The furor over Richard Dawkins’ comments about aborting babies with Down’s syndrome is sheer hypocrisy. Dawkins in his comments uses the very same moral and ethical logic of all supporters of lifestyle abortion.
“Yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings,” Dawkins responded. “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”
This is the exact same logic used by abortion supporters who contend that…
1. A fetus isn’t a child
2. That it’s “wrong” to bring the wrong kind of baby into the world. The wrong kind of baby being one that isn’t timed properly for convenience.
What Dawkins didn’t do was try and dress up his eugenics in any kind of rhetoric about the War on Women and he didn’t even lean that heavily on religious fundamentalism. And his argument is much closer to eugenics territory.
But those are differences of style, not substance.
Richard Dawkins’ comments are mild compared to those of psychopaths like Peter Singer, PETA’s favorite ethicist who favored far broader applications of eugenics. There’s no maddened swarm denouncing him over it. But let’s skip past Singer.
The essential premise of abortion is, once we dispense with the medical issue, that personal autonomy means the right to kill an unwanted baby.
All that Richard Dawkins is doing is defining what an unwanted baby is in clearer terms. A Down’s syndrome baby is, in his mindset, unwanted. But that’s a far narrower category of unwanted than the one routinely utilized by abortion advocates who favor killing babies for economic and lifestyle reasons.
Here’s a recent op-ed from the former Communications Director of Emily’s List in the Washington Post. “Stop calling abortion a ‘difficult decision”
Once I faced reality, though, having an abortion was an obvious decision, not a difficult one. The question wasn’t “Should I or shouldn’t I?” but “How quickly can I get this over with?”
This was in the mid-1980s, when abortion was about women having control not just over their bodies but over their destinies. An unwanted pregnancy would have derailed my future, making it difficult for me to finish college and have the independent, productive life that I’d envisioned.
It’s a safe bet that WaPo/Amazon wouldn’t let Richard Dawkins run an op-ed discussing what a no-brainer aborting Down’s syndrome babies should be. But that’s a groundless double standard. Dawkins’ argument is practically moral compared to the naked sociopathic argument of the woman who was supposed to be the public voice of Emily’s List.
This kind of attitude isn’t some sort of aberration. Here’s Amanda Marcotte of Slate and The Guardian.
I like my life how it is, with my ability to do what I want when I want without having to arrange for a babysitter. I like being able to watch True Detective right now and not wait until baby is in bed…
This is why, if my birth control fails, I am totally having an abortion. Given the choice between living my life how I please and having my body within my control and the fate of a lentil-sized, brainless embryo that has half a chance of dying on its own anyway, I choose me.
That Beverly Hills 90210 bit of morality is the core of the pro-abortion argument. And if you can kill a baby to free up more time to watch True Detective, why not kill a baby for having a medical condition?
And this is where the abortion argument falls apart.
If abortion isn’t wrong or a difficult decision, then why not abort babies for having Down’s syndrome? Why not abort them because they’re the wrong gender or race?
Those examples will upset abortion supporters who at the same time find nothing wrong with aborting a baby to make it easier to finish college and live an “independent” life promoting leftist candidates for Emily’s List.
And really which is worse? Is either example really worse?
If we’re going to be killing babies, why quibble over the motive. It’s like arguing that it’s moral to shoot a man on the subway because he’s sitting in a seat that you want but not moral to shoot him because of his race or gender.
If you’re going to be a sociopath, you might as well own it.
The outrage over what Richard Dawkins tweeted is absurd hypocrisy. It amounts to arguing that it’s utterly moral to kill a baby so that you can finish college, but outrageously immoral to kill a baby because of his medical condition.
The only reason Dawkins is being attacked is because killing babies because they have a medical condition has a whiff of political incorrectness to it. While killing babies to avoid having to DVR the latest episode of True Detective is politically correct.