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Background: Princeton University's Bioethics Professor Peter Singer has been a controversial figure because he believes that, as a moral right, parents should be able to kill their newborn children if the infants have disabilities. Disability rights advocates have not been successful in getting Singer removed from the Princeton faculty. Activists often show up at his speaking engagements to demonstrate or to debate him.

"You need to face the people whom you’ve chosen to degrade."
--Michael Jenkins, director of the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Disability, in inviting controversial professor Peter Singer to speak in an October 2001 conference

"Would you give your support to a government-sponsored holocaust remembrance event that invited members of Aryan Nation to defend the actions of the Nazis against the Jewish people?"
--Gail McLeod, in a letter to the Concord Monitor regarding the decision by the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Disability to invite controversial bioethicist Peter Singer to be keynote speaker at a disability conference

August 29: Groups Disagree on Peter Singer Invite
September 22: State Refuses To Pay Peter Singer For Appearance
October 4: Groups Protest Peter Singer's Appearance At Disability Conference
January 6: The Utilitarian Horrors of Peter Singer
February 23: Doctor Death: "A Newborn Is Not A Person"
March 6: Why Are We Afraid Of Peter Singer?
April 4: Protesters Demonstrate Against Princeton Ethics Professor

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January 6, 2000

NEW JERSEY -- Princeton University's controversial bioethicist Dr. Singer, is the subject of the January 10, New Republic's cover story. Singer is notorious for advocating the abortion and killing of disabled children as a moral right. Here he presents an amazing hypothetical situation that would have a person sacrifice the life of another for their own worldly possessions.

This is a long one, folks, but worth it.

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February 23, 2000

NEW YORK, NEW YORK--The Village Voice has this insightful article on Princeton's Professor Peter Singer, who promotes the idea that infants, and those who are not "self-aware", are not real persons, and that we should have no problems with disposing of them.

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March 6, 2000

Here's a rather lengthy piece by the Chronicle of Higher Education on Princeton's highly controversial bioethics professor and philosopher Peter Singer.

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April 4, 2000

NEW JERSEY-- On Saturday, a group of parents calling themselves United Parents Protesting Singer (UPPS) demonstrated outside Princeton University condemning the school for its continued support of bioethics professor Peter Singer.

The group also presented a university official with a petition that included the signatures of over 1,500 people from around the world, calling for the removal of Singer, who supports allowing parents to kill disabled infants and others considered "unaware" of their situation.

"He believes it is morally justifiable to murder babies with disabilities," said Mary Wilt of UPPS.

"He has stepped beyond the boundaries of academic freedom."

Not Dead Yet, an advocacy group that protested aggressively against Singer's appointment last fall, took a more passive role at Saturday's rally.

Here are two articles about the rally. The first is from today's Philadelphia Daily News,
http://www.phillynews.com/daily_news/2000/Apr/24/national/BABY24.htm (Expired)

The second, which is more complete, is from yesterday's New Jersey Star-Ledger,

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Groups Disagree on Peter Singer Invite
August 29, 2001

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE--Controversial Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer has been invited to speak at an upcoming conference on genetics and bioethics.

Singer is well known because of his views that people who are not "self-aware" -- including, he believes, people with severe disabilities and children up to one month of age -- should be allowed to be put to death.

The surprise here is that the invitation came from the head of a state commission on disability, a man who disagrees with Singer but believes that this will be a good way to show just how ridiculous the professor is.

Other disability rights groups think that giving Singer another opportunity to speak is a mistake, according to this Associated Press story:

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State Refuses To Pay Peter Singer For Appearance
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 22, 2001

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE--The Governor’s Commission on Disability will hold a fall conference in Concord in two weeks, and will have controversial bioethicist Peter Singer as keynote speaker. The state, however, will not pay Singer's $2,000 speaking fee.

On Wednesday, the state Executive Council voted against paying Singer after some of its members said they believed the state should not underwrite Singer's appearance because of his public views on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Princeton University professor is well known because of his belief that people who are not "self-aware" -- including, he says, people with severe disabilities and children up to one month of age -- should be allowed to be put to death.

Michael Jenkins, executive director of the Governor’s Commission on Disability, said he had hoped to raise the money to pay Singer for his keynote address through ticket sales. But with the state withdrawing, Jenkins said he will turn to private sources.

Jenkins has said that he disagrees with Singer's views, but invited Singer to speak as a way to show how ridiculous the professor is.

“Whether we agree or disagree, he is raising questions that need to be asked and answered,” Jenkins said.

Since the announcement that Singer would speak at the conference, disability rights advocates led by Not Dead Yet have protested the decision, saying that having him address a gathering hosted by members of the disability community would suggest the disability community supports him and his views.

On August 30, the Concord Monitor ran an editorial defending the commission's decision to bring Singer to New Hampshire, writing "There is nothing to fear in Peter Singer's appearance but the fear of ideas". Unfortunately, that editorial does not appear to be available on-line. However, several responses to the editorial are available.

From September 5, 2001 Concord Monitor:
"NAZI 'PRINCIPLES'" (letter from Tom Cagle, Not Dead Yet board member)

"KEEP THE FOX OUT" (letter from Gail McLeod)

From September 6, 2001 Concord Monitor:
"NO SCIENCE BEHIND SINGER'S AGENDA" (letter from Stephen Drake, research analyst with Not Dead Yet)

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Groups Protest Peter Singer's Appearance At Disability Conference
October 4, 2001

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE--Disability rights advocates from groups such as Not Dead Yet, will be joining anti-abortion groups in protesting the scheduled appearance of controversial bioethicist Peter Singer at a disability conference on Friday.

The Princeton professor has been invited by the Governor's Commission on Disability to be keynote speaker at a conference on disability issues. Organizers say they invited Singer, who believes that parents should be allowed to kill newborns with disabilities, in order to show how ridiculous his argument is.

"If the Ku Klux Klan's grand dragon was chosen to speak to the NAACP, people would find that outrageous,'' said Tom Cagle of Not Dead Yet.

More details are available from Thursday's Associated Press via Yahoo! News:
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011004/us/disability_dispute_1.html (Expired)

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