Postnatal ‘abortion’ paper ignites emotional debate

Like fetuses, newborns are ‘potential’ people that do not have the same moral status as ‘actual’ people, and therefore “cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence,” they contend.

The editor of the BMJ-owned Journal of Medical Ethics has defended his decision to publish the paper which has sparked outrage and a slew of abusive correspondence including threats to the lives and personal safety of Monash University’s Alberto Giubilini and University of Melbourne’s Francesca Minerva.

Editor, Professor Julian Savulescu, said that while he is personally opposed to the legalisation of infanticide, he felt the authors’ arguments expanded the existing debate from solely medical indications to include social indications.

“I don’t personally agree with it. But their arguments – based on the similar moral status of the fetus and neonate – demand rebuttal,”