Helen M. Donovan

Second Place: 2024 Annual Helen M. Donovan Memorial Award Essay Contest

The results of the 2024 Helen Donovan Memorial Essay Contest are complete. Once again the young pro-life voices in the state are showing how thoughtful they are on pro-life issues. We are grateful for the participation of all those who submitted an essay this year.

This essay titled Promoting the Culture of Life won second place and is by Ella Douglas.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-16) “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I sanctified you…” (Jeremiah 1:5) These are just a few examples straight from the Bible that show the importance and value of the dignity of humans. It is one of the most prominent teachings in the Catholic Church. It should be a thoroughly practiced concept in society, but it is not. The understanding of the value of human life is declining faster than ever, affecting the most vulnerable of people in our world. The disabled, the poor, and the elderly are among the most affected. Unfortunately, the unborn seems to be at the epicenter of this social outrage.

Abortion has been ravaging our population for over 100 years, and has become a common thing, accepted as a “healthcare” practice for women. The non-profit organization Live Action has stated that abortion has claimed the lives of 73 million innocent children. Planned Parenthood has turned abortion into a convenient commodity that puts women in terrifying amounts of danger. With the FDA approving the abortion pill to be sold on shelves in our local, down-the-street CVS stores, abortion has become something you can do even in your own home. This poses even more problems and complications. According to an article by Fox Business, a Las Vegas woman was accidentally given abortion medication instead of her IVF hormones which killed her child, and all she got from CVS was an apology.

Fortunately, in my life, I have been blessed with the opportunity to see the amazing and miraculous gift of life every single day. I am the second oldest of a family with ten kids and each and every one of my siblings has the same privilege to life as any other person on the planet. My parents have not taken the gift of life for granted and they have accepted every single life that has come into our family. I will be eternally grateful for that. It’s upsetting that people will forgo that because of selfishness and personal comfort. My mother has said that the most fulfilling thing in her life is being a mother. Is it hard being a mother of ten, yes, it is. Being a parent is not a right; it has to be earned. Through sacrifice and love a family can prosper, but our society has turned life into something that can be trifled with and disposed of.

There are so many aspects to the intricacies and controversies of abortion. Still, it is up to the next generation to expose those intricacies and make sure that in the future, abortion will become unthinkable. But how do we push our narrative? The ways of communication and the dispersal of information have changed dramatically in the past few decades. Everything is online. That is where the majority of our population lives. Gen Z lives their social lives online, endlessly scrolling, posting, reacting, and absorbing whatever information crosses their screen. Over 90 percent of Americans use social media daily, whether that be Instagram, X, Facebook, TikTok, or Snapchat. We have so many influential platforms readily available at our fingertips and in our pockets. If people can easily make a TikTok page about dancing or makeup, what’s to stop a whole generation from making thousands of pages about the abortion industry and the value and importance of every human life? Together we can educate people on the realities of abortion and its effect on society and women. We need to teach hard fact facts. Live Action seems to have a pretty good understanding of it. Their Instagram page is full of stories from women and converted doctors, images of aborted babies, facts, and stats. There is no fluff and everything is said straight up and stone-cold. That is the only way to get through to people, we have to be truthful. Facts don’t care about feelings. We have these platforms ready for us, we just need to take action to change the course and destiny of future preborn and innocent children, for their sake, and ours too.

I would promote pro-life views on social in many ways. First I would show the beauty of my family and other families around the world. I could show my every day and how life works in my home. I can show the beauty of each sibling I have by showing their unique qualities and funny quirks. I would be real about my life as well. There are also thousands of stories of mothers who have made the decision to keep their children and to start a family. Those mothers are out there who are ready to share their life changing stories. If I can show that positive family life is healing and transformative, that can open more people to accepting life into their homes.

There are young mothers who were scared, mothers who were abused, mothers with demanding partners and family. For example, there was a girl, Hannah Scheramic, who was in a horribly abusive relationship with her boyfriend. When she finally ended her relationship she found out that she was pregnant with his child. Her mind immediately went to abortion, so she scheduled one immediately. When she ended up telling her mother, who is Catholic, she responded, “Whatever you do please go to a pregnancy center first.” When she went, they were the most kind and supportive people ever. There was no pressure at all. On her next visit she had an ultrasound, and when she saw her living child on the screen she burst into tears. She said that she had no idea that there was an actual child in her and not a clump of cells. She decided to keep her baby and she never regretted her decision. All the lies that she was told about her life being over and her not being able to have a career were not true. Today she is studying to be an ultrasound tech, and her studies of fetal development and biology lead her to the conclusion that all pro-life views are true.

This story is just one of many stories from thousands of women that can be promoted on social media. They promote all aspects of pro-life views. They are informational, transformative, and emotional. Some, like the example story, are from the perspective of women who are our age. These stories will never come to light unless there are people who can show them to us. So if we are to promote them, then what better way to do it than where the whole world is watching every single day.

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