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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) Bioethicist Peter Singer got a respectful reception Friday as he told advocates for the disabled it is morally acceptable to kill severely disabled newborns.

'I do think that it is sometimes appropriate to kill a human infant,' he said, adding that he does not believe a newborn has a right to life until it reaches some minimum level of consciousness.

'For me, the relevant question is, what makes it so seriously wrong to take a life?' Singer asked. 'Those of you who are not vegetarians are responsible for taking a life every time you eat. Species is no more relevant than race in making these judgments.'

If it is all right for people to try to breed children with high IQs and other desirable characteristics, Singer asked, what is wrong with euthanizing newborns who would suffer throughout their lives because of a severe disability?

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Gordon Humphrey, who arrived after Singer entered the conference, criticized Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen for not rescinding Singer's invitation.

'It's an outrage she let in this cruel crackpot who advocates killing infants,' Humphrey said.

'No civilized government in America should give him an honored place to speak.'


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