NZ Herald 21 August 2014
Richard Dawkins, the atheist writer, has claimed it is “immoral” to allow unborn babies with Down’s syndrome to live.
The professor posted a message on Twitter saying would-be parents who learn their child has the condition have an ethical responsibility to “abort it and try again”.
His comments were dismissed by charities and prompted fury online from opponents but he insisted his stance was “very civilised” because foetuses do not have “human feelings”.
He claimed that the important question in the abortion debate is not “is it ‘human’?” but “can it suffer?” and insisted that people have no right to object to abortion if they eat meat.
Anti-abortion campaigners describe the practice of aborting foetuses on physical grounds as a form of “eugenics”.
But Prof Dawkins strongly defended its as simply standard practice and ridiculed his critics as portraying him as “a horrid monster”.