Many people are understandably shocked at the proposal that babies could be killed after birth. Two medical ethicists have put the case for infanticide in the Journal of Medical Ethics. You may think it couldn’t happen here, but the dynamics of social change should be a warning.
…Could infanticide become legal here? The state of Victoria gives us a clue. A coalition of feminist groups, politicians and leading doctors campaigned for the decriminalisation of the state’s abortion law. The Abortion Law Reform Act was passed by the state Parliament in October 2008. Abortions can be performed up to birth provided two doctors agree that it is necessary. These two doctors can be the operating surgeon and the anaesthetist.
In New Zealand, the Women’s Health Action Trust initiated contact with some of the key organisations and individuals involved in the Victorian campaign. This mentoring has been on-going and in May 2010, an 11-page document was published entitled “A Road Map to Abortion Law Reform”. It sets out the campaign strategy to be pursued so that the NZ equivalent of the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act is enshrined here.
A key factor in the success of the Victorian campaign was the involvement of leading obstetricians and gynaecologists, who because of their status were able to lobby and influence a sufficient number of politicians. The Royal New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is discreetly supportive of the Victorian legislation.
When abortion up to birth is made legal, it is a short step to abortion after birth. h