Discussing Infanticide

In the year 2000, a high school senior got pregnant by her boyfriend of two years. She had thought that they would have been together forever. But, when he broke up with her, she decided that she didn’t want this baby to be a reminder of him. So, she told no one about her pregnancy. Prom night came and she started having contractions. She went into the ladies room and delivered her new baby boy. She then smothered this baby and put him in a toilet in the hotel bathroom.

The baby was found and this girl was charged with manslaughter. She was sentenced to a mere three years in jail. For another example, two college freshmen are charged with murder after giving birth to their son and then throwing him in a dumpster outside of their college. They were faced with possible life in prison. But, the judge sentenced them to just five years. Ladies and Gentlemen, those were perfect examples of infanticide. Both of those cases are very true; 4 other incidents very similar to those also took place.

Both of the judges in those cases believed that the infants were not human beings, therefore gave those children’s parents the minimum sentence for the crime they had committed. By definition, infanticide is the intentional killing of a child usually less than one year old. Infanticide committed within the twenty-four hours of birth is called neonaticide. People and cultures all through history have used infanticide as a means of dealing with overpopulation. In the Peoples Republic of China, infanticide is one of the most common things you will hear about.

Of the 75 children killed in China each day, 49 of them are females. China has strict laws saying that each family may only have 2-3 children. A missionary once interviewed 40 Chinese women. Between them they had bore 183 sons and 175 daughters. Out of those sons, 126 survived; only 53 daughters survived. Those women killed 78 of their daughters. 95% of those children were perfectly healthy and able-bodied. All of those children were also under the age of two years old.

There are five main categories of infanticide: 1) altruistic infanticide: the killing of a child to relieve the child of pain or suffering; 2) acutely psychotic infanticide: in which the child is killed while the parents are suffering severe mental illness; 3) accidental infanticide: when the death is accidental; 4) spousal revenge infanticide: where one parent kills the child to get back at the other parent; 5) unwanted child infanticide: where the child is not wanted. Here in the United States, the most common reason for committing infanticide is simple; parents just don’t want their own child.

These deaths usually occur by drowning, strangulation, suffocation, or abandonment. Although this practice is against the law in the civilized world, this crime against infants is still strongly practiced in the United States. In 1999, the number of children put to death by means of infanticide was 362. In the year 2001, that number was 403. That number increased by 17 (%) percent in just over two years. According to Professor Peter Singer of Princeton University, “Killing an infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person, sometimes it is not wrong at all.

” He is a firm believer that up to the age of five a child is not a human being, therefore serves no purpose to society. He also believes that anyone who is “defected”, meaning they are blind, deaf, in a wheelchair, or has any disabilities, can be killed because they are not a full human person. Peter Singer denies American people their full personhood; that includes infants as well as grown men and women. People have recently begun to question whether or not legalizing abortion has indirectly legalized infanticide. I believe it has; I also believe that it has legalized partial-birth abortion.

By legalizing a procedure that kills children inside of the womb, people have come to believe that it is all right to kill children outside of the womb. In a partial-birth abortion procedure, the baby is delivered breech and as soon as all of the body is out besides the head, the doctors puncture the baby in the head and kills it. They then remove the baby’s brains, which are sometimes used for embryotic stem cell research. All that poor, innocent life has remaining between life and death is 12 inches sometimes less.

People who are pro-choice use these arguments to support partial-birth abortions saying that it is for the good of science. Is scientific research really worth it at the cost of another human life? Out of the 51 states in this country, 23 of them have banned partial-birth abortion. That means that 28 states believe that it is all right to kill a child while coming out of the birth canal. 28 states is over half of the states in this country; where we are guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In 1995, former President Bill Clinton vetoed a bill banning partial-birth abortions in this country.

Another bill to ban partial-birth abortion was presented in 1997. Former President Clinton vetoed that as well. Both of those bills passed in both the senate and the house. People believe that by allowing abortion, infanticide will cease to exist. I leave you with this question: With abortion, why should a tolerance for ending human life under one set of limited conditions necessarily lead to an acceptance of ending human life under other, broader, terms? We all know and realize that infanticide is wrong, so what are we going to do about it?

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