Infanticide, as it exists among peoples whose laws or customs forbid its practice, is due to ape (1.(1 abnormal causes, cc. extreme destitution. in sanity, abnormal antipathy to the child, fear of disgrace, etc. The usual cause among modern civilized nations is the desire on the part of the mother to escape the shame of illicit .161d-bear ing. or to esealw the burden of caring for an il legitimate child. (See lui....rnimAcy.) In some cases, as in Prance, laws have been passed NVIliell aid the 1110ther ill supporting her illegitimate child without exposure or undue burden: and these laws are said to Faye reduced the propor• tionate number of infanticides, but to have in creased the number of eases of illegitimacy.
The of all modern civilized nations treat infanticide as a crime, hut they vary too greatly to admit of being specifically stated here. Some of them treat it as a special crime of less grav ity than murder, restricting infanticide to the killing of an infant which is newly born (within the time limited by the law); and others make no distinction between infanticide and murder, the question as to when the infant was born be ing immaterial. The latter is the case at the
common law of England and the United States, where the unlawful killing of a fully horn child (see Burnt) is murder, as distinguished from the killing of an unborn ehild, which is abortion. :see Anoa•ioN.
Consult, for the full discussion of the law as to infanticide and much of the general history, the works referred to under :MEDICAL JURIS PRUDENCE, such a: Taylor, Principles and Prac tice of Medical Jurisprudence (3d Phila delphia, 1883) ; Manual of Medical Jurisprudence 12th Amer. ed., Philadelphia, 1897) ; Wharton and Mill(, liedicai 'Jurisprudence 14th Amer. ed., Philadelphia, 1884). For the other aspects of consul t : Lubbock, PO historic Time (5th ed., London, 1889) ; The Origin of Civil and the Primitire Condition of Man (3d ed., London, 1874) ; Lecky, .t History of Eu ropeua Morals ed., London, 1877) ; Wester marck, Tin History of Marriage (New York, 1891); McLennan, Studies in Ancient History, i (% ILondon, •7 and, for the history of the subject in India, consult Browne, Infanticide: Its Origin, Progress, and Suppression (London, 1857).