oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - An historical overview of infanticide in South Africa

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



Infanticide is the practice of intentionally killing an infant of a given species by the parents themselves or with their consent. Infanticide used to be practiced for various reasons such as the fact that a baby was born out of wedlock, for economic reasons (for example population control), for sex selection or ridding society of potentially burdensome deformed members. Silverman remarks that infanticide is the oldest method of family planning. It was a more popular method of population control than abortion - it was safer for the mother and the gender of the baby was known.

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