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11th-12th Grade Third Place Winner: Trinity Vinton

Third Place Winner: Trinity Vinton
A Letter for Life

Dear Pro-Choice Peer,

We must—in order that we might better understand and sort out this controversy—appeal to the methods of the great friend of all good thinkers. Yes, I am speaking of reason. Reason plays an important role in the lives of men, for it serves to move the human conscience to do the right thing or to undergo a repentant prick for a committed wrong. Oftentimes, reason becomes clouded by human emotion or what a man judges to be right in his heart. Even so, the human heart is selfish in nature, and Jeremiah 17:9 states that: “More tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?” However, when reason is put to good use, much can be determined and understood by the human mind. Good reason will always serve to prove that a preborn child is indubitably human. Reason will be the wieldy arrow in my quiver, which I will seek to send home in due time.

I call her Avalyn—meaning “beautiful breath of life”—because she has no name. Avalyn is the embodiment of all preborn children who are nameless—whose lives have passed away, fleeting and ephemeral in existence, like so many beautiful breaths lost upon the ruthless wind of time. You got to the heart of the matter, or rather, the heartless part of the matter, when you stated that the fetus—the name you give the preborn child—is not human from the moment of conception and is merely matter. Nevertheless, how can a preborn child, who appears on the ultrasound with human characteristics, be considered anything other than human? At a very early age, a preborn baby begins to feel pain and pressure. Around week 16, a preborn baby begins to open her eyes and can detect light outside of the womb. Every preborn child possesses a unique genetic code and fingerprint pattern, like everyone else, and which are like no others in design. Are not these all human characteristics? If I were to tell you that I am not human, you would laugh outright. Is an animal addressing you? You and I were born like everyone else, so when did we become human? When our mothers decided? When we were born? When our hearts began to beat? If you list the “possibilities” aloud, they sound groundless, inane, and even basely absurd. We were human from the very moment that God created us in the womb.

When does a preborn child become human? At this point, it behooves me to tell you the brutal and gruesome truth. At 22 days of gestation, Avalyn’s little heart began to beat, and at 20 weeks, her heartbeat ceased. She could feel pain around that time, and therefore, her little body was wracked with agony as she was torn limb-from-limb from the womb at 20 weeks of gestation. Avalyn’s beautiful breath of life was stifled, like so many others, and she was no more. Who knows what she would have been like? Perhaps, in nature, she would have been mischievous and rambunctious, or innocent and quiet. Would she have grown up to change the world? She is one of millions of lives that have been terminated by abortion. When is it right to stop that little beating heart? When is it okay to stop her breath? When is it acceptable to kill her? For murder, in all truth, is the proper term for this cruel injustice. I have loosed the arrow of reason, and it is on the wing.

How has it come to this? That a mother should shun the child she bears! Where is the maternal love? Over time, the dignity that is owing to the human person has become degenerate. Abortion, euthanasia, genocide—all these and many other injustices have lowered the standard of dignity, such to the extent that respect for the human person is forsaken, and the inherent human value is forgotten. In the papers, we hear of the deaths of animals by abuse, and blood boils in anger, and tongues declaim these injustices, and yet, when are the deaths of these many preborn children remembered? The abortion industry claims to empower women and to help achieve goals that would have been impossible if the woman were “burdened” with the responsibilities of caring for a child. Their alleged purpose is to increase self-esteem and dignity.

Nevertheless, the majority of women walk into the abortion facilities with forced determination, and the majority return broken and despairing, because, ultimately, they know it was not right. Their self-esteem is brought to the dregs in contemplation of what they have done. It cannot be reversed for all the world. In all reality, there is empowerment in choosing the child. The modern world has mistaken love for merely a feeling, but it is ultimately a sacrifice. In true love, there is the understanding and ready acceptance that there will be hardships. There is strength in accepting and embracing sacrifices, and of this is born a strong sense of dignity and self-esteem. Is not a child deserving of what we all ask of humanity in this cold and heartless world we abide in? A chance to live, a wish to be loved, a feeling of acceptance—all these beg attention in the silent cry of the rejected preborn child. Life is a sacred gift; it must not be thrown away mindlessly. The preborn child is weak and small and needing of love, not a world that cries for his or her elimination without a second thought. Man must understand that even the smallest among us are deserving of the same integrity and respect that all of humanity demands.

You might ask of me: What business is it of yours? Time and again, I have heard that I need to get a life, but many lives are what I am seeking to save. If you were to see a child being bullied, would you not speak out? Or in fear of your own well-being, would you turn away? Many injustices have become an acceptance of the human culture; some even are lauded and welcomed, because none speak out in defiance of them. Fear is the answer to such calamities—fear of being overpowered by denunciation, fear of losing esteem in the eyes of mankind. Of fear is born selfishness, and of selfishness, depraved ambition. Mankind is willing to kill its own offspring, that it might meet the demands of its ever-growing ambition. How horrid it sounds, when put into simple words. Love is what this dying world needs. It is my aspiration that my life will serve as a testimony and witness for all preborn children who are not given the chance to live, and that my voice may serve to speak out for the deserved rights of those little ones who are voiceless. That my words might not have fallen upon deaf ears is my profound hope, and that at least, your mind or heart might be touched by the light of reason. Remember always, your mother chose life, and that is why you live today; you are a person of worth, deserving of dignity and love, like every human person—like every preborn child.