Author and well-known atheist Richard Dawkins has recently come under fire for arguing that it is "wise and sensible to abort babies with Down Syndrome or "serious" disabilities."
According to The Christian Post, in 2014, Dawkins, in response to a woman saying she would be faced with "a real ethical dilemma" if she were to become pregnant with a child with Down Syndrome, tweeted, "Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."
Then, this month, in an interview with RTE radio host Brendan O'Connor, who has a son with Down Syndrome, Dawkins was asked to explain why he believes it would be immoral not to abort an unborn child diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the womb.
Saying that calling it immoral was probably “putting it a bit too strongly”, Dawkins responded, "Given that the suffering in the world probably does not go down, probably does go up compared to having another child who doesn't have Down Syndrome."
"How do you think it's immoral to bring a child with Down Syndrome into the world?"@RadioBrendanRTE spoke with Professor Richard Dawkins who believes children with Down Syndrome can potentially increase the amount of suffering in the world.— RTÉ Radio 1 (@RTERadio1) May 11, 2021
Listen back: https://t.co/TwLQ9VhSdB pic.twitter.com/B2himKI7kU
Asked to explain how he knows that suffering will increase following the birth of a baby with Down Syndrome, Dawkins added, "I don't know it for certain. It seems to me to be plausible … If a child has any kind of disability, then you probably would increase the amount of happiness in the world more by having another child instead."
When asked once more if he had any sort of evidence to back up his claim, Dawkins was at a loss, saying, "I have no direct evidence, it just seems plausible."
Dawkins also admitted to not personally knowing anyone with Down Syndrome.
Later in the interview Dawkins also advocated for aborting babies predicted to suffer from deafness or blindness after birth, arguing, "It seems to me to be … when you have the choice, when it’s early in pregnancy and the fetus has hardly started to develop, almost everybody, as a matter of fact, does abort a child if it has an easily diagnosable disability… I think it would be wise and sensible to abort a child which had a serious disability."
Many are appalled by his statements, including human rights advocate Catherine Robinson who stated, "It is horrific to see a commentator with as wide a platform as Professor Dawkins displaying such blatant disregard for the facts of life for people with Down's syndrome and other disabilities who, like all humans, are capable of living full and enriching lives."
Dawkins' reasoning is based on years of racist, misogynistic eugenics propaganda that has its roots with Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and Nazi Germany. According to Catholic News Angency, Sanger argued abortion should be used to weed out the weak and only keep the strong, a line of reasoning that 434 human rights organizations have denounced as barbaric.
In Nazi Germany, abortion was used in eugenics tribunals to force women who were deemed "unfit" from getting pregnant. Then, as the Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change reports in a journal article on Abortion in Nazi Germany, in 1935, under Nazi rule, the sterilization law was changed to include abortions first before sterilizations. This was the first time abortion was ever legalized in German history, marking a radical shift in government position on abortion.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.