First Place Winner: Leonor Guimaraez
‘A Person’s a Person, No Matter How Small’
This quote from Dr. Seuss’s book Horton Hears a Who! is the best way I can explain how a preborn baby’s life has the same value as the life of any other older human being.
We know that the life of a human being does not begin at the moment of his or her birth. There are so many scientific videos and pictures that can show us just that! Each human life is unrepeatable, and this unrepeatable life begins at the moment of his or her conception. That life is different from any other life on this planet—it is a unique human life. Yes, a preborn baby is a human, just like you and me! From that moment on, a preborn baby’s life is as worthy of respect as any other human being.
A preborn baby is still developing—just like a newborn baby is—but has the same dignity as any human being. In fact, are we not all still developing in one way or another? If I asked my youngest brother, who is five years old, “David, am I taller than you?” he would say “Yes.” If I asked, “David, am I stronger than you?” he would hesitate, but he would agree. But if I asked him, “David, am I more important or more special than you?” he would scream at the top of his lungs “NO!” and I would agree with him. All people are equal in dignity, no matter how small, weak, or unseen.
Although we know this is true, this fact may be blurry in a mother’s mind if she is scared because she is going through a pregnancy that she did not plan or did not want. If the mother does not feel supported, intense fear and anxiety may make her think she has no other choice but to abort. The mother might mistakenly think that, after an abortion, she will feel free again. Instead, she will feel lonely and even more scared, because it is just impossible to harm the child without harming the mother, such is the connection between a mother and her baby, even before birth.
So, I think the best way to create a culture of life and to help preborn children is by helping their mothers, especially those who are alone and scared during their pregnancy. Helping them in their anxiety and preoccupation will allow those mothers to see more clearly that their preborn babies are their children, and only if they choose life, they will have hope and peace in their lives, even if some of the plans they had might have to change.
We could help these mothers and their preborn children in different ways. One of the best ways is by giving our time and donating money to organizations that support mothers in need. We could also organize some seminars at our schools where we show how the human baby develops in the mother’s womb, so that this unseen part of our development is well known. Also, we could arrange visits to those centers that help mothers in need, so we can better understand the reality and the difficulties that some mothers go through during their pregnancy and what the best ways to help both the mother and the child are.
Of course, most importantly, we should pray for these mothers and their preborn children. We should definitely help the best we can, but only God can change hearts. Only He can make us see clearly in difficult times. He told us to pray always because, as He also promised, the one who asks with faith is always answered. Prayer is truly powerful.
I can even give you an example of how powerful prayer can be. My uncle had cancer, and we knew he was going to die soon. He was Catholic, but he had not gone to confession for quite a long time. My family and I prayed for him every single day. Then, several weeks later, my mother received a text message—my uncle had gone to confession and had received Holy Communion! We were so happy; we knew that in some way or another, our prayers had helped our uncle.
So, by praying and helping, we can build a culture of life.
Each one of us is an indispensable, irreplaceable, and unrepeatable human being! There was never anyone and there will never be anyone like you and me, and we were all preborn babies once! Children are not accidents. Therefore, seen or unseen, preborn or after being born, we all have the same dignity, because “a person’s a person, no matter how small!”