ABORTION AND Infanticide

Infanticide (or infant homicide) is the intentional killing of infants. When the intentional death occurs before birth it is called abortion, while it is called infanticide when the intentional death occurs after birth.

In the U.S. over six hundred children were killed by their parents in 1983. Child homicide killed ten times as many infants in the United States in 2011 as the flu did, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report says that 256 babies aged one year or less died as the result of homicidal assaults in calendar year 2011 compared to 25 who died as a result of influenza.

That was an improvement over 2010, when homicides killed almost 20 times as many infants as the flu killed.

There were a total of 652,639 abortions reported to the Center for Disease Control in 2014. Of those, 67.0 percent took place with the first 8 weeks of pregnancy; 24.5 percent from 8 to 13 weeks gestation, 7.2 percent from 14 to 20 weeks gestation, and 1.3 percent after 21 weeks gestation (reported by Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, Wednesday, November 29, 2017)

When a young child is murdered, the most frequent perpetrator is a victim's parent or stepparent. Rates of infanticide parallel suicide rates rather than murder rates. The risk of being a homicide victim is highest during the first year of life. Though the US has the highest rates of child homicide (8.0/100,000 for infants, 2.5/100,000 for preschool-age children, and 1.5/100,000 for school-age children), the problem of child homicide transcends national boundaries. These rates of child murder are probably underestimates, due to inaccurate coroner rulings and some bodies never being discovered.

A positive correlation has been found between abortion and child abuse with children born later to the same mother.

Maternal filicide is defined as child murder by the mother. Infanticide is child murder in the first year of life. Neonaticide is the murder of an infant within the first 24 hours of life. Almost all neonaticides are committed by mothers. Neonaticidal mothers are often young, unmarried women with unwanted pregnancies who receive no prenatal care.

In developing countries, the preference for male infants may lead to sex-selective killings. Cultural and legal differences across countries may affect research findings. For example, one country's correctional sample may be similar to another country's psychiatric sample, depending on the laws and attitudes toward prosecution.

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