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Ethicist neither abortion or killing newborns is murder

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The statement that neither abortion nor killing newborns is murder is a contentious ethical assertion that intersects with various philosophical, legal, and societal perspectives on the value of life, personhood, and moral responsibility.

From an ethical standpoint, the argument often revolves around the definitions and criteria used to determine what constitutes murder. Traditionally, murder is understood as the unlawful and intentional killing of another human being with malice aforethought. However, proponents of the statement may argue that abortion and euthanasia, including the killing of newborns under certain circumstances, do not meet these criteria due to factors such as the stage of development, viability, or the presence of suffering.

In the case of abortion, proponents may argue that fetuses lack the moral and legal status of personhood, particularly in the early stages of gestation, and thus do not possess the same rights as born human beings. They may also emphasize the bodily autonomy and reproductive rights of women, asserting that individuals have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, including the termination of pregnancy.

Similarly, in the context of killing newborns, proponents of certain ethical frameworks, such as utilitarianism or certain forms of bioethics, may argue for the permissibility of euthanasia in cases where the newborn faces severe suffering, incurable illness, or a life not worth living. They may contend that ending the life of a newborn under such circumstances is a compassionate act aimed at minimizing harm and promoting the overall well-being of individuals involved, including the child and their family.

However, it’s essential to recognize that these arguments are highly contested and provoke significant moral, legal, and societal debates. Opponents of the statement may argue from various ethical perspectives, including deontological ethics, natural law theory, or religious beliefs, that abortion and killing newborns constitute morally impermissible acts akin to murder due to the inherent value and sanctity of human life.

Furthermore, legal frameworks vary widely across different jurisdictions, with laws governing abortion and euthanasia reflecting complex considerations of morality, public policy, and individual rights. In many places, these issues remain deeply polarizing, with divergent views on the ethical and legal status of abortion, euthanasia, and the boundaries of permissible conduct in matters of life and death.

Ultimately, the assertion that neither abortion nor killing newborns is murder highlights the complexity and nuance inherent in ethical discourse surrounding these contentious issues, inviting robust examination and dialogue informed by diverse perspectives and values.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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