The First Place Winners in the National Right to Life Pro-Life Essay Contest
Editor’s note. The following essays were written for the National Right to Life Pro-Life Essay Contest. Mariah Chiara Naegele won first place at the senior level—grades 10–12—and Teresa Rose Sicree won first place at the junior level—grades 7–9.
First Place Winner at the Senior Level
“That Missing One Fourth”
By Mariah Chiara Naegele, Alexandria, Virginia
Third period, one day last October, I was staring around my English classroom, envisioning what life would be like if a quarter of my classmates had never existed. My soccer team would be missing some starters. The cafeteria and hallways of my high school would be noticeably less crowded. Empty desks would be a dominant feature in our classrooms. And what if my best friend had never been born? It was that day when I suddenly realized how many people are really missing.
Forty million babies have been aborted since 1973, one in four pregnancies. The fact is, you can throw around statistics all day, but if you don’t associate numbers with individuals, it means nothing. Those “numbers” are kids that would be our friends, in our classes, on our sports teams, at our lunch tables, in the orthodontist waiting room, and on the honor roll. These are kids who would grow up to be in every profession they could dream of–doctors, NFL players, parents, engineers, architects, teachers, coaches, PTA members, store clerks, priests, truck rivers, dentists.
Abortion has impacted not only my teenage life, but also my future. Everyday, there are thousands of adults from the “baby-boomer” generation getting older. A markedly smaller population, those born after the boom and after Roe v. Wade, is growing up to pay for those adults’ social security and medical care. How are we going to afford to provide for ourselves and also provide for the elderly, whose numbers are so much greater than our own? That is what my peers and I are responsible for figuring out. Over-population is not a reality, it’s a myth. We are actually going to have to struggle to compensate for lack of population. That missing one fourth has a lot to do with it.
Abortion has also affected the way we value human life. In the teenage world, pregnancy is not seen as a beautiful gift, it is seen as something dirty and embarrassing. Abortion is a way out, and is even considered the loving option. On the surface, it spares the girl humiliation, and it spares the baby growing up in a difficult situation. But you can’t solve problems by creating larger ones. Abortions have serious and painful complications on the mother’s health and psychological condition. And as for the baby, you can’t even pretend that not living at all is preferable to growing up in an imperfect family. Every human person has a right to life, and everyone has the duty, the obligation, to protect and preserve that right of others.
The bottom line is that my generation is missing thousands of children due to the practice of abortion. It has changed the way we view life, and lessened our respect for the unborn and their mothers. It has impacted our world, our communities, our families, and has contributed to a moral degeneration across our culture. We need to stand for life, before it’s too late. The time for life is now.
First Place Winner at the Junior Level
“My Generation’s Black Death”
By Teresa Rose Sicree, Boalsburg, PA
Empty seats are usually not a sight anyone really wants to see. I graduated from eighth grade with a class of nineteen in 2010 … we had a lot of empty seats. How many more classmates would I have had if abortion had not been legal?
In the year I was born, 1996, there were about 3,899,000 babies born; 1,360,160 more were aborted. That means about thirty-five babies were aborted for every one hundred born alive. If those babies had lived, I would have had maybe six or seven more classmates. Alas, I am not the only one missing friends: across our country there are about 1.4 million high school freshmen that are missing. The world would be a different place had they lived.
Abortion is the Black Death of my generation. Back in medieval times the Black Death killed about one third of the population of Europe. The same is true today, with this “Red Death” of abortion. Close to 26 percent of my generation were killed in 1996 by the Red Death. Known as the Black Death, the bubonic plague had many effects on the lifestyle, religion, and economics of the medieval people and changed their society forever. Today, abortion also has untold effects on the people of this country. Not only are the mother, father, and their parents hurt by abortion, but everyone else is also hurt by the decrease in population. To take an example, because of the babies killed years ago, there are now not enough people to buy houses today. Thus, the housing market slumps and our economy suffers.
How much good these babies could have done if they had grown up is hard to measure. But we do know this: that their books will never be written, their inventions will never be built, and their love will never be shown … all because they were killed in their mother’s womb.
There is a story that a student asked Mother Teresa why God had not sent a person who would cure AIDS. Mother Teresa is said to have answered: “Maybe God did, but he was killed in his mother’s womb.” Abortionists might have killed the person who would have found the cure to AIDS or cancer: we will never know for sure. I do know for sure that they have killed a quarter of my classmates, a quarter of my friends.
No matter what happens we pro-lifers must never give up, never surrender. We must make sure that there are no more empty seats.