Actor Ashton Kutcher is winning applause from the pro-life community for sharing a powerful video about Down syndrome on his Facebook page, although it remains unclear where he himself lands on the hot-button issue of abortion.
The five-minute video shared to his 17 million followers shows Frank Stephens, a man with Down syndrome, delivering testimony to a congressional committee in 2017. Although the hearing focused on Down syndrome research, Stephens in his testimony criticized prenatal tests that lead to unborn babies with Down syndrome being killed in the womb.
Kutcher wrote above the video: “Everyone’s life is valuable.”
“I am a man with Down syndrome, and my life is worth living,” Stephens says. “… Some people say that prenatal screenings will identify Down syndrome in the womb, and those pregnancies will just be terminated. It is hard for me to sit here and say those words. I completely understand that the people pushing this particular ‘final solution’ are saying that people like me should not exist. That view is deeply prejudiced by an outdated idea of life with Down syndrome.
“Seriously, I have a great life,” Stephens continued. “I have lectured at universities, acted in an award‐winning film and an Emmy-winning TV show, and spoken to thousands of young people about the value of inclusion in making America great. I have been to the White House twice, and I didn’t have to jump the fence either time,” he quipped.
The video, as of Friday, had 8.5 million views and more than 200,000 shares.
Kutcher provided no further commentary, but in the past has supported Democratic candidates. He campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016. He donated to Barack Obama. Both were pro-choice.
Still, the video sparked a discussion about abortion and Down syndrome in the comments.
“At the end of the day, you cannot take someone’s choice from them,” one person wrote. “There are many reasons women have abortions and they deserve the right to continue to do so.”
But others said Stephens’ message should be heard.
“I had a brother with Down syndrome who unfortunately passed away 5 years ago,” another person wrote. “Simply put, he was by far the most important and influential person in my life. He touched others like nobody I knew. … Pure unconditional love without judgement towards anyone!!!”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: C-Span
Video courtesy: Reflect