A woman with Down syndrome who delivered a stunning speech before the U.N. earlier this year defending her right to live is now back with a powerful open letter that hits back at those who encourage pregnant women who test positive for Down syndrome to abort.
Charlotte Helene Fien reportedly responded to a Tunisian attorney who recently issued comments during a United Nations Human Rights Committee meeting that left critics — herself included — both stunned and frustrated.
The lawyer reportedly said that, while he supports those with disabilities, he believes abortion is a viable means to prevent a life-long “handicap.” He purportedly added, “We can avoid the handicaps and we must do everything we can to avoid them,” Live Action reported.
Fien responded with a powerful open letter hitting back at these statements and at people who believe that those like her should be “aborted up to birth.” In addition to proclaiming that she is “deeply offended” and feels attacked for who she is, she affirmed her humanity and asked that the attorney think deeper about his proclamations.
“I’m a human being just like you. Our only difference is an extra chromosome,” she wrote. “My extra chromosome makes me far more tolerant than you, sir.”
Fien continued her passionate and pointed rebuke:
If any other heritable traits like skin colour were used to eradicate a group of people, the world would cry out. Why are you not crying out when people like me are being made extinct? What have WE done to make you want us to disappear? As far as I know my community doesn’t hate, discriminate, or commit crimes.
I keep hearing you use the word suffering in relation to Down syndrome. I don’t know anyone with Down syndrome that is suffering. The ONLY thing we have to suffer are horrible people who want to make us extinct.
I have a brilliant life. I have a family that loves me. I have great friends. I have an active social life. I’m studying at University and have goals to become a writer. I want to get married one day and maybe even have a baby. […]
What you are suggesting is eugenics. It’s disgusting and EVIL. You need to apologise for your horrible comments. You should also be removed from the Human Rights Council as an expert. You are not an expert about Down syndrome. You sir, do not speak for my community.
Read the letter, which was posted on Facebook and sent to the U.N., in its entirety here.
As Faithwire previously reported, Fien made headlines earlier this year when she implored a U.N. audience to stop the termination of pregnancies that test positive for Down syndrome.
“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.”
Read more about Fien here.