With the launch of the Respect Life Program’s “Options United for Life: Northern California Pregnancy Resource Collaborative Network” last October, it seemed appropriate to raise awareness about these lifesaving pregnancy centers in schools and parishes. So the theme of this year’s 29th Annual Archdiocesan Respect Life Essay Contest highlighted pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics in their performance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Even young children sense that when a mom is expecting a new baby, she needs extra help. Our first and second graders wrote about different ways to offer this unique help: When a pregnant mom without close family or friends feels alone or afraid, even more, guidance and support may be needed. Third and fourth graders wrote about additional ways to help these women in need, maybe with the parish-based Gabriel Project in mind.
Fifth and sixth graders tackled the subject of adoption and how generous it is for a woman who feels she cannot raise her baby to give the gift of life to the baby, and the gift of the baby to adoptive parents yearning for a child.
Seventh and eighth graders delved deeper into what a crisis pregnancy center or clinic does and how its staff puts the corporal and spiritual works of mercy into practice in very tangible ways.
Finally, high school students analyzed the Reproductive FACT Act, which forces pro-life pregnancy centers in California to promote and refer for abortion, even when the performance of abortion contradicts the center’s core message about the sanctity of human life. This issue is very timely given that the Supreme Court will be considering the constitutionality of California’s law this year.
The ability to offer local, practical and life-affirming resources to women in crisis pregnancies is integral to the pro-life movement. The Archdiocese of San Francisco is doing an excellent job in providing necessary, early education to students on these issues in a thought-provoking way, through ways like the Respect Life Essay Contest. In an age where Planned Parenthood has offices in many public high schools, this early pro-life education is essential to ensuring future generations promote a culture of life.
To see the winners click this link bit.ly/prolifecontestwinners