A man with Down’s syndrome told US politicians that his life is “worth living” as he hit out at those who are trying to eradicate Down’s babies in the womb.
Frank Stephens told a congressional committee that he shouldn’t have to justify his existence, asking “Is there really no place for us in the world?”
A video of his speech has gone viral and amassed millions of views on social media.
During his speech at the Capitol Building, Stephens criticised prenatal testing techniques, which diagnose Down’s syndrome in the womb and often lead to abortion.
He said: “It’s hard for me to sit here and say those words… the people pushing this particular ‘final solution’ are saying that people like me should not exist”.
He urged politicians not to follow the policies of Iceland and Denmark, which have a near 100 per cent abortion rate of unborn children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome.
‘My life is worth living’
Stephens added that Down’s people hold important information for researchers seeking a cure for cancer and Alzheimer’s.
And he referenced a Harvard study which showed that people with Down’s syndrome, and their families, experience higher levels of happiness.
“Whatever you learn today”, he said, “please remember this. I am a man with Down’s syndrome and my life is worth living.”
In the US, October marks national Down’s syndrome awareness month.
Speaking earlier in the month, President Trump said that discrimination against people with the condition should not be tolerated.
He stressed that too many people see Down’s syndrome “as an excuse to ignore or discard human life”.
The President called for a celebration of “the significant contributions that people with Down syndrome make to their families, to their communities”.