Throughout history, infanticide has been practised and accepted in most cultures, and not without good reason. Giving birth is one of the most natural things a mother can experience, and infanticide is a natural response when the birth should not have happened. But the real question is, does a new born baby carry the basic human right to live?
There are many reasons that a mother may commit infanticide. "They tend to be young, poor, unmarried and socially isolated" (New York Times, Nov 2, 97) And in almost every case of infanticide, the child would not have a promising life in a loving family, with all that he/she needed for basic survival. Each and every day our actions reflect out basic human instinct to survive, and if a newly-born child were to threaten this, our instinct would suggest that we remove the baby.
"Mammals are extreme among animals in the amount of time, energy and food they invest in their young, and humans are extreme among mammals."
(New York times, Nov 2, 97) To a human mother, her baby's survival is a decision, a life choice, and not at all an easy one. For a mother that has just given birth to a baby who's life is uncertain, she has two choices. A certain tragedy now, or the high possibility of a long chain of tragedy later on in the baby's life. A mother that chooses the first option must also carry the weight that they have committed what some people might call murder.
So what are the traits that reserve the right for a human to live? "...a sequence of experience that defines us as individuals and connects us to other people... an ability to reflect upon ourselves... to form plans and savour for the future, to...