Richard Dawkins, one of the world's foremost scientists, thinkers and philosophers, is embroiled in a Twitter row after claiming it would be "immoral" to carry on with a pregnancy if the mother knew her baby had Down's syndrome. The author of The Selfish Gene made the comment in response to another user who said she would be faced with "a real ethical dilemma" in the situation. Dawkins tweeted: "Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

Richard DawkinsRichard Dawkins has caused controversy on Twitter [Getty/Mark Renders]

After facing a backlash from users, Dawkins defended his view saying he would not apologise for "approaching moral philosophic questions in a logical way." 

The Down's Syndrome Association (DSA) issued a response to Dawkins's tweet, saying, "People with Down's syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.

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"At the Down's Syndrome Association we do not believe Down's syndrome in itself should be a reason for termination, however we realise that families must make their own choice.

Richard DawkinsRichard Dawkins has since defended his comment [Getty/Mark Renders]

"The DSA strives to ensure that all prospective parents are given accurate and up to date information about the condition and what life might be like today for someone with Down's syndrome."

Dawkins is fast becoming a magnet of controversy on Twitter. He had previously pointed out that the world's Muslims had won fewer Nobel prizes than Trinity College Cambridge and suggested that some types of rape or paedophilia are worse than others. Those who disagreed with his views were told to "go away and learn how to think."

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, the first volume of Richard Dawkins' autobiographical memoir, was published in 2013.