Infanticide: Never Acceptable

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) condemns recent efforts by several states to remove all legal protection from infants prior to, during, and shortly after birth. As in ancient Rome, it is now legal in 2019 New York, and soon, potentially other states, to kill a child through exposure, starvation, and/or the denial of medical care.

There are 12,000 late-term abortions in the United States annually, most of them obtained for reasons unrelated to a woman’s medical health. Although a post-viability pregnancy may rarely threaten a woman’s physical health, all that is necessary to preserve the mother’s health and life is to deliver her baby prematurely by induction or Caesarean section. Both lives may be saved.

Dr. Patricia Lee June states, “It is scientifically documented that a fetus feels pain by 20 weeks gestation. Unborn children who are torn apart during a dilation and extraction abortion, or burned in their mother’s wombs during a saline induction abortion, experience excruciating pain.”

Nothing, especially not fetal malformation, justifies late-term abortion and infanticide. Humans who are disabled in the womb deserve the same respect afforded to able-bodied children at similar gestational ages. If a fetus has a potentially life-limiting diagnosis which is expected to result in death, families should be presented with the potential benefits of medical care and, accepting that such care might only prolong an inevitable death, be offered perinatal hospice.

Killing is not healthcare. The American College of Pediatricians calls upon legislators to enact laws that protect the dignity and lives of all people–born and unborn.

A longer, fully referenced version of this commentary has been published here: Infanticide: Never Acceptable

The American College of Pediatricians is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. The mission of the College is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being.