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Death threats for academic claiming babies might be killed 'because they're not real people'

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babyDEATH threat and hate calls have been received by an academic who argued doctors might have the right to kill newborn babies because they are disabled, too expensive or simply unwanted by their mothers.

Francesca Minerva, a philosopher and medical ethicist, wrote in a respected publication the Journal of Medical Ethics published by the British Medical Journal group, that arguably a new baby is not a real person and so killing it in the first days after birth is little different to aborting it in the womb.

Dr Minerva and co-author Alberto Giubilini, a University of Milan bioethicist, penned the article headed After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?




They say that because a new-born has yet to develop hopes, goals and dreams then ‘after-birth abortion’ was little different ethically to pre-birth abortion.

The piece claims: “To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole…On these grounds, the fact that a foetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion.”

But Dr Minerva's piece has caused an international backlash and she has described recent days as 'the worst of my life'.

She has received terrifying death threats and hate calls telling her that she will 'burn in hell'

The academic also pointed out that the piece had been taken out of context by religious right groups and anti-abortionists and that she was postulating a possible ethical stance rather than advocating baby killing.

She said: “I wish I could explain to people it is not a policy - and I'm not suggesting that and I'm not encouraging that.”

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