Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology president — and apparent abortion advocate — Richard Hanania weighed in among critics of the Supreme Courts decision to allow the Texas “Heartbeat Law,” which may effectively ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, noting that stricter abortion laws may mean that more children will be born with Down Syndrome.
Although Hanania did not appear to make a value judgment on the matter in his tweet, he is clearly supportive of laws allowing parents to elect to abort a differently abled child, including a child with Down Syndrome — and he goes on to suggest that the “whole developed world” would look down on Americans who allow such barbarism.
“You can’t screen for Down syndrome before about 10 weeks, and something like 80% of Down syndrome fetuses are aborted. If red states ban abortion, we could see a world where they have five times as many children with Down syndrome, and similar numbers for other disabilities,” Hanania wrote.
He later insisted that he was simply making an empirical observation, but in a second tweet, he added that America “[c]ould be outliers in the whole developed world. There are already negative stereotypes of Americans in these states, one can imagine it getting much more extreme. What if they also ban genetic engineering and embryo selection, while other places go ahead?”
It may come as no surprise that Hanania is a proponent of genetic engineering.
He later suggested that conservatives might be scandalized by the fruits of their support for abortion restrictions when a larger social safety net is required and that liberals might change their minds if their tax dollars were rerouted to states with lots of new Down Syndrome children.
“Will they maintain their belief in a small safety net and lower government spending in such a world? Would liberals change their minds about government spending if it ends up going to states that have much higher costs due to these laws? Many interesting things to think about,” he said.
The response was, of course, overwhelming — and not in the way Hanania likely anticipated.
“I’m perfectly happy with a world with more people with Down syndrome in it,” conservative podcaster Allie Beth Stuckey fired back. “I’m sorry you aren’t. Big eugenicist energy.”
Others pointed out that Hanania likely wasn’t alone in his perception of how abortion bans might play out. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was a known eugenicist, after all.
“It’s helpful when the pro-abortion movement is this clear about their motivations,” Republican strategist Matt Whitlock noted.
“This is the worst take I’ve read in a long time,” commentator Calvin Robinson added. “People with Down Syndrome are people, Richard. They are loved and valued like everyone else. Show some compassion. You’re talking about human beings as if they are undesirable quantities to be eradicated through eugenics. Wicked.”
Others suggested that Hanania must not know many pro-lifers.
“Yes— pro-lifers believe everyone, even those with Down syndrome or other physical or intellectual disabilities, have the right to life. And most pro-lifers believe more needs to be done for parents & families in these difficult situations to help them care for & raise these kids,” Jerry Dunleavy noted.
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