Winning Essays - 2009 Contest!

(Plus... bring LoveMatters newspapers and Essay Contest
to your diocese or city... see below...)

LoveMatters.com Pro-Life Essay Contest…

 Archdiocese of Los Angeles
50 Catholic High Schools -- 30,000 Students

 Topic:  “Abortion is Deadly”

 
       First Place …………  Elizabeth Chapin

       Second Place ……… Bronwyn Bennett

       Third Place ………... Megan Golbranson


Read their winning essays BELOW...

Congratulations to our winners!

Elizabeth, Bronwyn and Megan wrote great essays!

When you read their essays below, you'll see that these students have a unique talent for writing... and they're sure to help save many moms, babies and families from the deadly pain of abortion!

     Also... THANK YOU to all the other wonderful students who submitted pro-life essays...  

     We received many, many excellent essays, and this made it very challenging to pick the winners. All of you are to be congratulated for great pro-life essays! 

     Also... Many THANKS to everyone who donated time and treasure to help... including everyone who assisted, volunteered, judged essays and helped in other ways to make this possible!  May God bless you and yours!

     This essay contest was part of a huge pro-life LoveMatters.com newspaper distribution to 30,000 students... 

     Fr. Sal Pilato, Superintendent of Catholic high schools in Los Angeles, helped make it all possible.  With his approval and assistance, we were able to give a copy of our 32-page LoveMatters.com newspaper to 30,000 students at 50 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  Praise God!

     Want a LoveMatters.com Distribution and Essay Contest in your Diocese?  

Call us for details at: 310-378-0067

Also very important...

Donations are urgently needed to continue reaching students with our LoveMatters.com newspapers and essay contests.  Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation today so we can reach more students and save more moms, babies and families from abortion and sexual sins.


Please MAIL your tax-deductible donation payable to "Pro-Life America" to:

Pro-Life America
Attn: LoveMatters.com Essay Contest
1840 S. Elena Ave., #103
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

You can also donate with a credit card 
over the phone at:  310-378-0067

The winning essays...

First Place

Elizabeth Chapin

Sophomore

Villanova Preparatory High School

A voice is something we often take for granted. What do we use it for? How often do we regret using it? And how often do we meet someone who has no voice at all?  We use our voices to speak simply, but also for emotions that cannot be expressed through words. We laugh with our voices, we shout, we sing, we whisper, and we cry.

We use our voices to say what is important to us. We speak out on issues we hold dear. We say with words how much we love someone, and we can say with sounds how happy or sad we are. 

            But to have no voice at all, to be left without a means of sharing your ideas, your beliefs, or your dreams, is something else entirely. Not to be able to say how much you care – what would that feel like?

            There is someone like that right now -- someone who has no rights and no say in what goes on around her. There is someone who will never be able to tell her hopes, or pains, to others. There is someone who will never have a voice – because that someone has been killed. That someone is an aborted baby.

What would it be like if that baby had a voice?

What would it be like if a baby could describe to us the warmth of the womb, the comfort and security of the darkness she was wrapped in? Would she know it was dark? Or would she simply feel safe and protected by her surroundings? Would she be able to feel herself growing, or her hands separating into fingers?  Perhaps the tickle of a spine beginning to form?

She might grow accustomed to the sounds of voices in the world beyond her – the sounds of her mother’s voice speaking a language she could not yet understand. The tiny universe of the womb would be forever to the baby, anything and everything she could know.  She would move her tiny feet through the fluids, feel the blood rushing past the holes that would become ears.

In the distance there would be the constant thumping of the heart, a rhythm she would learn to live by. She would be enveloped in a pod of motion, and would try to move along with it. She would kick her feet against a wall, a barrier between the baby and the outside. An outside the baby might not live to see.

            Who can give voice to the unborn? Death takes away their voices, and their chance to speak out against the horrors done to them. The “Abortion Methods” article in the LoveMatters.com newspaper shared the brutal truth and hard facts of abortion. During “the procedure,” babies are killed by suction, by violent extraction, by dismemberment, and by poison injection.  

Sound like a horror movie?  Many would be inclined to agree, including women who have suffered through an abortion. They still have their voices, and many use them to speak out against the mistake of killing an unborn child. Michaelene Jenkins, from San Diego, California, described her abortion in vivid terms: “...I wanted to scream. I wanted it to stop. I suddenly knew there was a baby inside. They were killing my baby!”

            And abortion doesn't just take the voice from the child. It can also take the voice of the mother. Hundreds of young and middle-aged women have died from injuries caused by abortion. What would they say if they still had a voice?

            Abortion is deadly.  It steals life from the baby, and it takes a life from the mother – either her unborn child's – or the mother’s own. What would have happened to the millions of voices lost to abortion? What could have been achieved with the dreams of those children and mothers?

Abortion kills hope. It kills the future, and it kills a child's chance to speak out. Give a baby a voice, and let the child live.

Second Place

Bronwyn Bennett

Junior

Villanova Preparatory School High School

Statistics don’t impress everyone. The horrifyingly high numbers of unborn children killed each year—each day—could make anyone pause, and maybe realize for a moment how much grief the world carries for these forgotten infants, and the mothers who are tortured by their losses.

But numbers don’t have as terrible an impact as truth. When we hear the true stories of women who have suffered for having an abortion, or the grief felt by parents whose daughters are killed during these “surgeries”— which happens much more often than abortionists will admit — the reality of abortion’s sickening effects begins to sink in.  (See tragic deaths reported in LoveMatters.com.)

            I come from a family that believes in the value of life above all. My older sister and I were both adopted, through a private agency, in closed adoptions. I was fortunate; my birth mother never doubted that adoption was the right choice.

            I came very close to never meeting my sister. She had a different birth mother. Her mother was 26 years old, and alone, when she got pregnant under violent conditions. At first, she chose abortion – she did not want to have this man’s child. Only hours before my sister would have died, her birth mother sat in a waiting room alone…and she saw a poster offering counseling for women facing pregnancy. The reality struck her that she was carrying an unborn human being, waiting to live — and she was waiting to let that baby die.  

She called the number on the poster. With the agency’s help, she found a family to live with until the baby arrived. The family protected her and kept her pregnancy a secret. Within a year after my sister’s birth, the adoption was final. The biological father never knew the baby existed.

            The debate over abortion has become one of the most controversial and emotional issues in political or moral terms. Both the pro-life and the pro-choice groups come armed with many statistics, assurances and testimonials to promote their view. But on closer inspection, many of the pro-choice arguments use false or exaggerated information. One of their foremost claims is that a woman’s body is her own, and that she alone decides what to do with herself.  If she does not want a nine-month pregnancy, they say there is no logical reason not to abort.

However, with conception, a new life begins: a child’s life. There is no better way to say it than the way LoveMatters.com says it:

“A woman’s body does not have two beating hearts, two blood types, two heads, four eyes, four arms and four legs. A pregnant woman and her baby have all these and more. And what about when she’s pregnant with a male baby? That’s not her body…it’s a unique baby boy growing in her womb.”

Some professionals and doctors encourage frightened young women that an abortion is safe, and clean, and harmless. But in every procedure, the baby’s body is mutilated and torn apart, limb from limb. (Explanations and details are available on many websites, but few show photos… have you noticed that? They rarely show you what these deaths really look like.)  

Many mothers – or are they just “women” since abortion seemingly takes away their child and their responsibilities as parents – are injured, sometimes permanently.

In many cases, women die from excessive bleeding because of punctured uteruses or lacerated cervixes, or from septic infections, or from other complications.

There is no safety, no guarantee in aborting a life. It is not an “inconvenience” to be forgotten. It will leave its scar.

            This weekend, my older adopted sister, Megan Makaria Bennett — makaria is the Greek word for “blessed”—celebrates her twenty-first birthday with our mother, grandmother, and her godmother. They are enjoying this landmark birthday with all the love and pride we share for her.

I am seventeen years old, preparing for my senior year and for college after that. My life is the greatest gift God has given me, along with many talents, friends, and dreams. Abortion plays no part in life. It is nothing but murder.

(Sources: LoveMatters.com Advertising Supplement, Volume 14, 2008, pages 18, 20-21)

 

Third Place

Megan Golbranson

Sophomore

Saint Monica Academy
 

 “A person’s a person no matter how small.”  This quotation from Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who is becoming more and more relevant as this generation deals with the consequences of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision– the verdict that made the most notorious murder, the killing of the innocent unborn, not only legal, but commonly accepted and even encouraged.

Since 1973, pro-life and anti-life groups have been founded.  Debate, conflict, and division have resulted. Questions concerning conflicting rights and freedoms have arisen. What is life? What is considered human? And, most importantly, when does human life begin?

            To justify the legalization of abortion, abortion advocates maintain that one or both of the following notions is true:

(1) a mother’s right to her “personal freedom” outweighs her child’s right to be born

(2) human life does not begin until birth

If both these statements are false, then pro-abortionists cannot justify the “right” to kill unborn children.

            As to the first notion… Is a mother’s right to “personal freedom” more fundamental than a child’s right to live?  What is this “right” that abortion-seeking mothers claim? 

In March 2008, Barack Obama asserted that bearing a child is a punishment, saying, “if (my daughters) make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”  This assumes a child is a burden, and the mother wants to be “free” from this burden. Pro-abortionists contend that babies can be expensive, inconvenient, and unwanted.  They claim that a woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy.

 It is true that bearing and raising a child can be a financial and emotional hardship to some.  But should a child’s own mother be allowed to kill him or her simply because raising a child is expensive, inconvenient, or unwanted? This theory does not make sense.  A child of any age can be expensive or inconvenient.  But parents cannot kill their four-year-old child, for instance, just because their food and clothing are expensive.

Furthermore, abortion advocates argue that “personal freedom” includes a right to act in accordance with personal beliefs and opinions. They argue that the morals and beliefs of pro-life advocates should not be forced upon those who have different opinions. 

So, does this mean that terrorists, for example, should be allowed to murder people because they don’t share the “opinions” of people who say murder is wrong?   Should polygamy be allowed and child abuse be condoned all because the offenders maintain different beliefs?  Of course not!  Basic morals should be, and are, taken into account in legal aspects.  So again, the right to kill cannot be supported.

Finally, the “personal freedom” supporters claim a mother has a “right to choose”- to choose to terminate her pregnancy or to choose to give birth.  But the choice was made before the child was conceived.  People have the free right to choose their actions, but also have the responsibility of properly dealing with the consequences of bad choices.

So, as you can see, in no way is a mother’s personal freedom more fundamental than a child’s right to life, no matter how inconvenient or unwelcome that child may be.

The second contention concerns, “When does human life begin?”  In order to answer this, we must begin by defining the word “human”. 

Webster’s Dictionary defines human as “…of, relating to, or characteristic of people or human beings.”

So, what are the characteristics of human beings?  What defines a human life? 

Pro-abortionists argue that a fetus is not human because it’s too small or too dependent or not developed enough.  They say that size, dependency, and development define humanity. 

This doesn’t make sense.  First of all, does size really matter?  A six-foot, two hundred pound person, for example, is not any more human than a five foot, one hundred pound person.  Dependency, also, does not define humanity.  For instance, conjoined twins are dependent on each other for survival. That does not make them inhuman.  What about infants, small children, handicapped people, and the elderly? Do the pro-abortionists advocate the killing of all those people dependent on others literally for survival?

Development also does not determine whether or not something is human.  People develop, mature, and grow every second, every minute, of every day.  This does not mean we are becoming more human as we advance. Therefore, humanity is not defined by these characteristics.

So, what defines humanity? 

To answer that, we must begin by answering the question, “What is created at the moment of conception?”  The simple answer is, of course, a zygote.

But what is that zygote? Pro-abortionists claim that it is just a cell, a clump of tissue, part of the mother. How can that be true?  From the moment of conception, the baby has a new set of genes, utterly and absolutely distinct from the mother’s. Not to mention, the baby may have a different blood type, eye color, skin color, or personality than the mother. A human being has only one blood type, one set of genes.  Therefore, from the moment of conception, the life is separate from the mother.

It is also important to remember that, even in the earliest stages of pregnancy, the baby is human, not a “potential” human.  The zygote will change and grow and develop as the heart begins to beat, and he or she rolls over in the mother’s womb, and begins to suck his or her thumb.  The growing will continue after birth through infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. 

Other than the moment of conception, there is no other moment when you become human. As Beckwith said in Politically Correct Death, “The unborn, therefore, is not a potential human, but a human with great potential.” 

 The LoveMatters.com newspaper says: “since abortion was legalized in 1973, 47,000,000… lives have been lost.” And that is only in America. What about the other millions of babies that have been aborted; that will be aborted? 

Maybe their tiny hands would have held a paintbrush as an artist – the next Picasso.  Maybe their little hands would have gripped a racket and played professional tennis.  Maybe they would have grasped a pen – filling out papers as a United States President. 

We don’t know.  We never will know. Because they were never given a chance. 

President Ronald Reagan once said, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is ‘for’ abortion is already born.”  And everyone already born has been given a chance.  What about the unborn? What about their chance?

Yes, almost 50 million babies have been legally murdered, due in large part, to the self-centered actions of abortionists, politicians, members of the media, academia, pregnant women, fathers, parents, grandparents and more.

A person’s a person no matter how small… no matter how dependent… no matter how developed. 

Every child has the right to live. 

As Pope John Paul II said, “America you are beautiful… and blessed…The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life."

###

     Again... THANK YOU to all the wonderful students who submitted pro-life essays! It was a blessing to receive so many beautiful essays. 

Looking forward... Would you like to bring LoveMatters.com pro-life newspapers and our Essay Contest to your Diocese or city...

If so, please call us for details at: 310-378-0067

Also, we pray you will consider supporting our life-saving efforts with a tax-deductible donation today.

Students, babies, mothers, fathers and families are struggling with crisis pregnancies right now... they need our help today, tomorrow, next week...

But we cannot continue giving them life-saving pro-life information and assistance through our 32-page newspaper and websites without your support.


Please consider MAILING a tax-deductible donation payable to "Pro-Life America" today:

Pro-Life America
Attn: LoveMatters.com Essay Contest
1840 S. Elena Ave., #103
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

You can also donate with a credit card 
over the phone at:  310-378-0067

Thank you for helping us save lives and souls!
May God bless you and yours!

Whatsoever you do for the least of My brothers, 
that you do unto Me.” 
Matthew 25:40



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