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Why do they send mothers to jail for killing newborn babies? It happens all the time: babies are left in toilets, thrown into dumpsters, or otherwise disposed of; and if they can prove who the mother was, she is prosecuted for infanticide. Now why do we do this? And what right does society have telling parents how to treat their kids? Don’t the kids belong to the parents? Can’t the parents do as they please with their own children?

Well, no, of course not. Children are persons under the law, and are entitled to all the protection of the law. Children don’t belong to parents. They are in the care and custody of parents; but they are persons, not property, and the law rightly protects children.

So then comes the next question. At what point does a newborn become a person and entitled to all the protection of the law? At what point does it become murder to kill a child? Can someone lose that protection and personhood? You would think these were simple questions, but they turn out not to be.


Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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