- John Finnis on abortion.
I should write on this. Finnis is on a good track, but after skimming, I think he's missing a lot.
The essential question is whether a state law permitting a father to kill his six-year-old would violate the U.S. or state constitutions. If not, then surely he could kill his unborn baby. If so, maybe not. And it is not clear at all that the U.S. Constitution
This kind of thing very likely came up before 1865 with slavery. Could a master kill his slave? In general that was murder, I recall, but was that true at every time in every state? What about in the absence of statutes?
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I don't see that that requires a state even to have a law against killing adults, much less against parents killing their children. It just says the state government may not kill people.