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WATCH: Man with Down's syndrome tells congressional committee "my life is worth living"

1 November 2017

Frank Stephens in front of the congressional committee

"I don't feel I should have to justify my existence."  

The video testimony of a man with Down's syndrome before a congressional committee is being shared across the world.

Scroll down to watch the video!

Last week, Frank Stephens, an actor, Special Olympian and advocate for people with Down's syndrome, testified before the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to discuss the state of medical research on Down syndrome. In a powerful speech, he told the committee, "I am a man with Down Syndrome and my life is worth living," and condemned the eugenic screening and abortion of babies with the condition.

Final solution

"Sadly, across the world, a notion is being sold that maybe we don't need research concerning Down Syndrome," he said. "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."

Who gets to live?

Referring to the fact that 100% of babies with Down's syndrome in Iceland are aborted, and nearly as many in Denmark, he said: "Let's be America, not Iceland or Denmark. Let's pursue answers, not 'final solutions.' Let's make our goal to be Alzheimer's free, not Down Syndrome free."

"Finally," he said, people with Down's syndrome "are the canary in the eugenics coal mine. We are giving the world a chance to think about the ethics of choosing which humans get a chance at life."


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Comments (1)

  • Robin

    2 November 2017, 5:20pm

    Thank you for this. Frank Stephens and his family are not the only people who enjoy their lives in spite of the difficulties that they face - see also and These are all wonderful people with so much to teach the world.

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