The Tragedy of the Unwanted Child: What Ancient Cultures Did Before Abortion

Safe abortion is the modern cure for the ancient heartbreaks of neonaticide and abandonment.

Rob Brooks
24 Jun 2022

Talk about abortion is dominating the US culture wars, again. A leaked US Supreme Court majority opinion foreshadows the overturning of 1973’s Roe vs. Wade decision protecting a woman’s liberty to terminate a pregnancy without excessive government restriction, sparking joy among anti-abortion campaigners and dread among choice advocates. Anyone naive to the last 50 years of abortion politics might think the sides are concerned with two entirely different phenomena. One advocates a woman’s right to reproductive and bodily autonomy, whereas the other condemns what it considers to be a form of homicide.

self-declared “pro-lifers” consider the termination of a pregnancy the moral
equivalent of taking a newborn life. Their strategies, including the endless
debates over when a fetus becomes viable, seek to blur distinctions between
aborting a fetus and killing a newborn child. So much so that few on the
pro-choice side welcome discussion about the relationship between abortion and
infanticide. I argue here that an understanding of that relationship—drawing on
evidence from centuries of history and millennia of evolution—leads to the
conclusion that abortion is the most humane alternative to infanticide, adding
to the case for safe, legal, accessible abortion for women who need it.


Japan – Calls for Support During Unintended Pregnancies

June 8, 2021
Video: 3:36 minutes

Unintended pregnancies often force women to
make hard choices under pressure. Every year, in extreme cases, they even
result in the deaths of unplanned children. Shirai Chiaki, a professor at
Shizuoka University, says it's time for Japanese society to build a new
consensus that supports women through potentially life-changing decisions.


Halting Spate of Abandoned Babies In Nigeria

Nov 15, 2020

Stories about babies abandoned by their mothers across many Nigerian states have been rocking the media in recent times, unlike two decades ago. For instance, reports have it that over 237 abandoned babies were rescued across Lagos State in the past six years. One of the babies was a three-months-old, found inside a plastic bag in the Abule Egba a suburb of the state. What about the pathetic mother who gave birth in a toilet and then tried to flush her baby in the state, just recently.

In Abia state, a one month old baby was recently found in a pit latrine and was later rescued by the police. Also, in Jigawa State, the story of a 23-year-old woman who dumped her newborn baby in Dutse local government area trended while in Ogun State, a baby who still had his placenta uncut was abandoned by his mother.


China – Xinjiang Hospitals Aborted, Killed Babies Outside Family Planning Limits: Uyghur Obstetrician

Radio Free Asia

Hospitals in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) were forced to abort and kill babies born in excess of family planning limits or who were in utero less than three years after the mother’s previous birth, according to a Uyghur obstetrician and other sources.

Hasiyet Abdulla, who currently lives in Turkey, worked in multiple hospitals in Xinjiang over the course of 15 years, including the XUAR Hospital of Traditional Uyghur Medicine.


Women in North Korea’s Detention Centers Face Sexual Abuse: UN Report

by Anya Ruppert 
July 28, 2020

A report released by the UN Tuesday revealed North Korean women undergo forced labor, sexual violence, and forced abortion and infanticide in the country’s detention centers.

The report acknowledges that “over seventy years since its establishment, [North Korea] remains a closed society and leaving the country without official permission is a crime under domestic law.” However, women who manage to escape and then forcibly return or fail to flee, face extraneous inhumane punishments.


A heartbreaking sign of Venezuela’s deepening child welfare crisis

Baranyai: A heartbreaking sign of Venezuela's deepening child welfare crisis

Robin Baranyai, Special to Postmedia News
Updated: March 6, 2020

The graphic is straightforward but shocking: a red circle crossed through with a line — the universal symbol for nope — imposed over a stick figure standing next to a trash bin. Dangling upside down above the garbage is a small stick figure in a diaper.

“Prohibido botar beb(C)s,” the text reads: “Dumping babies is forbidden.”


This Will Be Trump’s Go-To Abortion Lie in 2020

This Will Be Trump's Go-To Abortion Lie in 2020
Anti-choice activists are already rallying around a misinformation campaign.

by Marie Solis
Jan 7 2020

As part of their election year agenda, abortion opponents are planning to push the unfounded myth that abortions routinely result in live births, and that the providers who perform the procedures have no ethical responsibility to save those lives.

Two women who claim to be the product of unsuccessful abortions will speak at this year’s March for Life, the annual anti-abortion demonstration in protest of the January 1973 Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade. And the organization behind the march, along with other major anti-abortion groups, has pledged to push federal "Born-Alive" legislation in 2020 that would require doctors to provide medical care to infants who survive failed abortion procedures.


Coca-Cola and quacks

Coca-Cola and quacks
How Kenya's restrictive abortion laws are fuelling infanticide

Kenya is in the grip of an infanticide crisis – driven by poverty, unwanted pregnancies and muddled abortions laws. Adrian Blomfield discovers the deadly consequences of restricting reproductive rights. Pictures by Simon Townsley

November 25, 2019

On the streets of Nairobi, out of official earshot, nurses say there are different ways of killing unwanted babies.

Some young mothers feed them Coca-Cola instead of breast milk to make their organs collapse. Ginger beer is said to work just as well. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of others, are left to die in pit-latrines, rivers and rubbish dumps.

Or there is always the option of getting someone else to do the deed. Quacks on the back streets of urban slums are often only too willing to end a late-term pregnancy by inducing a living infant and then finishing it off with a blow to the head.


America’s abortion debate is being defined by Fox News

America’s abortion debate is being defined by Fox News
A new study shows how the network dominates coverage of abortion — and sets the agenda other networks follow.

By Anna North
Sep 23, 2019

Something strange happened to the abortion debate earlier this year.

Politicians, media outlets, and ordinary people began talking about “post-birth” or “fourth-trimester” abortion, claiming that doctors in America are killing babies after they’re born. This would be murder, not abortion, and it’s already illegal in every state. No abortion-rights group supports this.


Rwandan President Pardons Hundreds Convicted of Having or Assisting in an Abortion

Rwandan President Pardons Hundreds Convicted of Having or Assisting in an Abortion

By Tara Law
April 6, 2019

The President of Rwanda pardoned hundreds of people convicted of having or assisting in an abortion this week.

President Paul Kagame pardoned 367 people “convicted for the offenses of abortion, complicity in abortion and infanticide,” the Prime Minister’s cabinet announced on Thursday.