spirit; for he realized that its mistress had been sterility and death. And it was of death that he was most afraid. The cynical calm of Douglas appalled him; he recognized the superiority of that great sorcerer; and his hope to supplant him died within his breast.

    At that moment Hecate herself passed into him, and twined herself inextricably about his brain. He accepted his destiny as her high-priest; in future he would do murder for the joy of pleasing her! All other mistresses were tame to this one! The thrill of Thuggee caught him — and in a very spasm of maniacal exaltation, he vowed himself again and again to her services. She should be sole goddess of the Black Lodge — only let her show him how to be rid of Douglas! Instantly the plan came to him; he remembered that “Annie” was high-priestess of Hecate in a greater sense than himself; for she was notorious as an open advocate of this kind of murder; indeed, she had narrowly escaped prison on this charge; he would tempt Douglas to rid himself of “Annie” — and then betray him to her.”

    Ah, the wonders of progress, when a man who revelled in his self-chosen epithet of “The Great Beast” could write of surgical abortions as “dastardly crimes” and “murder”, whereas our more enlightened societies know better!

  4. Comment by Nostreculsus:

    Gene Wolf was certainly not the first science fiction writer to anticipate this. Phillip K.Dick’s story, “The Pre-Persons, was published in 1974.

    Mr Briggs includes a photo of one of the authors and notes that she has “a nice smile”. The woman with a nice smile gives Treacher-Collins Syndrome as an example, indeed their only example, of the sort they would exterminate.

    In the interest of fair play, I suggest a comparison with the photos that can be found at this blog of a Houston physician who has Treacher-Collins.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      My respect for Philip K Dick has risen tremendously. Any man who incurs the malign enmity of Joanna Russ is to be saluted with respect.

      • Comment by Montecristo:

        What do you have against Philip K. Dick? I don’t find him to be an immoral writer, quite the contrary. His “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” subsequently made into the movie, “Bladerunner,” explored the same concepts.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I don’t have anything against him personally. Mr Dick’s writings have no appeal to me, albeit, ironically, every movie I have seen made of his work I have liked quite a bit. I consider his writing to be a psychedelic, hippy version of A.E. van Vogt.

    • Comment by briest:

      I too now like Philip K. Dick even more. Great to know.

    • Comment by luckymarty:

      I was stunned when I read “The Pre-Persons” — I think it was in his Collected Stories. (No surprise, that the story is seldom anthologized.) It even included Dick’s comment quoted at your link, as an author’s note.

      As best I can figure, Dick managed to be an epistemological (maybe even a metaphysical) relativist without being a moral relativist.

    • Comment by lotdw:

      PKD had a twin sister who died in the womb. He claimed to feel her presence all his life and know what she looked like (this is why all of his female main characters are thin brunettes).

  5. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Having seen little stone statues at Kamakura, I think many of them are haunted by ghosts. Then, remember we are talking about academics here. How many of them planned to have children after getting their career going, only to find that Biology has moved on? Misery does love company….

  6. Comment by Noah D:

    What are we supposed to do when confronted with a position that is indistinguishable from an ‘Argument from Absurdity’ against it? It’s as if Swift looked up from penning the last words of his Proposal, only to see the English firing up the coals under the baby rotisseries.

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      I just read the article in question, I actually think that it is an argument from absurdity against abortion. If we consider this statement from the article:

      “In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise 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. ”

      Then we should consider that the wording was done in a way that undermines what they are actually saying. Consider that they call the fetus an individual, they call it killing, and they call the expression an oxymoron. From this I get one of two options: either this is an argument from absurdity or they are complete moral degenerates that see no problem with the killing of individuals and the calling of the killing of individuals something else.

      I believe they wrote this article in the hopes that other ethicists would reconsider abortion and that there would be clear rebuttals; they were trying to get people to think. Given the reaction to the article then I think they were sucessful in their goal. Of course, if that was not their goal then a potentially correct rebuttal would be to take the arguement further and write that the untermensch are also not fully people and their potential desires (were they to actually develop into people) count as nothing so if an ubermensch desired to kill an untermensch in such a way that did not produce any actual suffering then everything would be okay.

    • Comment by lotdw:

      Actually, after Swift published “A Modest Proposal,” there were a number of non-satiric articles written which disagreed with him – not that killing and eating children was wrong, but that it was impractical. They of course shared their own, more practical proposals for eliminating Irish children.

  7. Comment by Owain_Glyndwr:

    This was the authors pathetic response:
    Apparently they were only arguing that infanticide was acceptable in an academic sort of way. Horror of horrors! Apparently some benighted fools actually believed they were calling to implement their ideas legally! They reassure us that this was a mere academic white paper- in other words, more people need to accept it before they can implement it in reality.
    Not to be outdone, this heir to the throne of National Socialism “clarifies” his position on child murder:
    The best response is in the comment box-
    “If you ever, in your lifetime, have to “clarify your position on infanticide,” then you have failed as a human.”

  8. Comment by deiseach:

    “This makes us the only known species who does not reproduce itself directly, but instead engages another species, creatures called fetuses, to produce us.”

    Ah! Perhaps this sheds light on your other post about Jack Vance’s novels, and the Chasch! A commenter asked why would the Chasch go along with the fable that humans were the larval form of the Chasch, because why would masters facilitate their slaves’ fantasises?

    But if humans are larval Chasch, then the Chasch can do what they will with them – even execute them – and it is no murder, because only Chasch are real persons, and humans are non-persons until they become Chasch. So there is no incentive to rise up in revolt against your Chasch masters, because you will eventually become a Chasch yourself, and contrariwise, you have no reason to be horrified if your fellow-humans are used for all manner of purposes because they’re not real persons yet.

    • Comment by Mary:

      It’s amazing how easy it is to stifle the conscience.

      Note that the one who had two abortions did not have the first of her own will — her parents decided. But doing things, even under pressure, can warp your judgment.

      • Comment by Patrick:

        This, more than anything, is true.

        How do you rebuke your father, after he leads you to the doctor who swabs life out of you? You can’t. He saved you. He knows best. You’re alright.

        Abortion is mind-control.

  9. Comment by Nostreculsus:

    Unlike Mr Wright, who is at home in the world of abstract thought, I am so constituted that I must rely on examples. And his article reveals an example that rivals “The Picture of Dorian Grey” for imaginative horror.

    There are two women. They both are involved in modern medical care. The first is named Francesca Minerva. She is a medical ethicist, pursuing postdoctoral studies in philosophy. Medical ethics is a growing field, as governments assume control of medical decision-making. Even her critics admit that Francesca looks nice and has a nice smile.

    The other woman involved in medical care is Amie Osborn. Amie is a physician in Houston, treating children. Amie also has a nice smile, but Amie herself admits she does not look “normal”. But let me quote Amie’s blog.

    In most every way, I am your typical, garden-variety human being. I’m married with two cats. I am a physician…

    I have Treacher Collins syndrome. Treacher Collins syndrome is a genetic, craniofacial birth defect that is characterized by a range of distinctive facial anomalies. The main characteristics of TCS are downward slanting eyes, small lower jaw, and malformed or missing ears. These anomalies can cause hearing, breathing, and eating problems.

    Treacher Collins syndrome is a lot more than a pile of statistics and facts. It is about the person below the surface. People tend to give wide berth to the things and people that they perceive as a threat to them – those people who are “different” or who they don’t understand. In some situations, this defense mechanism can be good. In excess, however, it breeds ignorance and heartache and leads society to shun those that aren’t “normal.” Thus, society does not take the time to see what lies beneath the outer shell of a person and never sees that below the surface these “different” people are just as “normal” as anyone else. It is part of my goal as a doctor-in-training to educate people about Treacher Collins syndrome and to prove to them that looks can be very deceiving. I hope to start a new trend in society where society reads the book before discarding it because the cover looks a little odd.

    Ah, you say, two women working in the field of medicine. Amie is quite odd looking on the outside, but seems quite nice. And Francesca looks nice in all the externals, but, inside, something is…not quite right. Because Francesca, the ethics expert, wants to kill Amie. Or rather, she wants someone else to have killed Amie as a child. But, let’s quote Francesca’s own words.

    A serious philosophical problem arises when the same conditions that would have justified abortion become known after birth…One example is the case of Treacher-Collins syndrome (TCS)…Usually those affected by TCS are not mentally impaired and they are therefore fully aware of their condition, of being different from other people and of all the problems their pathology entails. Many parents would choose to have an abortion if they find out, through genetic prenatal testing, that their fetus is affected by TCS.

    Well that seems quite definitive. Amie, how ever do you cope with the painful awareness that you can never look as nice as nice Francesca? What say you?

    Given the chance to live my life over again without Treacher Collins, I would have to politely decline. I believe that the experiences in my life as a result of Treacher Collins have molded me into the person that I am today. Like anyone else, I’ve had many ups and downs, and to give up the lessons I’ve learned on the roller-coaster ride of life would be to give up part of myself. Having Treacher Collins syndrome, or any other medical condition, does not make someone “abnormal,” it only makes him human.

  10. Comment by Kerry:

    After the Stations of the Cross, at St. Agnes church in St. Paul, we were gifted with speaker Charles Rice, Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame law School. He spoke extemporaneously about the Natural law, the Truth, reason. Among other things, to fight against “Once your ability to reason is numb, anything is permitted.” He referenced, I believe, John Paul II who said we must not try to answer the 1000 irrationalities (of the left) but speak the Truth, because the Truth carries Grace with it, Grace that will remain with the person hearing the Truth, and which can/will come to their aid when most needed. (I am paraphrasing as best I am able. Yet here is a quote, “If any man shall hear My voice, an open to me the door…”)

  11. Comment by shana:

    Four years and nine months ago, I miscarried a tiny, perfectly formed four-months-in-the-womb baby. I held her tiny body (although I assume the sex, as at that early age both boys and girls look the same) I kissed her, had my eldest daughter (then 18) run to cut a swath of violet-print flannel in my sewing room to make a tiny blanket into which to wrap my wee-one’s body. She also found a tiny wooden box, into which we placed the baby. When the ambulace arrived (I was standing in the bathtub, I was bleeding much too heavily to drive myself) I informed the EMT of the miscarriage and he asked that I bring the box with me to the emergency room.

    Along the way, after inserting the IVs and signaling to the driver that it was safe to go, he radioed in that I had miscarried and was bleeding heavily, and brought with me ‘a possible product of conception.” I began to laugh at him. What other response is there for such nonsense? He looked indignant, as if I was the one who lost my mind. Her little body, now in its little casket, held tightly against my heart.

    “Possible product of conception” indeed.

    [This was a reply to John’s much earlier comment about the use of the term, but for some reason, it didn’t land under it, but at the end of the line.]

  12. Comment by Gian:

    The libertarian blogger Will Williamson recently blogged in Economist (or Forbes?) that

    “I don’t think embryos or fetuses are persons, and I don’t think it’s wrong to kill them. I also don’t think infants are persons, but I do think laws that prohibit infanticide are wise”

    It was done very casually, as if not stating a controversial statement. It seems that this sentiment has taken hold of a large segment of population, both Left and Right. To me, it appears a very logical step from the ethics of Bentham and 19C Manchester Individualists, and thus to 20C Secular Right (What did Whittaker Chambers write about Ayn Rand’s fiction:from each page, a call arises: To the gas chamber, go!.

  13. Comment by Montecristo:

    Something I think you might appreciate:

    “The physician should and may do nothing else but preserve life. Whether it is valuable or not, that is none of his business. If he once permits such considerations to influence his actions, the doctor will become the most dangerous man in the state.”
    — Dr. Christopher Hufeland

  14. Comment by ladyhobbit:

    This article by Robert Reilly is relevant to the discussion:

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