Here are shocking bits from an article in The Atlantic:
“What are the shades of moral difference between terminating a fetus that could not survive outside the womb vs. one that can, even if, as in this case, it would suffer from significant disabilities? What’s the difference between those decisions and the decision to kill such a child after it has been born, or let it die? That last question, about infanticide, is particularly charged, not least because of the common-sense “disgust” factor. As Jeff McMahan, a former Rutgers professor who’s now at Oxford, wrote in 2007:
‘Although philosophers have conducted a wide-ranging debate about the morality of abortion for more than thirty years, generating in the process an extensive literature on the topic, they have, with very few exceptions, shrunk from extending the debate to include a discussion of infanticide. I know from discussions with prominent writers on ethics that some have been deterred from writing on the subject by fear of possible consequences for their reputations, careers and even physical security … My own experience is much more limited, but tends to confirm that discussing infanticide is not the best way to win friends or secure admiring book reviews.'”
What does this mean? It means that the logic of abortion should lead pro-choice people to accept and advocate infanticide. But hardly any will take that step. Why? Not from some high moral principal, but because to do so would be bad for one’s work and social life. I suppose this is one time to be thankful for cowardice.