Texas Right to Life is proud to send a representative to National Right to Life’s Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest every summer! Over the weekend, five high school students from across the state, each of whom had won first place in competitions held in their respective local areas, competed for the opportunity to represent Texas nationally. Christina Hastings, Zachary Cozzi, Jacob Phillip, Jacob Rodgers, and Soojeong Seo spoke with poise and confidence as they passionately defended the right to life of the unborn. All of the students were joined by their parents and a few siblings and grandparents attended the contest to show their support.
The students spoke about the parallels between abortion, the Holocaust, and slavery. They shared personal stories of struggles, heartbreak, and redemption. Most of all, they inspired everyone in the audience to persevere in the fight to protect innocent human Life. As third place winner, Jacob Rodgers said: “We have been trying to change the tools when in reality, we need to be changing the people holding those tools.”
Jacob Phillip, who placed second, spoke of his family’s personal struggle when his unborn brother, Liam, was diagnosed with Trisomy 18–a condition caused by a chromosomal defect–earlier this year: “After all, most parents who receive this diagnosis for their unborn child choose to ‘terminate.’ This family did not, instead, they chose life, and began telling others that Liam was a gift from God, and that God would determine his future. To them, Liam was a blessing.”
Christina Hastings, a junior who resides in Austin and is home schooled, received the highest score and will travel to Jacksonville, FL in June to compete against other students from across the U.S. Christina boldly called the audience to action: “Although we can’t rewrite the past, we can influence the future. The choice is yours. What will you do?”