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7th-8th Grade Second Place Winner: Clare Kernan

Second Place Winner: Clare Kernan
Regina Caeli Academy
God’s Choice Is Your Life


Many of my peers across the country profess to be pro-choice. For example, I once overheard some kids talking about abortions. One girl said, “If a mother does not want her baby, she can have him be adopted.” The boy answered, “If a woman does not want her baby, she can just have an abortion.” I could not believe my ears. He said it casually like it is the most normal thing in the world to put an end to life! This contradicts our fundamental Catholic belief: that from the very moment God creates a preborn baby, he/she is a human being with value and dignity and who deserves both the chance to live and our protection without exception.

While I was reading a book by Maria Von Trapp (from The Sound of Music), I realized that she was once faced with the choice of whether or not to have an abortion. But as a Catholic she said absolutely not. The doctors told her that both she and the baby would die, but Maria stood strong in her conviction. Later she had the baby successfully, and both survived! Just like we are called to do, she stood strong in her Catholic faith even when faced with potential death. Pro-choice advocates might say that it is acceptable to have an abortion in life-or-death situations. However, the attempt to save one life doesn’t give us the right to end another.

How do we respond to this point of view? How do you explain that God has a plan for every single person, even the vulnerable preborn? The first step is to respond with love. We can’t profess to be pro-life without showing love to the people who don’t agree with us.

I would start by explaining to my peers that God created each and every one of us for a purpose. Each time a woman chooses to end a pregnancy, the life that was cut short could have grown up to become someone who found a cure to cancer, prevented wars, brought unity from division, or simply served others in the “Little Way” of St. Therese. He does not have a say in the future of his life. We are ending the plan God had for him and interfering in God’s divine will. God does not run on our time, but on His perfectly divine and beautiful time. Those babies have a right to the life that we have been given and a right to live out the purpose God created them for.

A great example of life from conception is Luke 1:41: “For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” John could feel the presence of Mary and most importantly our Lord Jesus. That is proof of life from conception, and it’s proof that a baby can feel, sense, and hear in the womb! Elizabeth could feel John in her womb. I wish that every expectant mother would feel the blessing of the beautiful and precious gift God has given them. Life is not a “choice” for us to make, but a gift from God.

God calls us to create and foster a culture of life. As God says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” To advance in a culture of life, we are called to pray for and to protect the preborn. We are called to be their voices and to stick up for them. God tells us, “The innocent and the just you shall not put to death, for I will not acquit the guilty” (Exodus 23:7). God also says, “I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). He makes it quite clear to us that we have a choice to make—and we MUST choose life! We live in a sinful world in which we are called to stand up for the good, beautiful, and true, especially when it is hard.

I implore anyone who professes pro-choice views to think about what that really means. What about the choices the preborn children would get to make? Shouldn’t we then protect their lives so they can one day make choices of their own? While protecting choice is a very important value, protecting a life that God created in His image is above all other values.

 that you are alive? At less than four weeks old, a baby in utero has begun to have a heartbeat, up to 65 times per minute. Around the same time, the beginnings of arms and legs start to form. Small slits can be seen at the eyes and the ears. The baby is only the size of a kidney bean, but he is certainly alive. Four weeks later, the infant looks just like a human being. Nearing the end of the third month, the baby is able to open and close his fist and mouth. The baby is 12 inches long by the sixth month and weighs approximately two pounds. When looking at the pictures of a tiny, forming baby, how can anyone say that the infant does not count as a human? How can anyone say he does not deserve life? And does a lump of tissue have a beating heart?

Some people say that abortion is like having a mole removed. A difference between having a mole removed and having an abortion is that a mole really is just a lump of tissue, while a developing baby has unique DNA. The baby already has a genetic code for height, the color of his hair and eyes, etc. From the moment a baby has been conceived, he has his own DNA unlike anyone else in the world. Another difference is that when you have a mole removed, you go on with the rest of the day. When you have an abortion, your whole life has changed, and it will never be the same. The emotional trauma can last a lifetime. Abortion is nothing like removing a mole.

Time is the difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly. Time is the difference between a tadpole and a frog. And time is the difference between a preborn baby and an infant. If age and time are the factors in making abortion acceptable, any human being can be subjected to death for no reason other than the stage in his life. Who gets to draw the line?

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain, unalienable rights.” Jefferson wrote “all” not some or many. Everyone, even preborn babies, has rights. Every infant has the right to live, laugh, love, and be loved. Every baby deserves our protection.

King David said in Psalm 139: “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!” After an art collector buys a beautiful work of art, does he burn it in a fire? Only in his worst nightmare. Babies are a work of art, so to speak. Psalm 127 says, “Certainly [children] are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.” We should always treasure the blessings—especially children—that God has given us.

Eight years ago, I was blessed with a baby brother. For as long as I can remember, I had wanted a brother. While waiting for his coming, my sister and I made plans of what games we would play with him and how we would teach him everything we knew. I could not wait until he was born. Finally, the day came. He came home in a white onesie covered in green dinosaurs, looking almost frightened, but also quite pleased. I was pleased. It was one of the best days of my life. As I have watched him grow, I have seen that he is fearfully and wonderfully made, and that he is indeed a blessing from the Lord.

Close your eyes and remember the famous piece of art Michelangelo painted on the Sistine Chapel. God is reaching out His hand to touch Adam’s faint one and giving him life. Just like the “Creation of Adam” depicts, God gives life to each and every human being from the moment of conception. God has given life to babies; we need to remember to always value and protect this blessing, heritage, and reward that He has given us.