Mary Anne Warren's On The Moral Permissibility Of Infanticide

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Even today, there are many moral and philosophical issues that divide the United States because they create very polarized opinions and beliefs. One such philosophical issue is the moral permissibility of infanticide. Mary Anne Warren, a philosopher, presents her liberal yet controversial views on the issue of infanticide in the postscript of her article, On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion. However, the anti-infanticide arguments pose problems for Warren’s position because they justify the immorality of infanticide through the physical similarity in resemblance of neonates to human beings. These arguments also claim that the destruction of a viable infant is needless because even if the infant’s biological parents reject the infant, there are many other parents who are willing to adopt and nurture that infant.…show more content…
However, she continues on to state that neither the abortion of a fetus nor the killing of a neonate could count as murder of a person because both, a fetus and an infant, lack all of the plausible components of personhood. Warren explicates that in an impoverished society that is unable to care for its infants without jeopardizing the health and safety of its members, infanticide cannot be deemed morally wrong. She also claims that infanticide is morally justified in the form of euthanasia where the child is born with severe abnormalities and the parents are unable to afford the financial and emotional burdens of its treatment. Warren’s response to infanticide is completely justified because in case of life or death, the life of an actual person far outweighs the life of a potential

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