On Friday, Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher, a fierce advocate in the fight to end human trafficking, posted to his Facebook page a powerful pro-life video of Special Olympian and actor Frank Stephens speaking before Congress in 2017.
In the video, Stephens, born with Down syndrome, talks about the dangerous trend of mothers aborting their babies when prenatal screenings come back positive for the disability, and advocated for the need to fund more research into Down syndrome.
Kutcher appropriately captioned the post, “Everyone’s life is valuable.” Thus far, the post has generated over 100,000 shares and amassed hundreds of comments that share moving testimonials, and some that scold the actor for standing against a woman’s “right to choose” — a euphemism for abortion.
“I am not a research scientist. However, no one knows more about life with Down syndrome than I do,” Stephens started his moving testimony. “Whatever you learn today, please remember this: I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living.”
“Sadly, across the world, a notion is being sold that maybe we don’t need research concerning Down syndrome. Some people say prenatal screens will identify Down syndrome in the womb and those pregnancies will just be terminated,” he continued, visibly upset. “It’s hard for me to sit here and say those words.”
Stephens then, heartbreakingly, went on to “justify” why he, and others with Down syndrome, deserve to exist.
“I completely understand that the people pushing this particular ‘final solution’ are saying that people like me should not exist,” he explained. “That view is deeply prejudiced by an outdated idea of life with Down syndrome.”
“I don’t feel I should have to justify my existence,” Stephens said, “but to those who question the value of people with Down syndrome, I would make three points: First, we are a medical gift to society, a blueprint for medical research into cancer, Alzheimer’s, and immune system disorders. Second, we are an unusually powerful source of happiness: a Harvard-based study has discovered that people with Down syndrome, as well as their parents and siblings, are happier than society at large. Surely happiness is worth something? Finally, we 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.”
“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,” Stephens concluded his speech.
Some were not particularly pleased with the Netflix star, posting angry pro-abortion comments to Kutcher’s post.
“The idea that women should be forced into carrying a pregnancy that they don’t want is abhorrent,” complained one Facebook user. “If you choose to continue a pregnancy after learning that the resulting child will have downs or some other problem, that’s great. Not everyone is capable of caring for a high need individual for the rest of their lives and maybe they don’t WANT to. That’s a personal decision that the government has no business butting into. Build roads, control air traffic, protect our food and medicine, etc. My uterus is not on the list of things that needs regulating.”
“I think he’s awesome. But you can not. I repeat can not take away a women’s choice to not have a child if she becomes aware there is a possibility of a birth defect of any kind or maybe perhaps she knows she doesn’t have the patience or the money to care for a ill child,” reads another comment, adding, “It doesn’t mean his life isn’t worth living it means you don’t and nobody has a right to tell any women what to do with her body. End of story. Complete end of story. It is nobody else’s choice but hers.”
“The idea that a woman should have to be forced to take care of a child she may not be mentally, emotionally, physically, or financially equipped for is just asinine,” another pro-abortion person wrote.
“And don’t come at me with the ‘adoption’ nonsense. No one wants difficult babies. No one wants babies with bad genetics or problems. … This is not anyone’s decision to make but the woman carrying and providing for the child. The end,” the post added.
Others were thrilled with Kutcher actually showing some guts in Hollywood.
“Not enough celebrities are taking a stand for life,” said one comment. “Of course you will get the bullies, that is to be expected. But from me and millions of others – thank you for valuing all lives!”
“[Ashton Kutcher]: You are absolutely correct- Everyone’s life is valuable,” another comment reads, “which is why abortion should be made illegal! Babies in the womb have life and their life has just as much value as everyone outside of the womb. Yet many choose to ignore their value.”
“I was told that my beautiful 18 year old had Down’s syndrome when I was pregnant with her and that I should consider aborting her,” shared one woman. “I scolded the doctor and had my baby. She does not have Down syndrome but I didn’t care either way. She’s my angel.”
“Doctors told me my son had down syndrome when I was carrying him, and I worried my entire pregnancy,” said another woman. “My son was born a healthy baby and did not have down syndrome. In my experience Doctors are NOT always correct. I would have loved him the same either way!”