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Several symbolic acts were indicative that the infant was indeed human and worthy of life.In many cultures, it was illegal to kill the child once the child was named, baptized, received its first taste of food, or swallowed water.
Tooley has suggested that infanticide should be allowed during a brief (e.g., thirty-day) period after birth.
Complete parental control of the father over the life of his child was dictated by both early Greek and Roman laws.
Patria potestas refers to the power of the Roman father to decide the fate of his child, even before birth.
In 1720 Prussia's King Friedrich Wilhem I decreed that women who killed their children should be sewn into sacks and drowned.
Infanticide has existed as a separate statutory crime in England since 1922.
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Despite human repugnance for the act, most societies, both ancient and contemporary, have practiced infanticide.