David Perry, a “senior academic adviser” at University of Minnesota, and a former professor at Dominican University, recently wrote a piece for The Nation, where he champions abortion for babies diagnosed with Down syndrome or other possible mental or physical disabilities.
In a piece titled, “Republicans Are Using Fear of Eugenics to Attack Reproductive Rights”, Perry argues that recent attempts to prohibit Down syndrome abortions, such as a recently signed and passed piece of legislation in Ohio, is not really about protecting vulnerable human beings, but about controlling women’s bodies.
In fact, Perry attacks Republicans for using language about eugenics to restrict abortion. While noting that society needs to become more accepting of children with mental or physical disabilities, Perry also writes, “Still it’s time to affirmatively support the right to eugenic abortion, even as we fight the need for it. The struggle for disability rights begins with the affirmation that no one gets to tell anyone else what to do with their body. That includes abortion.”
When it comes down to not supporting eugenics or supporting abortion, Perry summarizes the view of three abortion supporters; “Concern over selective abortion is serious, but placing the autonomy of a pregnant individual over their own body comes first. Not only is it ethically correct, but prioritizing bodily autonomy remains the best path forward to support disability rights.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, strongly condemned the sentiment.
She said, “For anyone to promote eugenics is downright disgusting, but to have a professor and academic adviser promote eugenics is even worse. Perry is just another example of an extremely pro-abortion professor who preaches an anti-life message and lacks any sort of coherent moral framework. That he would be trusted to advise young students is disturbing. To top it all off, Perry’s exploitation of his own son to justify eugenics should be seen as extremely troubling. As a parent of two children with Cystic fibrosis and a taxpayer in Minnesota, it is extremely troubling that taxpayer dollars are being used to subsidize Perry’s writings.”
The University of Minnesota did not immediately respond to requests for comment.