Human Rights

Woman with Down syndrome addresses United Nations: ‘I have a right to live’

After watching the documentary “A World Without Down Syndrome,” 21-year-old Charlotte Helene Fien, who has Down syndrome and autism, wrote a speech about her right to life that she would later read in front of the United Nations.

“In the 1930s and 1940s, the Nazis decided to get rid of all disabled people,” she said. “More than 200,000 disabled people were murdered, including many children with Down syndrome. Today the same thing is happening. A test that checks for Down syndrome is being used to kill all babies with Down syndrome. In Iceland, Denmark, and China, not a single baby with Down syndrome has been born for seven years. Seven years! The goal is to eradicate Down syndrome in the future. This makes me angry and very sad.”

 

While babies are still sometimes born with Down syndrome in China, these babies are often neglected, abandoned, left to die, or put in an orphanage by their parents. A British OB-GYN, Dr. Peter McParland, has confirmed that no babies with Down syndrome have been born in Iceland since 2012 and that 90% of these babies are aborted in Britain. Reports show that Denmark is following Iceland’s example, aborting 95-98% of babies with Down syndrome, with the goal of being “Down syndrome free” by 2030.

Fien went on to say that while she had Down syndrome, she is not suffering, she is not ill, and none of her friends with Down syndrome is suffering, either. They go to the pub, have boyfriends, and plan for the future.

“We just have an extra chromosome,” she said. “We are still human beings. We are human beings.”

She asks people not to feel sorry for her and says she loves her life. She loves to play golf and wants to teach children to play golf. She travels independently to other countries and doesn’t let Down syndrome hold her back.

“Please do not try to kill us all off,” she asks. “Do not allow this test. If you do allow it, you are no better than the Nazis[.] […] I have a right to live, and so do other people like me.”

Doctors told Fien’s parents she wouldn’t walk before age four, but Fien began walking at 15 months. They said she would be in diapers until she was nine, but Fien was out of them earlier than her brothers, who don’t have Down syndrome.

“Parents need to know that the possibilities are limitless for our kids,” her mother told Bright Vibes. “I was told Charlie would never speak one language properly. Well she speaks, reads and writes in two.”

According to Bright Vibes, which shared a video of Fien on Facebook, Fien received a five-minute standing ovation for her speech, which marked World Down Syndrome Day 2017.

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