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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 27, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A mother who refused to abort her son with Down syndrome — and who has since fought to give her son equal opportunity in education — thanked President Donald Trump in a speech at the Republican National Convention last night for not dismissing people with disabilities.
Ohio’s Tera Myers presented a testimony on how “education freedom” had affected her family, especially her son Samuel, who has Down syndrome. But first she praised Donald Trump for his pro-life advocacy.
“I am thankful that Donald Trump values the life of the unborn,” Myers said.
Myers has suffered from encounters with people who should have cared about the well-being of her son Samuel but did not.
“Before Samuel was even born, I was told his life wouldn’t be worth living,” she told the millions of American watching the RNC on television or online.
“When early tests revealed he had Down syndrome, our doctor encouraged me to terminate the pregnancy. He said, ‘If you do not, you will be burdening your life, your family, and your community,’” she continued.
“I knew my baby was a human being created by God, and that made him worthy of life.”
Myers faced another challenge when she attempted to enroll her son in a kindergarten class: teachers who didn’t believe that Samuel could be taught.
“Don’t stress him out by trying to teach him,” she was told.
Myers’s hopes to get Samuel a meaningful education were again delayed when she asked about functional learning, a method of teaching children with learning difficulties through play and other activities, at her other children’s school. She was told that what they could offer was all that she would get for her son.
“Well, I did not like it. One size did not fit all,” she said.
In response, Myers helped fight for legislation in Ohio creating a special needs scholarship so that all children could find the right education for their abilities. She was successful. The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program, enacted in 2011, funds the education of disabled children in Ohio at the school best suited to them. Myers also established a functional learning program at a local private school, creating an appropriate place for her son to learn.
But that was not the end of Samuel’s adventures: in 2019, he was invited to the White House to meet with President Trump and talk to him about education freedom.
“School choice helped my dreams come true,” Samuel told the president.
“My school taught me the way I learn best. I was able to fit in. I made many friends. I became part of my community. My teachers help me become the best I can be.”
Myers sounded close to tears when she related Trump’s moving response.
“President Trump shook my hand and said, ‘Wonderful job, Mom. Your son is amazing,’” she said.
“Unlike the doctor who told me that I should end Samuel’s life before it had even begun, President Trump did not dismiss my son.”
Trump had shown that he valued the young man, Myers said, and was proud of his accomplishments, giving him “an equal seat at the table.”
She thanked the Trump administration for its work toward “education freedom,” “meaningful education,” and “an equal opportunity in life” for every child.