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ILikePie

Richard Dawkins: Immoral not to abort a fetus with Down's

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ILikePie

huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/20/richard-dawkins-sparks-twitter-debate-over-aborting-down-syndrome-fetuses_n_5694961.html

True, he sort-of apologized, but he still claims that his viewpoints are logical and a natural extension of pro-choice mentality.

As someone who is pro-choice, I have to disagree with him on this one.

What do you think?

Edited: spelling mistake

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doggie

He makes atheists look bad and is hurting his cause though I bet there are plenty of conservative Christians don't want deformed babies either.

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Firiel

Yeah, I think that's pretty awful.

I don't think that the value of a human being (because those fetuses with Downs would grow to be human beings) is found solely in the capital (monetary, intellectual, or otherwise) that they are able to contribute to the world.

But I have moral issues with abortions that are performed solely because of traits the child would have if the resulting child could still live a happy, fulfilled life, whether that trait is the child's sex or the child's intellectual ability (again, if a happy, fulfilled life is possible).

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Puzzled
keen23
huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/20/richard-dawkins-sparks-twitter-debate-over-aborting-down-syndrome-fetuses_n_5694961.html

True, he sort-of apologized, but he still claims that his viewpoints are logical and a natural extension of pro-choice mentality.

As someone who is pro-choice, I have to disagree with him on this one.

What do you think?

Edited: spelling mistake

I disagree with him. Pro-Choice equals just that a CHOICE, not a moral obligation.

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browncoatslytherin

i am pro-choice, and while if someone decides to abort a fetus because of something like that and i believe that's their decision, i don't think it's right to do something like that. if a child is wanted by the parents, any possible deformity or not, then they should keep the child.

as a side note, i'm not sure how the genetic testing stuff is different than about 10 years (or so) ago, but my cousin was told her daughter would be down's while she was pregnant with her, but little gabby came out perfectly fine, no down's at all. whose to say that a test these days could make the same mistake or not?

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Puzzled
keen23
i am pro-choice, and while if someone decides to abort a fetus because of something like that and i believe that's their decision, i don't think it's right to do something like that. if a child is wanted by the parents, any possible deformity or not, then they should keep the child.

as a side note, i'm not sure how the genetic testing stuff is different than about 10 years (or so) ago, but my cousin was told her daughter would be down's while she was pregnant with her, but little gabby came out perfectly fine, no down's at all. whose to say that a test these days could make the same mistake or not?

The initial tests are no better than they were. In fact, they are more sensitive, so the error rate is higher. The quad screen is very time specific, so even a few days off on conception date can swing the rates by a lot. The test doesn't give you a "positive" for Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida or Tri 18, just a percentage of possibility that the fetus has one of these chromosomal issues. THEN, you are supposed to go for further testing, like a level 2 ultrasound and possibly an amniocentesis. With my 3rd, my quad screen results came back as a 1 in 3 chance of my daughter having Tri 18, in which 90% of babies will not make it to their 1st birthdays. So, I got an amnio, and everything from that came back as genetically normal.

To the part I bolded- that's what makes Pro-Choice so important. You are putting your own emotional response on another person's decision. While YOU might not make that choice, it is important to understand that it is a perfectly legitimate choice that someone else will make and should have every right to make that choice.

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browncoatslytherin

granted this was a long time ago, but i believe my cousin did have an amnio done as well. the docs were convinced little gabby was down's and told her to abort. she wanted her so bad anyway, she was determined she'd do whatever she could to accomodate her after she was born.

they were actually surprised when she was born and was "normal". surprised in a good way, but still surprised. she had really prepared beforehand, but it was totally unnecessary.

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ILoveJellybeans

Dawkins is a douche who makes atheists look bad. He would look down on fundies like the PP, Doug Phillips, the Duggars etc. but he is just the same as them. They both have extreme views, just on opposite sides.

It isn't pro choice to say that the only logical choice when finding out during pregnancy that your fetus will have Down Syndrome is to abort. Its just as anti choice to say that as it is to say that nobody should get an abortion if they find out that their fetus will be born with a disability.

Being pro choice would be saying that every situation is different and every woman has a right to choose whether she will have an abortion or carry the pregnancy to term, regardless of any disabilities her fetus may have.

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It'sFunToRun

By saying it's immoral not to abort, I don't think he's saying it should be illegal not to abort. It's immoral not to attempt to save someone who is choking, but it is not illegal unless you are in a special position like a parent maybe.

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It'sFunToRun

I don't know anything about Dawkins except that he's an atheist, but my respect for him has skyrocketed.

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It'sFunToRun

Here's something that really befuddles me: about 90% of women who find out that they are pregnant with a fetus with Down Syndrome abort it, but only about 50% (even less) of American women are pro-choice. That means that around 40% of women with a diagnosed fetus find Down Syndrome to be so unacceptable that they go against their own beliefs to abort it. That makes me think that deep down most people feel about the same way that I do about Down Syndrome, but they just drown those feelings in political correctness until the issue hits home.

I'd be interested to hear how other people interpret that.

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roddma

I usually dont get into these debates, but America seems obsessed with the perfect baby. Plenty of ppl with disabilities have left a mark on the world. Alexander Graham bell claimed Helen Keller was one of his best students.I have a friend with MS and know another with cerebral palsy. I couldnt look into their faces and tell them or even think they should have been aborted.

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LaLele
granted this was a long time ago, but i believe my cousin did have an amnio done as well. the docs were convinced little gabby was down's and told her to abort. she wanted her so bad anyway, she was determined she'd do whatever she could to accomodate her after she was born.

they were actually surprised when she was born and was "normal". surprised in a good way, but still surprised. she had really prepared beforehand, but it was totally unnecessary.

She was very lucky. Amnios have a more then 99% accuracy rate in diagnosing trisomy 21 and 18.

www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/obstetrics/ ... tesis.html

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Enraged
Curious

 !  {TEXT1}:
I let some posts though on this thread that are potentially flammable. There was no reason not to let them through, but given recent history, we are aware this thread has the potential to go off the rails.

Let's not do that, please :)

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momof2treasures
Here's something that really befuddles me: about 90% of women who find out that they are pregnant with a fetus with Down Syndrome abort it, but only about 50% (even less) of American women are pro-choice. That means that around 40% of women with a diagnosed fetus find Down Syndrome to be so unacceptable that they go against their own beliefs to abort it. That makes me think that deep down most people feel about the same way that I do about Down Syndrome, but they just drown those feelings in political correctness until the issue hits home.

I'd be interested to hear how other people interpret that.

It's all in the wording. The statistic says 90% of cases confirmed by amniocentesis to be Down's syndrome abort. This does not include the many cases that don't get amniocentesis. That's why the disparity. Amniocentesis is invasive and comes with it's own risks . A mother that knows she wouldn't abort either way would possibly forgo such a test. It's important to note these statistics are from the late 90's and also are small scale studies. No recent large scale studies on this topic exist.

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It'sFunToRun

It's all in the wording. The statistic says 90% of cases confirmed by amniocentesis to be Down's syndrome abort. This does not include the many cases that don't get amniocentesis. That's why the disparity. Amniocentesis is invasive and comes with it's own risks . A mother that knows she wouldn't abort either way would possibly forgo such a test. It's important to note these statistics are from the late 90's and also are small scale studies. No recent large scale studies on this topic exist.

Good point. I need to find the percentage of women with high markers for Down Syndrome who choose to get amniocentesis.

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HarryPotterFan

Richard Dawkins came to my school to give a talk. It was basically about how awful religion is, and how it is the cause of all the problems in the world. Sure, extremism does and has caused plenty of issues, but he basically denounced all religion in every shape and form. He's kind of a dick. He had a book signing and I wanted to ask him to sign a Bible for me to see what his reaction would be.

But I think he just loves controversy and has extreme hatred towards religion, even if someone only identifies with their religion culturally.

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twin2

Good point. I need to find the percentage of women with high markers for Down Syndrome who choose to get amniocentesis.

I think you need to find a more productive hobby.

You remind me much of of Zsuzana Anderson. You both seem to have similar beliefs, just have them about different groups of people.

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maybeizfundie

He's an ass, generally, and that particular comment of his was vile and disgusting, and I was really gratified when I posted about him that my atheist and pro-choice friends affirmed the same thing.

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Mischievous
nelliebelle1197
I don't know anything about Dawkins except that he's an atheist, but my respect for him has skyrocketed.

You really are awful, aren't you? You need to keep your opinions about people with disabilities to yourself. Then go get some therapy.

If this thread goes off the rails, it is because a certain poster is a bigot and likes to show it off. I don't know why the bigot keeps getting a pass, but substitute race with her opinions on disability, and the uproar would be insane.

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Depressed
formergothardite

As a mother of one of those children she finds repulsive and thinks shouldn't exist I do hope she grows up one day. I actually hope she is just saying this stuff to be trollish and doesn't really believe that an entire group of people shouldn't exist.

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Mischievous
nelliebelle1197
As a mother of one of those children she finds repulsive and thinks shouldn't exist I do hope she grows up one day. I actually hope she is just saying this stuff to be trollish and doesn't really believe that an entire group of people shouldn't exist.

I am pretty sure she means it. She only picks on the disabled. This person shows a frighteningly severe lack of empathy.

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DGayle

I'm invoking Godwin's Law. The last time we had a mass kill-all-the-disabled, the leader in charge, who shall remain nameless, was a devout Christian. Interesting how a devout Christian and devout atheist can be so much alike.

It's Fun to Run: Listen. Down's doesn't make life painful to the person with Down's. You seem to think it would be like a disease where all the skin melts off a child's body every day, where the child would suffer for being born. Children with Down's doesn't suffer for it in the ways you think. So what makes giving birth to a child with Down's so immoral?

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Enraged
Curious

You really are awful, aren't you? You need to keep your opinions about people with disabilities to yourself. Then go get some therapy.

If this thread goes off the rails, it is because a certain poster is a bigot and likes to show it off. I don't know why the bigot keeps getting a pass, but substitute race with her opinions on disability, and the uproar would be insane.

Because there are no rules being broken. This is FJ and we can't value free speech only when it's speech that we LIKE or it's not really free speech. As long as IFTR is not using the language that is specifically verboten or breaking any other rules posts will be approved just like they would be for anyone else.

As a disabled person myself, I'm obviously not thrilled with this stance, but I think it's clear by now that the best we can hope for is that here on FJ, IFTR understands that this type of thing is not tolerated. The more people get spooled up about it and react the more you give incentive to keep getting people spooled up.

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