Stand up for Life First Place Junior Division winning essay

by Megan Reamanmegan Reaman
St. Jerome Regional School, Tamaqua
St. Joseph Parish, Summit Hill

“Because I am Catholic, I stand up for life.”

To me, everyone has a purpose and a reason for living. “Christ Our Hope: In Every Season of Life” in my opinion means whether you are in the womb, a child, an adult or on your death bed, your life is sacred.

As a young girl, I always wanted to do something meaningful in my future. I want to make a positive impact on people’s lives. About a year ago, I decided to explore a career path of being an ob-gyn.

Shortly after this, my parish priest gave a homily about abortion. Later I read that worldwide there are on average 125,000 abortions every day and over 3,000 abortions daily in the United States alone. I believe this is absolutely wrong and unjust. Life is sacred no matter if it is planned or not.

This year my older sister went to the “March for Life” in Washington D.C, and the event got almost no publicity.

The next day was the “Women’s Rights March,” which promotes women’s right to murder a baby through abortion; the Empire State Building was even lit up with pink lights in support.

Some states have limited abortions through laws like the “Heartbeat Law,” which gives women the right to abort until the first heartbeat. This allows women who have been raped or sexually assaulted a chance to decide.

As a Catholic, abortion will never be an option for me. Abortion is murder – end of story. It is taking the lives of innocent babies.

My younger brother asked why anyone would do that after he saw something about it on the news. He wondered why they didn’t just put the babies up for adoption. It broke my heart that my brother had to know that the murder of a baby is legal. Again, abortion is wrong and unjust, but unfortunately way too commonplace.

If we don’t try to change it, who will?

I also have two older sisters who are both in a local high school. Every day I hear stories about kids their age drinking and vaping/juuling/smoking, and I also hear how it messes up their lives.

So many people say juuling is better than smoking, but it has a higher nicotine concentration, and most people who juul are younger. This is very unhealthy and ruins your lungs, and an important lesson my parents taught me is that you can’t get new lungs.

I’ve watched my older cousin get addicted to drugs and it’s extremely sad. He started by using pot, but that slowly led him to use other drugs and drink heavily. He has drifted away from the Church, our family, good habits and most importantly God.

Every day we face choices, and it only takes one puff or drink to get addicted. Plus, so many bad outcomes result from these activities and people don’t realize the long-term impact. With the help of our parish family and our communities, we can put a stop to juuling, vaping and smoking, but it is going to take a lot of time and effort.

Seven years ago my grandfather died. My whole family made the choice to allow him to die according to God’s plan. He came home from the hospital and 12 hours later, he passed away. We weren’t sure if he had hours, days or even weeks, but every time I think about his death, this Bible verse comes to mind; “Hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm” (Hebrews 6:18-19).

Taking his life wasn’t the answer, even though we all knew how much pain he was enduring. When family members are near death, it’s our instinct to stop their suffering and intervene.

Euthanasia is “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.” While this is illegal in most countries, it is more importantly against God’s will. We must respect his plan for us, and that also includes the suffering we must endure both here and before we get to heaven.

Death puts an end to human life, and we then decide to reject or accept God’s grace. The Bible speaks of final destiny of the soul, which is different for everyone.

All life is sacred, and we were all created with a purpose. Sometimes we must endure suffering or difficult situations. Everyone, no matter how big or small, was chosen for life, and God has a plan for all of us. We must stand up and be vocal to safeguard his plan. If we as Catholics don’t try to change it, who will?

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