Human Exceptionalism

Young Woman Charged With Killing Newborn

Awful stories such as this one pop up from time to time: A Pittsburgh woman gave birth and is charged with killing her newborn daughter minutes after she was born:

“The defendant made no attempt to seek medical care and even went so far as to deny to medical personnel that she had even given birth,” investigators said in court papers…The baby was full term, police said. A coroner ruled the death a homicide, saying the infant girl had been alive for about 10 minutes before being suffocated.

We’ll see how this plays out at law. But let me pose a question to all of the Peter Singer fans I often hear from: Would he (or do you) even think that such a killing is wrong? I mean, the baby wasn’t a person (in his view), and the defendant was, who, if she did the deed, apparently didn’t think having a child served her interests or fulfilled her preferences. Hence, assuming the baby’s death was painless, I don’t see any basis for Singerites objecting to what the woman allegedly did.

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