Human Interest

Down syndrome rights advocate Katie Shaw speaks at March for Life

Down syndrome advocate Katie Shaw addressed an enthusiastic crowd of thousands in the National Mall on Friday for the rally portion of the 49th March for Life. In a moving testimony, Shaw centered her speech around this year’s theme, Equality Begins in the Womb. “I believe that equality for you, me, and everyone, started in the womb. It started the day of conception when God gave us our soul,” she said.


“I am proud to be here today to march to show the world that people with a disability or not need a chance to show the world God’s plan for them. They need a chance to live their wonderful life outside the womb.”

Shaw told the cheering crowd that’s she’s had a wonderful 36 years of life, thanks to her parents who never considered abortion even when they realized that their daughter would face medical challenges. She noted that her Down syndrome does not stop her from contributing to society by working full time, enjoying her family and friends, playing sports, and participating in a book club. She also fights for preborn children, and has even spoken with former President Trump at the White House.

READ: Over 35,000 people watch Down syndrome self-advocate marry her sweetheart

Shaw also advocated for adoption instead of abortion — something many parents may not consider.

Many people don’t know that there is a waiting list for people with Down syndrome to be adopted, and yet over 80 percent of babies with Down syndrome are not given the chance to be adopted. They are aborted and their equality ends.

It makes me very sad to think of all the friends I have that I might have lost if their parents did not believe equality starts in the womb. It makes me sadder to think of the friends I missed because they were aborted.

According to Catholic News Agency, Shaw serves on the board of Down Syndrome Indiana, an organization that works to enhance the lives of those with Down syndrome. She also lobbies for pro-life legislation, telling EWTN in a previous interview that she wants to fight for unborn babies while helping their moms recognize that everyone can have a wonderful life.

Shaw ended her speech to a roar of applause as she quoted a Bible verse.

Friends, you and I have been given the chance to fight for equality in the womb, and by working together we can make the difference in the world. As we march today, let us remember Psalm 139. ‘You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, that I know full well. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them had yet existed.’

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