Pennsylvania Northwest Region
        High School Oratory Contest

Speech presented by High School Junior Marcy Vogan, April 18, 1998

LOVE IS A BEAUTIFUL THING; a motherís love perhaps the most beautiful of all, and certainly the most celebrated. Throughout history, the relationship between mother and child has been a wondrous bond, a bond that is formed the moment a woman realizes she is with child. How sad, and how tragic then, that this bond is being severed at one month, at four months and even at eight months into a pregnancy. Our society has buried this bond and this love, and exalted in its place "freedom of choice." These two words, freedom and choice, are very important to our time, and in themselves should be encouraged and valued. It is when they are put together in this context that they become selfish, petty, and cruel. Words that together have ended 35, 272,000 lives. These lives were those of innocent unborn children, and were taken in the name of a freedom that makes an hypocrisy of the word. These were 35 million lives that were denied every freedom, and the most important of rights, that to life.

Twenty-five years ago, the womb of a woman stopped being the haven God meant it to be, and became instead a place where death has free reign. Abortion was made legal, and women were given the power and the means to destroy those who they should protect the most. A developing human child was reduced to being called and thought of as a mass of tissue. The value of human life was, and still is, cheapened by this act. Women now have an "easy way out" of what they consider an inconvenience and a burden. Abortion is made to seem like a huge step forward for our times and a great advancement for women. Abortions are not the safe procedures they are purported to be, however; besides having physical pain to contend with, a woman can also experience intense grief and guilt after an abortion. An abortion does not just take the life of an unborn child; it is also a very real threat to any of a womanís future children, and a threat to the happiness and joy that she would find as a mother. Her chance at motherhood might be forever lost. Abortion is not a benefit to our society, as both abortion and those who advocate it are encouraging women to ignore their most intrinsic qualities and feelings.

Women have always been acknowledged and praised as the gentler sex. The ones who live for romance and love, comfort with sympathy and tenderness, and have the strength and selflessness to bring their own into this world. It is sad, then, that where once a woman would fiercely protect her unborn babe from any harm, now she fiercely protects her right to kill that unborn child.

An unborn child it is, and not some inanimate mass of tissue. To say that it does not become a child until birth is a foolish statement. At conception, thousands of characteristics and traits are being decided upon. At that moment, a little boy or a little girl is created. They are not potential lives; they are human beings, future wives and mothers, future husbands and fathers. It only takes one voice to put and end to these futures. An unborn child is as much a part of the man as the woman, yet the man has no say in such a serious, life-or-death decision. Not only canít he put a stop to an abortion; he canít speak his opinion on it either. The women of our society lambaste him for daring to stand up for what he believes in.

We are not first and foremost women, though and we are not first and foremost men. We are first and foremost human beings, and as such we need to raise our voices against this unspeakable act, an act that is taking place thousands of times every day in hundreds of abortion clinics across this country.

The right to life, or the right to choose. Life is a gift from God. Give the unborn a chance. The chance is so much more important that the choice.

Marcy, a junior at Cochranton High School, Cochranton, Pennsylvania was the first runner-up in the 1998 Oratory Conetst.

Our first place winner was Joel Dombrowski, a senior at Cathedral Prep High School in Erie, Pennsylvania. He will be going on to the state competition in May. Joel's topic was assisted-suicide and euthanasia. His speech will be featured in this section at a later date.