Announcing the 2020 winners of the National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest

By Scott Fischbach

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit.”– C. S. Lewis.

With these words, Merrick Adams of Georgia began his winning speech entitled, “Ordinary People,” which won the 2020 National Right to Life Oratory Contest.  Merrick represented the Georgia Life Alliance, National Right to Life’s Georgia affiliate.  

The Adams family has long been active in the pro-life movement. Three of their children have participated in the National Oratory contest through the many years NRLC has been sponsoring the contest.  In fact, Blake, Merrick’s older brother, won the contest back in 2008. Merrick, the son of Brian and Melanie Adams, is one of eleven children.

Coming in second place this year was Camille Floyd, representing Tennessee Right to Life, the NRLC state affiliate. She impressed the judges with her speech on “The importance of life” and “what matters most?” Camille is from College Grove, Tennessee, and is the daughter of Jaynie Floyd.  

Third place this year went to Nikola Susec who represented Oregon Right to Life.  In his speech titled, “What They Will Pay for You,” Nikola shared his passion for life and declared, “You are priceless.” Nikola is from Lane County, Oregon, and the son of Heidi and Josip Susec.

Elizabeth Troutman of Winter Park, Florida, came in fourth place with her speech on how feminism has sold women short. Feminists should “fight for the rights of all women, both born and preborn,” she said. Elizabeth represented Florida Right to Life and is the daughter of Lisa Troutman.

The National Contest is traditionally held in conjunction with the NRLC Convention but that was not held this year because of the COVID 19 pandemic.  Instead contestants submitted videos of themselves delivering their speech. These videos were shared with panels of judges from around the country to determine scores and eventually the winner.  

Year in and year out judges for the oratory contest are impressed by the articulate teens that enter.  This year scores were all very close and in some cases just a point or two separated one contestant from another.  

In reality, any student that enters the national contest is a winner – they all have done a great job. 

We want to thank all of the NRL affiliates that participate in this program. If you are not currently participating, we urge you to consider taking part. The Oratory Contest is a great way to get more young people involved in the pro-life movement.