Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oh, *That* Slippery Slope

Toward the end of "Law, Liberty, and Abortion" I warned about the slippery slope that leads from abortion to involuntary euthanasia and other crimes against liberty. I was reminded of that by Dave Kopel's NRO Online column of August 28, 2001, where he said:
In many countries — including Great Britain, Canada, Italy, and Australia — infanticide laws allow women to kill their child in the first year of his or her life. Some allow the mother to kill all her children, providing that one child hasn't yet celebrated a first birthday. The killer need then only show that the "balance of her mind was disturbed" by childbirth and having a baby in the house — and what mother or father couldn't prove that? Then, the woman can only be convicted of manslaughter, rather than murder. The practical result is the child-killer ends up with probation and counseling, rather than prison.
Could it happen here? Of course it could. The same mentality that allows it to happen in Britain, Canada, Italy, and Australia flourishes among America's ironically named -- and all-too influential -- "liberal" and "progresssive" circles.

Kopel clearly feels the same threat, which is why he points to his 2001 article in a current Volokh Conspiracy post, where he discusses the pending retrial of Andrea Yates:
In the retrial, I hope that Yates does not enjoy another outpouring of sympathy from misguided feminists, such as the Texas chapter of the National Organization for Women, which organized a candlelight vigil on her behalf. . . . I strongly hope that Americans resist the claims of people who want to give a free pass to murdering mothers under the theory that the stresses of parenthood are an excuse of premeditated multiple homicide.
After condoning murder in the name of parental stress, we can then begin to condone murder in the name of parental disappointment, unrequited love, unsatisfying employment, and general malaise.