Reject the “Final Solution” of abortion, a man who has lived a rich, full life despite having Down syndrome told a House hearing last week.
In testimony to the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday, Frank Stephens declared that “my life is worth living” and urged the U.S. to reject the “Final Solution” of aborting unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome practiced in other countries:
“If you take nothing else away from today’s hearing, please remember this, I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living.
“Why do I feel the need to make that point? Across the world, a notion is being sold that maybe we don’t need to continue to do research concerning Down syndrome. Why? Because there are prenatal screens that will identify Down syndrome in the womb, and we can just terminate those pregnancies.
“In places as wide-spread as Iceland, Denmark and South Korea, government officials have proclaimed that these government encouraged terminations will make them ‘Down syndrome free by 2030.’
“It is hard for me to sit here and say those words. Let’s be clear, I completely understand that the people pushing that particular “final solution” are saying that people like me should not exist. They are saying that we have too little value to exist. That view is deeply prejudiced by an outdated idea of life with Down syndrome.”
Stephens then described how he has lived a fruitful, rewarding life despite Dow syndrome – as an author, actor and lecturer, who has even twice visited the White House:
“Seriously, I have a great life. I have been a guest lecturer at major universities. I have contributed to a best‐selling book, had a feature role in an award‐winning film, guest starred on an Emmy winning TV show, and spoken to thousands of young people about the value of inclusion in making America great. I’ve even been to the White House twice, and I didn’t have to jump the fence either time. Seriously, I don’t feel I should have to justify my existence."
Finally, Stephens warned that “Final Solution” and eugenics advocates won’t stop with aborting just unborn children with Down syndrome:
“We are the canary in the eugenics coal mine. Genomic research isn’t going to stop at screening for Down syndrome. It won’t be long before we can identify all manner of potentially expensive medical or personality “deviations” in the womb. As a society, we have an opportunity to slow down and think about the ethics of choosing which humans get a chance at life.
“Let’s pursue answers, not ‘final solutions.’ Let’s be America. Let’s pursue inclusion, not termination.”