Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Smallest Child

This essay won 1st in Wausau, 2nd at the diocese, and 2nd at state for the 10th grade level in the Knights of Columbus "Respect Life" essay contest.

Haven’t you experienced, at some point in your life, the feeling of joy and gratitude that you’re alive? Perhaps this sensation was awakened by a beautiful song, a wonderful bit of nature, a moment of joy shared with a friend. Wouldn’t it make you sad to consider that some people will never experience life? That, even though it would be completely possible for them to be born, those already born are just too selfish to allow another human to enjoy the wonders of our world if it means any inconvenience to themselves.

The myths surrounding abortion cloud it, making it difficult for so many to realize the truth about it. One of the arguments often used by abortion advocates is that most of the aborted babies are the children of rape, and it would be too difficult for the mother to carry them to term. This is simply not true – only 1% is aborted for this reason. Others would have us believe that most babies are aborted for “necessary” reasons, such as to protect the life of the mother or because they have severe defects. Only 4% of babies are aborted for these reasons, and the arguments are without weight, as it is never the place of a doctor, or anyone else, to prevent a life from being lived. The other 95% of children lost to abortion are killed because the mother does not want any more children, they think they cannot afford a baby, they don’t want a child yet, or their boyfriend, family, or friends pressure them into it.

What gives anyone the right to end the life of another human in such a hideously cruel manner before it has even been born? Most scientists are now recognizing the fact that a fetus (this word comes from the Latin for “little child”) is in truth human. After all, how could it be anything else? Nothing else in our world changes its nature as it grows older. A dog is always a dog; a flower is always a flower. They start out as puppies and seeds and become dogs and flowers, just as all people start out as a fetus, are born and become a baby, and then mature to child, teenager, and adult. Each of the stages of life has a different name, but no one would suggest that a child is any less a human than an adult – we all know that would not make any sense! So it is only logical that a fetus is a human in the very first stage of development; there is nothing about it that suggests otherwise.

To end this essay, here is a quote from the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese: "There is a day coming when we will hear the voice from within the womb, when its own authentic pain will be undeniable, when we will know with certainty that it is saying "I want to live. I have a right to live. I do not need your permission to live." Let us all work and pray that this day may come soon.

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