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Respect Life

 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinApril 9, 2004 Issue 

The choice for pro-life: what can we do?

Catholic Central senior shares winning essay

By Kimberly Stello

photo of Kimberly Stello
Kimberly Stello

Many people may say that one cannot promote "Respect Life" by one's self, but in reality, it only takes that one person to begin something new. There are many ways to encourage people to become pro-lifers - people against abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, etc. One can start a petition against one of the many pro-choice movements, put up signs in a yard, and/or visit the elderly at nursing homes and send them holiday greetings. It never hurts a person to become involved in the promotion of respecting life. In fact, it increases one's morals and self-esteem. The promotion of "Respect Life" can be done in many ways throughout one's school, community and church, either by one's self or together with a group.

Abortion, or the killing of an unborn baby (fetus), should be illegal everywhere. No one person has the right to kill an innocent human being, whether it is in or outside the womb. One in every four in this generation has been killed before they were born. One in every six women had an abortion. These statistics are horrifying because we are killing off our generation only because we don't feel like having children at that point and time. Most of these abortions are not for rape or incest. They are only because women don't feel like having children, usually due to a financial situation.

In order to stop the process of abortion, we must, as a whole, start petitioning against the leaders who want abortion to be entirely legal. We need to get out in the community and tell everyone the real truth about abortion. People need to be scared with the real truth about how many women kill their unborn babies. Because many people do not know the real truths about abortion, they don't know any better to go against it. Public speeches could also be made to support pro-life and teach the people of the United States the horrific results of the unborn baby.

Euthanasia, commonly known as "mercy killing", is the killing of a human being because the person claims they do not want to live anymore or they have become a burden to the immediate family. Doctors do not have the right to kill the patient, even if it is by giving the person drugs that will eventually kill that person, because the doctor is still intentionally killing that patient. People must know that killing is not the answer! Just because there is a problem, it does not mean to go ahead and kill it. What it really means is to find a new solution to the situation. We need to provide loving, compassionate care to those who are suffering and also, provide them with spiritual and medical support, so they may live a longer life.

"Barbarians. That's what we have become. We kill each other and instead of mourning the tragedy, we want the state to satisfy our bloodlust by killing the offender. . . we must learn to deal with these people in our midst - punish them, but not become them." (Feedback forum, Detroit News, 1999-Mar-2) Capital punishment means the execution of a person who has committed a serious crime and has been charged with the death penalty. Literally, "capital" means a person's head, which, in the old days, many people were executed by getting their heads chopped off. From 1976 until 2003, there have been 862 legal executions in the United States alone. That is far too many when capital punishment should not be occurring at all.

Even the Bible says that capital punishment is wrong, in Matthew 5:38-39: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." The bible condemns the act of capital punishment and we must fight this pro-choice movement by creating signs and posters and starting petitions. "We oppose the death penalty not just for what it does to those guilty of heinous crimes, but for what it does to all of us: it offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life." (Most Rev. Joseph A. Fiorenza) By taking a life, we are not defending anyone's life. A person can be sentenced to jail for life, but not sentenced for the death penalty, because we should never kill just to get rid of a person who has committed a crime. At school, students could start a pro-life rally in their gymnasium and include as many of the area people as possible.

In one's community, one can promote "Respect Life" by petitioning, setting up signs, or visiting nursing homes. In one's school, one could start up a rally against abortion, capital punishment, or even euthanasia. We really need to get out in the world and teach the ignorant about these subjects. It is the only way that everyone will understand what kind of innocent killing is going on behind his or her back. It is time we show people how gruesome our world has become and what we need to do to discontinue it.

(This essay by Kimberly Stello, the daughter of Mary Jo and Robert Stello, won first place state honors in the Knights of Columbus Essay Contest. Kimberly is a senior at Catholic Central High School and a member of Holy Family Parish in Marinette.)

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