Actor and anti-human trafficking activist Ashton Kutcher posted a moving pro-life video on his Facebook page last week.
The video features Special Olympian and actor Frank Stephens addressing Congress in 2017 and giving a case for why children born with Down syndrome should not be aborted.
"I am not a research scientist; however, no one knows more about life with Down syndrome than I do," Stephens said in the video. "Whatever you learn today, please remember this: I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living."
"Sadly, across the world, a notion is being sold that maybe we don't need research concerning Down syndrome. Some people say prenatal screens will identify Down syndrome in the womb and those pregnancies will just be terminated," he continued. "It's hard for me to sit here and say those words."
Stephens is very emotional in the video as he attempts to explain why children born with abnormalities should be given a chance to breathe their first breath.
"I don't feel I should have to justify my existence," Stephens said, "but to those who question the value of people with Down syndrome, I would make three points: First, we are a medical gift to society, a blueprint for medical research into cancer, Alzheimer's, and immune system disorders. Second, we are an unusually powerful source of happiness: A Harvard-based study has discovered that people with Down syndrome, as well as their parents and siblings, are happier than society at large. Surely happiness is worth something? Finally, we are the canary in the eugenics coal mine. We are giving the world a chance to think about the ethics of choosing which humans get a chance at life."
Kutcher captioned the post with the simple phrase, "Everyone's life is valuable." It quickly went viral, earning more than 7.5 million views and 4,000 comments.
But not everyone was happy with Kutcher's pro-life message.
"The idea that women should be forced into carrying a pregnancy that they don't want is abhorrent," one Facebook user said. "If you choose to continue a pregnancy after learning that the resulting child will have downs or some other problem, that's great. Not everyone is capable of caring for a high need individual for the rest of their lives and maybe they don't WANT to. That's a personal decision that the government has no business butting into. Build roads, control air traffic, protect our food and medicine, etc. My uterus is not on the list of things that needs regulating."
Another Facebook user suggested mothers who don't have the patience to care for disabled babies have the right to end their lives.
"I think he's awesome. But you can not. I repeat can not take away a women's choice to not have a child if she becomes aware there is a possibility of a birth defect of any kind or maybe perhaps she knows she doesn't have the patience or the money to care for a ill child ??? Can't forget that. It doesn't mean his life isn't worth living it means you don't and nobody has a right to tell any women what to do with her body. End of story. Complete end of story. It is nobody else's choice but hers," one user said.
Others applauded Kutcher and shared their own stories of how they overcame disabilities in their family.
"I see a lot of ladies talking here about giving women the choice to have an abortion if the child has a defect. As the sister of a boy with autism, I can say that that aborting such a child is selfish. Yes, there is the argument of not being prepared to take care of such a child. The truth is that no one is ready. My mom wasn't ready to take care of my brother, yet he is now one of the strongest and sweetest people I know. It takes learning and sacrifice to take care of special needs children. God sees every life as valuable, even the lives of those with special needs. I know I am going to get yelled at for saying this but I have to," one user said.
Another user shared how during her first pregnancy, doctors were convinced her son had Down syndrome and encouraged her to abort him. However, she gave birth to a perfectly healthy child.
"I stopped further testing after the 6th doctor asked me if I wanted an abortion cause my results were so high. If I would have listened to them, I would have aborted a perfectly healthy baby. My son doesn't have down syndrome at all. So no, it CANNOT be determined merely by ultrasound testing and blood work. Please do not make the mistake of believing and trusting what all doctors say. If I would have, I wouldn't have my baby here with me," she said.