Supposed “bioethicist” Richard Dawkins is facing intense international criticism following his comments on Twitter yesterday suggesting that babies with Down Syndrome should be aborted. Dawkins pushed the notion that it is “immoral” for parents of a baby with Down Syndrome to not kill the baby in an abortion.
Dawkins endorsed the New Republic piece of fellow atheist Jerry A. Coyne, which slammed the Catholic Church for its “medieval morality” of opposing abortion, and added that “Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area….You’d think the Roman Church would have lost all influence.”
When pro-lifers challenged his support for this form of eugenics, Dawkins replied, “Yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings.” He later asserted that such abortions are the only moral option.
“In point of fact, a majority of Down Syndrome fetuses in Europe and USA are aborted. What I recommended is not outlandish but the norm,” he said.
Now, charities related to Down Syndrome are slamming Dawkins:
Down Syndrome Ireland has said it is “appalled” by comments made by atheist writer Richard Dawkins claiming that it is “immoral” to allow unborn babies with Down Syndrome to live.
The Irish charity, which is dedicated to working for the respect and acceptance of people with Down Syndrome as valued members in society, reacted strongly to the Oxford Professor’s comment on Twitter that a woman pregnant with a Down Syndrome baby should, “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice”.
In a statement the charity said “we are appalled that a respected academic should make such hurtful comments on a public platform”.
“People with Down Syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, are loved by their families, and make a valuable contribution to our society every day,” the statement read.
The pro-life movement has also strongly criticized Dawkins’ remarks:
“The problem here is not that a fetus doesn’t have human feelings, but rather that Richard Dawkins apparently doesn’t,” Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, told Breitbart News. “Abortion does not only dehumanize the very real child in the womb; it dehumanizes everyone who tries to justify it.”
In a press statement, Live Action President Lila Rose slammed Dawkins’ tweets: “It’s sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities.”
“Dawkins’ ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome. While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” Rose added. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”