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R.K. Brumbelow

What is it in the process of 'being born' that makes a human special? It is not travelling down the birth canal as nearly 32% of all children born are born via Cesarean Section.

You have already stated that not all humans 'have the characteristics that would demand that the state protect' them. So, unless birth is a sufficient condition for state protection, there is no logical reason why infanticide should be illegal when abortion is legal.

If birth is a sufficient condition, you will need to show why it is and possibly suggest what the definition of birth is as we are not far from artificial wombs.


RK, I do not think that it's the process of "traveling down the birth canal" that makes creatures worthy of protection. I happen to think that it's having certain characteristics and abilities. A zygote and an embryo are human and alive - but - I do not believe that their condition rises to the level where the state can decide to protect them against the wishes of the woman carrying them.

The further along in a pregnancy, as an embryo develops into a fetus and into a more developed fetus, then I believe that the entity should be protected by the government - excepting certain, specialized circumstances (like serious harm to the woman or the great likelihood that the fetus would die either within the woman or soon after birth).

Laws about abortion vary throughout a pregnancy. I believe that this appropriate, and respects the diversity of belief on this difficult issue.

On the other hand, at least in the U.S. today, I know very few who would think that "after birth abortion" (aka infanticide) is ever acceptable.

R.K. Brumbelow

Peg, you missed my points entirely.
First the general: If abortion in general* is different from infanticide, how is it different. The only difference between a fetus and a child in terms of general abortion is the act of birth.

Second: You have stated not all humans deserve protection. What qualities must a human possess to be deserving of state protection.

*Abortion available without restriction - Yes this is an argument only the most severe supporters of abortion would hold and to my understanding is not available anywhere in the US, though so called partial birth abortions were legal until just a few years ago.


"The only difference between a fetus and achild in terms of general abortion is the act of birth."

RK - I beg to differ with you - and - as far as I can determine, the facts bear me out.

Here is a link to development from zygote to baby:


At week 5, the brain, spinal cord and heart begin to develop. Note; if the development is starting, then the embryo does not yet have these parts.

At week 8, the brain continues to form (but is still growing) and the lungs start their development.

At weeks 27-32, the brain is developed, the nervous system can control some bodily functions, eyelids open and close and the respiratory system can function.

Along the way, there is a huge difference between an embryo and an early stage fetus with one that is far more developed. Thus - there is a huge difference between an 8 week old fetus and a baby that has been born.

You may believe, as some do, that from the start of pregnancy that life is deserving of the same protection as a full term baby. But that is saying something quite different than that "the only difference is the act of birth."

John Pepple

I haven't read this article, but it's about one of the philosophers who favors infanticide:



Infanticide was commonly practiced in cultures around the world before Judaism/Christianity became influential in them.


I grasp that this is a good example of how starting with an insane premise, one can logically arrive at an insane conclusion

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