Editor’s note. The following winning essays were written for the National Right to Life Pro-Life Essay Contest. At the senior level, grades 10–12, Faith McKeever, grade 12 (Missouri) took first place. Samuel Maranzano, grade 12 (Michigan ) won second, and Anna Dunsmoore, grade 11 ( Massachusetts) won third.
At the junior level, grades 7–9, Elizabeth Grant, grade 8 (Minnesota) won first place, Vincent Lopez, grade 8 (Kansas) won second, Mary Marchinda, grade 8 (Michigan) won third, and Susan Gielskie, grade 9 (New York) came in fourth.
Why I Am Pro-Life
By Faith McKeever of Missouri
Imagine you are sixteen, an honor student, a weekly church goer, and pregnant. About 77 percent of teenage pregnancies are unplanned and yours is not planned. When you learned you were pregnant you knew right away that you would choose life for your baby. You would not punish your baby, your baby was not at fault.
While some people urged you to think of your own future and get an abortion, they did not think of the physical, social, and psychological repercussions you may encounter following an abortion. Having an abortion would increase your risk of ectopic pregnancy, future infertility, premature birth of future children, and miscarriages. Had you chosen abortion, you risked never being able to have children later in life. Psychological and social problems, such as drug and alcohol abuse and depression, are other consequences women who choose abortion are at higher risk of facing.
Come nine months, a baby is born. That baby is my sister.
Two years later my mom learned she had cancer and began experimental drug trials. She also learned she was pregnant again. Primary patient laws advised that she get an abortion. She refused and had to stop treatment. Then she wrote out her will. Not only was her life at risk, the baby in her womb was at risk as well — it was likely her body would attack it as if it were a tumor. A woman said to her, “How can you, as a mother risk leaving your one-year-old without a mother?” My mom responded, “How can I as a mother not want to have my child?”
At five months she went into labor. She was taken to the hospital and told that if she gave birth to the baby would not survive. She was given terbutaline to stop the labor. Five months later, she gave birth to me.
My mom, a teen mom, a single mother, proceeded to receive her masters and work full time while raising two children. She is a part of the two percent of teen moms who finish college by age 30. Her oldest child, my sister, is now in college and I am a senior in high school with plans to pursue pre-med.
My sister and I have had a happy childhood and have a strong role model to look up to, our mom. I will always be grateful she chose life for me, especially as doctors advised her not to. She is living proof that no matter your disposition, abortion is not the solution. While there are other alternatives to abortion, she went above and beyond to show there is no excuse to not choose life.
Why Am I Pro-Life?
By Elizabeth Grant of Minnesota
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I consecrated you.” This verse from Jeremiah is my favorite pro-life quote. I refer to it at almost every meeting of the pro-life group I founded. “But why,” one might ask, “would a teenage girl use all her time to start a pro-life group? Why is she pro-life, anyway?”
One of God’s greatest gifts to humanity is the intellect. We have the ability to reason with our fellow human beings, and the ability to see when an argument is misguided. I cannot remember a time when I could not see that the abortion argument was not only irrational, but truly evil. How could someone not see, or force themselves not to see, the life that even before birth is human? Sadly, many do not see; many say that not only is an unborn baby not human but that he or she is not alive. Yet how can something that is not alive grow and develop? Science has revealed that an unborn child does grow and develop.
Abortion advocates reveal their confused, distorted ideas in their inconsistent language when they speak of life in the womb. When a woman finds out that she is pregnant, but doesn’t want to have her baby, or is being pressured into an abortion, they tell her that what is inside of her is not a baby but a clump of cells, a parasite. They speak of it as something bad for the woman, and treat the abortion as a way to be rid of it. However, if a woman is pregnant and wants to have her child, than it is a baby. Pro-choicers often use the term “fetus” as if it refers to an entirely different species. But this word is no different than “toddler” or “teenager,” a word to describe different developmental stages of the human person. A fetus has no less human dignity than a newborn, just as a toddler has no less than a teenager.
Many people know these truths, but fail to act on them. When did I decide to put my thoughts into action? I was raised pro-life, and my family attends a Good Friday prayer service at our local Planned Parenthood every year. As we pray, we always pass by the “pro-choice pep rally” that Planned Parenthood sponsors. I remember one particular year when I was probably eleven or twelve. I was praying the rosary, and as I passed by the barricade between the two groups, I saw a girl about my age on the other side, skipping and waving her “I support Planned Parenthood” sign. That was the first time I realized that there are children on their side too, that children are being fed those lies, and how dangerous that is, especially for girls.
It inspired me to inspire others, especially my generation, “the pro-life generation.” It inspired me to fight, and to encourage others to fight, for God’s most precious gift — life.