WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Frank Stephens, a man with Down syndrome, spoke to Congress last week in defense of the right to life.
On Wednesday, October 25, Stephens appeared before a congressional committee. An actor and advocate for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, he lamented how common it is for unborn children with Down syndrome to be aborted.
Stephens pleaded, "Whatever you learn today, please remember this: I am a man with Down syndrome, and my life is worth living."
Stephens noted the special benefits that Down syndrome patients offer the medical community, calling them "a blueprint for medical research into cancer, Alzheimer's and immune system disorders."
He also remarked:
Some people say prenatal screens will identify Down syndrome in the womb, and those pregnancies will just be terminated. It's hard for me to sit here and say those words. I completely understand that the people pushing this particular "final solution" are saying that people like me should not exist. That view is deeply prejudiced by an outdated idea of life with Down syndrome.
Stephens added, "Seriously, I don't feel I should have to justify my existence."
He asked rhetorically, "Is there really no place for us in the world? Is there really no place for us in the NIH budget?"
Stephens concluded, "Let's be America, not Iceland or Denmark. Let's pursue answers, not 'final solutions.' Let's be America, let's make our goal to be Alzheimer's-free, not Down syndrome-free."
In August, a video production by CBS News covered the aborting of Down syndrome babies in Iceland. CBS tweeted out, "Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion."
Pro-life Hollywood actress Patricia Heaton blasted back, "Iceland isn't actually eliminating Down syndrome. They're just killing everybody that has it. Big difference."