7th Grade Student’s Winning Pro-Life Essay

Each year, the Archdiocese of Omaha facilitates a Pro-Life Essay contest for middle school and high school students.

All winners in each category receive a certificate and prize money in the mail, and the first place winner will be entered into the statewide contest to compete against the winners from the Dioceses of Grand Island and Lincoln. Winners of the state contest will receive notification from the state judging committee by the end of September 2020.

This year’s writing prompt for seventh and eighth grade students is below.

When Scientific Demonstration is not Enough
Advances in science have allowed us to show that a unique human being comes into existence at the moment of conception. Often, however, this scientific knowledge is not enough to persuade the mother of an unborn child to choose life.
Why do people sometimes not choose life, even when they know abortion is wrong? What can we do in our families, churches, towns, and state to make it easier for mothers to choose life?

Below now is the first place essay from seventh grade student Catie Wiswell from St. Vincent de Paul Catholic community.

“In one of Pope Francis’s homilies on the feast day of a patron saint of expectant mothers, he expressed, “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, wa1mth … to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others.” To be pro-life means not only being against abortion, but to also understand why women make the choices that they do. There are many struggling mothers who do not feel like they are free to give their child a chance to live in the world. As Christ’s followers we are encouraged to help them realize that what they are carrying in their wombs are beautiful, unique, and wondrous human beings. Many pro-life organizations, like EPS, use science and technology to encourage and help mothers to see this truth of the sacredness of life. But often science and technology aren’t enough to convince a woman to keep her baby.

Mothers often don’t choose life even when they know abortion is wrong because they feel like they can’t handle the stress, pain and sacrifice of raising a child. Part of being a mother is making sacrifices for your children and those you love. In life we can’t avoid suffering or pain. However if those mothers do choose abortion they are still left with a lifetime of regret and remorse. Mothers also may not choose life because they think that they cannot love this child as much as he or she needs to be loved. In reality they can. The best way to love is to give life, even if that means giving the child life through adoption. They can also feel pressured by parents and society who tell them that they won’t accomplish their dreams or obtain success because of a child.

So when scientific demonstration is not enough, what do we do? We can make it easier for women not to choose abortion by teaching them about how to care for their child and supporting them through their doubts and fears. Church or communities should support pro-life centers like the Bethlehem House here in Omaha, who take in pregnant mothers and their family. There they assist them during their pregnancy and help them get back on their feet. Another way to support women is through providing and having childcare for single moms who want to receive a college education. There are colleges, like the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, that accept and make it possible for single mothers with young children to get a college degree. Another way to support women is with parenting support. Parenting is not the easiest thing to do. Having classes for parenting is a way to help parents raise children to become healthy and well adjusted just as God intended for them. These are all effective ways to help them when their child is here but sometin1es in their eyes, abortion still seems the widest, easiest path to travel. To show them that abortion is not the only way, churches and communities could also create stronger outreach programs for single mothers or young women. Surrounding them with community, helping them know Christ, feel God’s love and acceptance, and teaching them a.bout the amazing gift of being a mother, could change many lives.

Ultimately, it comes down to loving these women who have to make these extremely difficult decisions. In 1 John 4:12 it says,” No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection in us.” There are so many ideas and solutions for helping and supporting mothers, but it takes a whole community to achieve them. Abortion may seem like the easy, quick solution for the “problem” of having a child. But if mothers knew the joy that comes from loving a child, even when it is difficult, they would be able to experience true happiness.”

2020 Seventh Grade Essay Contest Results

First Place – Catie Wiswell from St. Vincent de Paul parish

Second Place – Paige Haase from St. Vincent de Paul parish

Third  Place – Vincent Anthony Linder from St. Bernadette parish

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The Catholic Schools Office is proud of the students from our schools, and the others, who entered the contest. If you’d like to read more of the essays, please let us know. We also encourage you to read more about the services of the Archdiocese of Omaha Family Life Office.