I entered a Right to Life Oratory Contest again this year and wanted to share with you the speech I wrote.

Lives are at stake, but the future is filled with questions and uneasiness.  Becca, Erin, and Holly are each uncertain about whether or not to keep their unborn child.  Is abortion their only option?  The pro-abortion movement wants us to believe it’s true.  They have started a nationwide campaign urging people to “Draw the Line” for abortion.  They want us to Draw the Line so that abortion stays legal.  But when we Draw the Line for abortion we cut short women’s rights.  I invite you to strive for something greater. Join me in fighting for both women and babies to have rights, not laws which rob them of freedom, but rights which bring true freedom, a freedom that is more than abortion can ever give.  Abortion sets the standards far too low.  Women deserve something greater.  Why draw the line at abortion when we can raise the bar for women, and empower them to heal relationships, change hearts, and choose life for themselves and their children.

This had never been the plan.  Becca was not ready to be a mother. She had a plan for her future, and caring for this baby was not part of that picture.  She had wanted to graduate, start her career, and live her life without having to worry about a baby.  Becca felt she had no choice but to have an abortion.  Yet, the story doesn’t have to end here. Together, let’s raise the bar for Becca.   If she could persevere for nine more months she could place her child up for adoption with the help of organizations like Woman’s Choice Network, which helps women with unplanned pregnancies, American Adoption which works with many waiting families, and more.  There are countless couples who can’t conceive and are eagerly waiting to share their love with a child.  Although it won’t always be easy, Becca’s heroic gift of a child will bring tremendous joy to a couple who feels they will have none and it can bring joy to her too.  Sometimes life does not go as planned, but abortion doesn’t have to be the solution.  Drawing the line at abortion would be cutting two beautiful stories short.  Instead let’s raise the bar for Becca so that she, her child, and another family can have a beautiful story.

As for Erin, she had tried to protect herself from being raped, but he was stronger.  He had hurt and bruised her both physically and emotionally.  She felt there was nowhere to turn for help and no one who could understand what she was going through.  Erin was now pregnant and she thought she had no choice but to have an abortion.  But abortion doesn’t have to be the only option.  Let’s raise the bar for Erin. She can still save her child and heal from the painful memory of being raped.  There are ministries like Care Net Pregnancy Centers, which help a woman choose life for her child and herself, Just Imagine Ministries that helps women seeking restoration and purpose in life, and more ministries who would love to help Erin and her child start a new life or help her place her child for adoption.  Through her gift of life and love to the child within her, Erin can change the memory of that horrific moment into something beautiful.  This child is not a punishment for rape, but an opportunity to show that she is stronger than the rapist by giving her child a chance to live, breathe, and love.  Erin and her child are too valuable to just draw the line at abortion.  Instead of drawing the line by using abortion as a solution to rape let’s help Erin raise the bar and in the process empower her and reveal the invaluable worth of her child.

Our next woman was newly married and anxious to have children, Holly and her husband Jon conceived a child immediately, but only a month later miscarried.  Devastated, but not losing hope yet, they soon conceived another child.  They waited each day in great anticipation.  One day the doctor called to say the ultrasound showed their child had a possible birth defect.  They were given the choice of abortion.  Scared and worried, they knew many hardships could come as a result of raising a child with disabilities: medical bills, less time as a couple and one of them would have to leave their job because of the care needed for their child.  Life would never be the same again.  The path of their future was cloudy, but they were willing to take the risk.  Holly would not have an abortion.  Holly and Jon decided they would keep and love their baby no matter what.  Five months later that baby was born, beautiful, strong, and healthy without any birth defects.  They chose life and now I can stand here today and tell you about the importance and the beauty of your life and the life of each child.  Whenever I think of my parents’ choice for life, my heart is filled with gratitude.  Every life is precious, even when the future may seem unsure.  Holly and Jon could have chosen to draw the line at abortion.  Instead they chose to raise the bar and as a result our lives are filled with joy.

Becca couldn’t care for a child alone, but countless couples would love to adopt her child.  Erin was scared if she had the baby she would forever be frightened by the memory of her rapist, but there are people who can help and ways to heal from the pain.  Holly was worried she would have a child who would suffer for the rest of her life, but she chose to love her baby despite any birth defects.  In tough times abortion may seem like the only option, but there is a greater choice.  As women we are too important to draw the line at abortion rather than striving for a superior path.  It will be hard at times, but by choosing life we will fulfill our purpose and our children will have the opportunity to fulfill theirs.  Author Randy Alcorn said, “Whenever I see an unmarried woman carrying a child, my first response is respect.  I know she could have taken the quick fix without anyone knowing.  But she chose instead to let the innocent child live.”  Let us together strive for a higher goal of life and freedom for both women and their babies.  Let’s not just draw the line.  Let’s strive for heroism by raising the bar.

If you’d like to read my speech from last year click here.