By Katie K. — Marysville, Ohio
Editor’s note. As Scott Fischbach wrote yesterday, we are posting all four winners of the Senior Division of the 2021 NRLC Essay contest this week and all four Junior Division winners next week. Each contestant was asked to write an essay of 500 or fewer words on the simple but fundamental question of “Why are you pro-life?”
There is irrevocable value in every human life. While I have believed this since I was young, I recognized it most vividly as I recently watched my forty-four year old mother give birth to my sister. The pregnancy was unplanned, and in the eyes of some, inconvenient or even dangerous. Yet, standing in the hospital room watching Molly’s birth, I felt nothing but gratefulness for the blessing of life. At the same time, however, staring at our precious, unexpected gift, I was thoroughly sickened by one harsh reality—in some states, my parents could have legally ended Molly’s innocent life just hours before she took her first breath.
On a scientific basis, abortion is flawed because it denies the humanity in the womb, resting on the premise that a fetus is simply a clump of cells. Science has undeniably proven this to be inaccurate. According to a study in The Journal of Medical Ethics, “We no longer view fetal pain in a gestational window of 12-24 weeks as impossible based on the neuroscience.” The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology released research showing fetal heartbeats detected as early as six weeks gestation. In reference, we can argue that the smallest amount of bacteria amounts to life on Mars… how can it be argued that the beating of a baby’s heart does not?
Pro-choice advocates also argue that women have the right to choose an abortion because it is “her body, her choice.” Historically speaking, this mirrors the perspective of slave owners. People were treated as nothing more than property, their lives left to the whims of another. This viewpoint was evident in the justification of slavery, and we see the same idea of ownership in the pro-abortion arguments today, hidden under the guise of equality and women’s rights.
Finally, we can examine abortion on the basis of morality. Is the value of a human life worth more than our convenience? According to the Guttmacher Institute, “The reasons most frequently cited [for having an abortion] were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work, or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationships problems (48%).” This speaks of society’s glaringly misaligned values—human life exchanged for the sake of comfortability. Mother Theresa said it best: “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
Ignoring science, history, and morality, abortion claims millions of lives yearly. This is the civil rights issue of my generation. I have seen the beauty of life in the ultrasounds of my sister, in her first words, and in her first steps. I know that abortion is leaving an unfathomable stain on our country, but I believe in the heartbeat of our generation’s humanity. We know that every life has value. It is time to take a stand.