Sonoma County Pro Life Essay Contest Winners

February 17th 2020
Stephen Morris


Cardinal Newman Freshmen gain top honors in the Sonoma County Pro-Life Essay Contest

By Stephen Morris. Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry.

Newman Freshman Elise Jackson, grew up at Covenant Christian Academy and had reflected on her feelings about abortion, but had never put her thoughts on paper until now. The result was first place in the first ever Sonoma County Pro-Life essay contest. She claimed to “learn a lot about abortion and the Pro-Life movement” when researching her essay.  She was pleased to discover that in fact “being Pro-Life meant being Pro-Woman.” And as she noted in her essay, “[Pro-Life] demands that one supports and encourages women to love and care for both their unborn body and their body, it elevates unborn lives, but also fights for women and their bodies.”

Fellow Freshman Kaylin Smith also discovered things she’d never considered before when preparing her paper. While the mantra of “your body your choice” rattles around in popular society, Kaylin found a different tune after researching the subject.  “Yes women should have choices, but when they become pregnant, it’s not just her body she needs to think about anymore” she noted in reflection.

Elise and Kaylin are just two young voices in a surging tide across the nation, most notably represented in the non-profit Students for Life, who claim this generation as the “Pro-Life Generation.”


Grades 9-12

$100 First Prize          Elise Jackson, 9th Grade, Cardinal Newman High School            

'Pro-Life Essay'

    When babies in the womb are unprotected by law, they are completely defenseless against a procedure that stops their beating hearts, causes them pain, and pulls their body apart by pieces. The fight against abortion concerns their lives, but also poor and vulnerable women who are pressured to take their unborn baby's life, and our society as a whole as we value or diminish our greatest gift: Life.
    With a pro-life perspective, we not only value unborn babies, but we fight for the value of the mother's body and life. Not only does abortion affect a woman's mental and emotional health, but it can also cause them physical harm. Many women have suffered life-threatening complications or lost their ability to have children from botched abortions. Studies also show increased rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide for mothers who aborted their babies. For example, a 1996 study in Scandinavia conducted by Deveber, concluded that the suicide rate for women who had abortions increased six times. Being pro-life is pro-women. It demands that one supports and encourages women to love and care for both their unborn body and their body. The pro-life perspective elevates unborn lives, but also fights for and esteems women and their bodies, displaying love, not condemnation.
    Due to advances in medical knowledge, we now understand so much more than we did after the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion. Ultrasounds, heart monitors, and evidence that babies can survive outside the womb as early as 21 weeks gestation prove that a baby is alive inside the womb. Often women know a baby is alive inside their womb during an abortion, but they justify it based on the value and convenience of this new life. When a baby is unwanted, he or she suddenly becomes a "clump of cells" or a commodity of no value--not a human being with intrinsic value and worth. Questions we should ask include, "Why do you deserve to live, and not an unborn baby?" and "Does human worth extend beyond the fact that we are wanted and convenient?"
    When we legalize and justify abortion, it also affects our society as a whole. The more we allow abortion. we easily start to devalue life at any stage, which leads us to justifying euthanasia, assisted suicide and diminishing those with disabilities. Are they wanted, needed or convenient? A lot of times they are helpless and require others to advocate for them, but this does not define their worth. Our nation's birthrate is declining since children are no longer valued. Where does that lead us? It takes us on a pathway to declining generations and societal demise. Being pro-life is caring for the least of these.
    In conclusion, when women choose abortion, they go to clinics that do not perform ultrasounds or show them their baby's beating heart. If abortion becomes illegal, it would at least deter women rather than this choice being handed to them. When women see an ultrasound, hear the heartbeat, understand the truth about abortion, and find the support they need within the pro-life movement, they often choose life, not death. The more our laws protect the unborn, the more we will live in a society that values life as a gift from God.


$75 Second Prize        Kaylin Smith, 9th Grade, Cardinal Newman High School            

'Pro-Life Essay'

    Being Pro-Life means many things. One of its many definitions is that every life is one worth living and being protected. Every life matters, and should be protected by the law; especially those who are unable to protect themselves such as unborn babies. In this essay, I would like to share my view on why I am pro-life.
    Abortions take away the life of someone completely innocent. Someone who hasn't even gotten the chance to see the world, or be loved and protected, as everyone should When a woman is pregnant, her body is no longer just her body. It also belongs to her unborn child, and that child should have the right to life; which leads to my next point.
    Every unborn baby should have a right to life. It's simply unfair to take that away. Think of it this way: almost every human being is given the right to life. Why should an innocent human not be considered a person? Unborn babies should be able to be protected by the law, whether they can speak up for themselves or not.
    Some people might say that if there were laws protecting the lives of the unborn, women could have their lives threatened during pregnancy and birth. Although this can be true, this is very rare and almost never the case. If there is a situation where the mother's life is threatened, doctors should treat both the woman and the baby as patients and try to save both of their lives instead of just one.
    Another reason to be pro-life is because of childless couples who want a child. In some cases, families don't want or can't take of a newborn child. There are plenty of couples that aren't able to have a child that would be overjoyed to adopt. A baby can always bring joy into someone's life, whether it's in the lives of the biological family or not.
    In conclusion, I am pro-life because I believe in the right to life for everyone, including those who can't speak for themselves Although society isn't there yet, I hope that one day we'll live in a world where the lives of the unborn were protected and advocated for. Before I finish this essay, I would like to finish with one final question. How can we call ourselves an advanced and civil society when we take away the lives of innocent human beings?