A speech delivered earlier this year before the United Nations by a woman who has Down syndrome and Autism has been gaining newfound attention in recent days.
The powerful, 3-minute address featuring Charlotte Helene Fien, 21, offers up a stirring testimony, as Fien implored her audience to stop terminating pregnancies that test positive for the chromosomal disorder.
“In the 1930s and 1940s the Nazis decided to get rid of all disabled people. More than 200,000 disabled people were murdered including many children with Down syndrome,” Fien said during her address. “Today, the same thing is happening. A test that checks for Down syndrome is being used to kill all babies with Down syndrome.”
Watch her speech in its entirety below:
She said that the goal is to “eradicate Down syndrome in the future” — something that she said makes her both angry and sad, as she and her friends with Down syndrome have wonderful and fulfilling lives.
“I am not suffering. I am not ill. None of my friends who have Down syndrome are suffering either,” Fien said. “We all live happy lives. We go out to the pub, have dinner parties at my friend Aimee’s house, have boyfriends and have plans and goals for the future.”
Despite having an extra chromosome, Fien said she and others like her “are human beings” and aren’t monsters who people should be afraid of. Fien also asked that people not feel sorry for her, as she has a good life, hobbies and a plan for the future.
“Please do not try to kill us all off. Do not allow this test,” she said. “If you do allow it, you are no better than the Nazis who killed 200,000 disabled people. I have a right to live and so do other people like me.”
The speech was delivered to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day 2017, according to Live Action.
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