Views from the News

Richard Dawkins apologizes for causing storm with Down’s syndrome tweet

Richard Dawkins has apologized for the ‘feeding frenzy’ triggered by his tweet claiming it would be immoral to carry on with a pregnancy if the mother knew the foetus had Down’s syndrome.

A Twitter row broke out after he responded to another user who said she would be faced with ‘a real ethical dilemma’ if she became pregnant with a baby with Down’s syndrome.

Dawkins tweeted, ‘Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice’.

In a fuller explanation on his website, entitled Abortion & Down Syndrome: Apology for Letting Slip the Dogs of Twitterwar, the author tried to set the record straight. He wrote: ‘To conclude, what I was saying simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most of us, I presume, espouse. My phraseology may have been tactlessly vulnerable to misunderstanding, but I can’t help feeling that at least half the problem lies in a wanton eagerness to misunderstand’.

The backlash for his comment had included one mother, who has a child with the genetic condition, saying, ‘I would fight until my last breath for the life of my son. No dilemma’, while Dawkins said accusations of ‘Nazism, vile, monstrous fascistic callousness’ and ‘fireballs of hatred’ had been hurled his way.

He wrote, ‘If your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down’s baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare’.

Almost 400,000 kids not living with both parents, stats reveal

Hundreds of thousands of children are having to split their time between parents in different homes, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown.

The ONS said it is ‘increasingly likely that dependent children will be sharing their time between two different parental addresses’ because of an increase in cohabitation and divorce.

Children aged ten to fourteen were the age group most affected, with toddlers least affected.

In April, Sir Paul Coleridge, who at the time was a senior family judge, spoke out against family breakdown. He said, ‘Family judges have a unique experience of this and therefore a unique contribution to make. We should not be afraid to speak out’.

Sir Paul, who has been reprimanded because of his support for traditional marriage, said, ‘I know how consoling and good a good marriage can be and how it gets better over the years and also how ghastly family breakdown can be’.

Revealed: Islamic State’s ‘banker’ was director of a private Muslim primary school in Birmingham

One of the Islamic State terror group’s key financiers was director of a Muslim faith school in Birmingham, it was claimed today.

Prominent Islamic cleric Dr Nabil al-Awadi, a naturalized Kuwaiti, was partly resident in the UK until last year, living in Brixton, south London. Until February 2013, the Sunni was a director of the independent Al-Birr school in Birmingham, which was founded seven years ago. He is believed to have close links to the Islamic State group. Now he is president of the Kuwait Scholars’ Union, which has reportedly channelled tens of millions of dollars to the Islamic State and other jihadi groups in Iraq and Syria.


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