Abortion and Infanticide

“Abortion and Infanticide” is an article by Michael Tooley that expounds on the issue of morality regarding infanticide and abortion. Tooley (1972) asserts that infants and fetuses do not satisfy the conditions necessary for them to be deemed as having a right to life and he advances several points to support his argument. Firstly, Tooley (1972) asserts that abortion and infanticide are permissible since they do not result in any change on the budding human. In this argument, Tooley means that infants and fetuses do not have anything significant taking place or do not contribute to the society; thus, a reason why they can be killed or terminated respectively. Secondly, Tooley (1972) points out that abortion and infanticide are permissible because fetuses and newborn babies do not have a right to life. Under this point, Tooley indicates that fetuses and newborn babies do not possess qualities equal to a grown person that can make them be regarded as possessing the right to life. Thirdly, Tooley (1972) outlines points that would make the society happy in case infanticide was permissible. He indicates that most people would appreciate raising kids that do not have deformities, which he means that newborn babies with deformities and intellectual, physical or emotional deformities could be killed before they matured and be a burden on society. Lastly, Tooley (1972) intimates that infanticide is permissible because it is not a taboo. Here, Tooley provides a rational explanation, which centers on the argument differentiating a “person” from a “human being”. In this context, Tooley prefers a biological term to be employed in describing fetuses and newborn babies instead of the aforementioned terms that deem fetuses as human beings. I second Tooley’s conclusion and; thus, this essay provides strengths of Tooley’s decision regarding the matter and how it can be defended against objections raised by those who are pro-life.

Firstly, Tooley points out that people’s fear regarding infanticide and abortion are based more on taboo than on rational arguments. This is a valid point by Tooley, as people have not taken the time to establish what qualifies an organism to be considered as a human being. This can be defended against objections by those who are pro-life basing on the fact that they have to distinguish the qualities of a person from that of an infant and fetus. Secondly, Tooley’s point regarding how those with deformities and other physical or emotional challenges would not trouble the society is a strong as it can be defended against arguments by pro-lifers basing on the question whether it justifiable for those born with deformities and other emotional and physical challenges to suffer for the rest of their lives.

Lastly, another strong point by Tooley is that infants and newborn babies do have any significant part of their life interrupted as they lack consent regarding their situation. This can be defended against arguments by pro-lifers basing on the fact that a person needs to have consent on what is taking place in his/her life. Those who adopt a more moderate pro-choice position can be instructed that infanticide and abortion cannot afford a moderate pro-choice stance, as you cannot justify abortion in instances that only allow the mother to survive.

In conclusion, Tooley has advanced strong points regarding morality that support infanticide and abortion. From his argument, it can be deducted that a fetus and newborn baby lack consent on what is taking place, do not have anything-significant taking place in their lives, and the society would enjoy a good time with no people with deformities and emotional or physical incapacities. The strengths in Tooley’s argument rest on the fact that people’s fear of infanticide rests more on ignorance than on substantiated arguments, it is not justifiable for newborn babies with deformities to suffer for the rest of their lives. Lastly, the society will be more productive as people will not have to deal with the deformed and others who are incapacitated in different ways. These points can be defended from pro-life arguments against infanticide and abortion basing on the fact that it is not justifiable to kill the baby in order to save the mother.

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