World famous author, Professor Richard Dawkins has defended past comments where he advised a woman it would be “immoral” to not abort a child with down syndrome.
Speaking to Brendan O’Connor on RTE radio 1 on Sunday, the atheist-scientist said using the word ‘immoral’ “was probably putting it a bit too strongly, but given that the amount of suffering in the world, probably does not go down, probably does go up, compared to having another child who does not have Down Syndrome, that’s what I meant”.
When asked how he “knows” that, he replied: “It seems to me to be plausible that 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”.
But he admitted he had no “direct evidence” to back up that belief.
When asked what other imperfections he would screen out, he replied: “Well, I think deafness, blindness. It seems to me, to be … when you have the choice, when it is early in pregnancy and the foetus has hardly started to develop, almost everybody as a matter of fact does abort a child if it has an easily diagnosable disability”.
When again pushed on whether it would be “immoral” to not do so, he said he would take back that word, but added: “I think it would be wise and sensible to abort a child which had a serious disability which was diagnosed early in pregnancy. That is what almost everybody does in practice.“