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Annual Archdiocesan Respect Life Essay Contest 

October is Respect Life Month and we are pleased to send you our 29th Annual Archdiocesan Respect Life Essay Contest information.  This year's theme is "Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers: Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in Action."  Our questions discuss the importance of reaching out to pregnant mothers in need, the immeasurable value of adoption, what a pregnancy center or clinic actually does, and the campaign against these life-affirming centers by the State of California.

Annual Archdiocesan Respect Life Essay Contest

2017-2018 School Year


"I have set before you life and death... Choose life, that you
and your children may live...."
Deuteronomy 30:19

Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers: Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy in Action

Grades 1 - 2

Moms who are expecting new babies can often use some help.  If they are poor or alone, they can probably use a lot of help so their baby can be born, grow healthy and have a safe place to live.  What kind of help do you think these pregnant moms would need?  What does Jesus teach us about all the different ways we can help those in need?

Grades 3 - 4

Often pregnant women without a family or friends feel alone and afraid.  They need support for themselves and their unborn baby.  Many parishes and schools have programs to help these women---programs like the Gabriel Project that offer friendship, prayers, baby items, transportation and more.  What if a lonely, scared pregnant mom walked into your classroom.  What suggestions do you have for ways to help her?  Think about the works of mercy Jesus taught us.         

Grades 5 - 6

Sometimes a mother feels she is not able to keep the unborn baby she is carrying.  Many in this situation turn to abortion, but this is not a good solution.  The baby never has a chance to be born, to see the sky and to do all God intended him or her to do in life.  A better solution for the baby is adoption.  Plus, there are so many couples praying to have a baby and ready to give that baby a great home.  Many famous people and not-so-famous people were adopted and have lived amazing lives.  You may know some of these people.  Write about someone you know or have heard of who was adopted.  Or write about the advantages of adoption---for the baby and for the adoptive parents and even for the birth mother giving the baby the gift of life.

Grades 7 -8

A crisis pregnancy center is a non-profit community center or clinic that serves pregnant women.  It is not an abortion provider and it does not charge for any of its services.  Pregnancy centers come in two types.  The first is a "pregnancy resource center" that can offer pregnancy tests and provide services like counseling and baby supplies.  The second type is a "pregnancy help medical clinic."  These are licensed clinics working under a doctor's supervision.  Their services often include ultrasounds and prenatal exams.  Write about the ways these pregnancy centers can help women choose life for their unborn babies, by putting the corporal and spiritual works of mercy into practice. 

Grades 9 - 12

In 2015, California passed the Reproductive FACT Act, which requires pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to provide a notice to its clients stating that “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care and abortion for eligible women.”  The penalty for not doing so is continuing fines that could eventually close down the center or clinic.  Because the Church believes all life is sacred, she supports these programs that offer medical, economic and emotional support for pregnant women so they can make life-affirming choices.  This law's constitutionality is now being considered by the Supreme Court.  Write about why it is unfair to force pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics to promote abortion, especially when it contradicts the centers' own message about the sanctity of human life.

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