Saturday, March 07, 2009

Peter Singer -- A Different Song: In response to Jeff Jacoby's March 4, 2009 op ed article in The Globe "Intelligence is No Guarantee of Goodness" even I a 150% supporter of abortion rights and free choice have a hard time accepting an ethical argument of Peter Singer that parents along with doctors have the right to determine whether the life of a newborn child with severe disability can be ended. That is, indeed, to me, a right for which it is difficult to argue. Ideas such as that, while in theory seem to have humane intent, in practice are very hard to employ. When does even a doctor much less a parent consider a child born with severe disability unfit to live? I envision the abuse of determinations of that fact as families think about the financial costs incurred supporting that child through its life even when the parents are not there.

There is a line, as a free choice advocate, which must be drawn. Full term human life is not the issue for me. Life in utero solely dependent on the mother to sustain it is for me the essence of the abortion debate. Adults have the ability through health care proxies to let others know what they want. An infant, however,
has no such ability and to think of euthanizing it after birth is too much for my moral psychology to bear. Singer's thoughts reinforce my support for abortion rights more than ever. It allows me to conclude that the freedom to choose abortion is, in reality, pro life. It is a right which could often eliminate the need for a dastardly deed to be done after a full term human child is born.