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Richard Dawkins: ‘It Would Be Immoral’ to Give Birth to a Child with Down’s Syndrome

Richard Dawkins inflamed the British internet last night when he suggested that it would be “immoral” to continue carrying a fetus to full term, if genetic screening proved that it carried the gene for Down’s Syndrome.

His suggestion came in response to a woman who didn’t know what she’d do if she were pregnant with a child with Down’s: “Abort it and try again,” he suggested. “It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”

With the advent of genetic screening, the practice is fairly common in England and Wales: The Telegraph estimates that nearly 1000 abortions due to Downs Syndrome are performed per year.

“Apparently I’m a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,” Dawkins tweeted much later, after the internet collectively exploded at him:

And he took pains to mention that he wasn’t telling all women to abort their babies if they carried the gene:

[The Telegraph]
[Image via Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com]

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