This past year I entered this essay into a right to life oratory contest and got to state. I’d like to share it with you.
Never had she imagined her life would unfold like this. Life will never be the same. Within her a child had begun the journey of growth. What will the coming months hold for this young, unmarried woman? If she chooses to have this child will she be rejected by her family and friends? Will they support her? The laws of her country are harsh and could result in severe punishment, a punishment that could mean death. What is she to do? Before we learn of her fate, come join me on a journey through time to discover how our choices for life have affected our world.
In another time and place, the heat was subsiding in the city of Florence as families gathered together for the night. As the bold colors painting the clouds deepened, an old renaissance man picked up a brush and began a portrait, a work of art that would one day be known around the world as the Mona Lisa. Leonardo Da Vinci has given our world beauty through his many works of art and the knowledge revealed in his countless sketches. Our history has this brilliant man because his mother said yes to life. She said yes to his life even though he was the result of an out-of-wedlock relationship, which was highly frowned upon at that time. She believed he was a child with rights like herself. Imagine our world without Da Vinci’s ingenious sketches which have helped us create the parachute, robotic knight, armor tank, and many more inventions. Think of the beautiful art that would be lost to us forever if his mother had said no. One-third of abortions in America today are chosen by unmarried women. These women have an abortion because they fear the huge responsibility of raising a child alone. Many might think abortion will solve their problems, that they will be able to continue their life as before. Abortion not only punishes an innocent child but the loss of the child weighs forever on the mother. Could her child have been another Leonardo Da Vinci?
Fast forward four hundred years, to see beads of sweat running down a man’s face and onto the borrowed sailor uniform. This man’s anxious eyes darted across the train platform. His adrenaline surged as his forged identification papers were checked and he stepped onto the train. As the train picked up speed he left his arduous life behind for a new life of hope and a bright future for himself and our country. After he escaped from slavery he purchased his own freedom so that he could free others by devoting his life as an abolitionist. Frederick Douglass went on to share his story, astounding audiences with his preacher-like skills and inspiring them to join the fight for abolition. Although he was conceived in rape, his mother chose life which allowed him the opportunity to fight for others’ lives. His mother’s choice not only saved him but countless others. If Frederick Douglass’ mother had ended his life who would have spoken up for the slaves? In our country today many people think abortion should be legal because of rape and incest. They think abortion can erase the crime. If a women has abortion because she has been victimized, she is in turn victimizing her child. She is only adding one crime upon another. On the other hand by giving birth to the child the mother is conquering the crime and proving that she is stronger than the rapist. Although the child was conceived during an evil act, the mother can choose to make good come from it. How many Frederick Douglasses are we killing?
As we return to a more recent time, we find a disabled girl watching a remarkable baseball player win another game in the 1988 summer Olympics. He gives her hope that she too could succeed in this world. Born to teenage parents and without a right hand, Jim Abbott was nevertheless encouraged to follow his dreams. His determination led him to become a motivational speaker and one of the most celebrated athletes with a disability. His parents knew life would be hard, but they believed that he was beautiful no matter what. Because of their choice, Jim Abbott has inspired many disabled people to overcome their disabilities. By believing all life has value, Jim Abbott’s parents created a ripple effect that not only touched their son but countless more. A reason many women have abortions is because the child may be born with a birth defect. Take for example Down Syndrome. Children with Down Syndrome are known to be happy and loving, however ABC news reported ninety percent of babies found with it are aborted. Each child is special and has beauty inside and out. How many Jim Abbotts are being aborted?
Whatever happened to our young, unmarried woman who found herself with child? Did she choose to abort her child? Although this woman risked the danger of being put to death, she chose life. Nine months later a beautiful, healthy baby boy was born. She named him Jesus, a person who grew up and transformed our world. Christian or not we can all agree that Jesus’ legacy has affected millions and still continues to revolutionize lives two thousand years later. Imagine the difference in our world if Jesus’ mother Mary had not chosen life.
Countless individuals who began life with a huge challenge have gone on to make a huge difference in our world. Julie Makimaa, a person conceived in rape, said, “It doesn’t matter how I began. What matters is who I will become.” What are we missing with the death of millions through abortion? Cancer or diabetes might have already been cured. We might have a world of peace. Poverty could have been solved. Whether the accomplishment is great or small each person has a purpose and makes a difference in this world. With each abortion we lose not only the child but also his legacy.