People with Down syndrome: “We are the canary in the eugenics coal mine.”

Oct 27, 2017 | 0 comments

On October 25, 2017, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, held a hearing on “Down Syndrome: Update on the State of the Science and Potential for Discoveries Across Other Major Diseases.”

Frank Stephens

One of those bringing testimony was Frank Stephens with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation:

“I don’t feel I should have to justify my existence.”

But he then offered three points to those who question the value of people with Down syndrome:

1. “We are a medical gift to society.”

2. “We are an unusually powerful source of happiness.”

3. “We are the canary in the eugenics coal mine.”

Here’s his full testimony:


Here in Pennsylvania, a Senate Resolution sponsored by Senator Scott Martin is calling for the respect and protection of individuals and families with Down syndrome. To show your support for this resolution, use our Citizen Action Center to contact your State Senator in support of SR174.