Monday, February 18, 2008

Professor Under Fire- Makes Controversial Statement Recommending Abortion for Down Syndrome Babies 1/18

University of North Carolina Prof Suggests Abortion for Down Syndrome Babies
Chapel Hill, NC ( --

A University of North Carolina professor is under fire for suggesting that parents who discover their unborn child will have Down syndrome should have abortions. The comments offended one student who has a brother with the condition and highlighted attempts by disabilities groups to head off abortion as a solution to the disability. Professor Albert Harris told his embryology students last week that babies who have Down syndrome should be aborted. "In my opinion, the moral thing for older mothers to do is to have amniocentesis, as soon during pregnancy as is safe for the fetus, test whether placental cells have a third chromosome #21, and abort the fetus if it does," he said. Harris has taught at the college for 35 years and he told the newspaper he's made the pro-abortion statement several times before in an attempt to spark discussion. He told the newspaper he has no apologies for the remark. "I know somebody who had a child like this, and it ruined their life," he said.

ACTION: Contact UNC about Professor Harris at Office of the Chancellor, 103 South Building, Campus Box 9100, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-9100. Email, call (919) 962-1365 or fax (919) 962-1647.