***Editor’s Note: Bridget Bogan won 4th place at National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest. Congratulations Bridget!

Our 32nd Annual High School Oratory Contest was held Saturday, May 22, at New Hope Community Church in Charlotte. This year we had 18 contestants who gave powerful prolife speeches on abortion, infanticide, and human embryonic stem cell research.

Left to right: Emily Ranschaert, 1st place; Malakai Honyoust, 3rd place; Bridget Bogan, 2nd place.

Our first-place winner was Emily Ranschaert from Grand Rapids Right to Life. Our second-place winner was Bridget Bogan from Washtenaw Area Right to Life. She will be representing Right to Life of Michigan at the National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest in Herndon, Virginia, because the national contest only allows juniors and seniors to compete. Our third-place winner was Malakai Honyoust representing Manistee, Mason, and Oceana County Right to Life.

From Emily’s speech:
“There’s a quote from the Lord of the Rings that I think pretty much sums up what we’re doing here, and it is this: ‘There’s some good left in this world… and its worth fighting for.’ Newborn babies are the essence of goodness and they are worth fighting for. We need to remember that. We are those tiny pinpricks of light shining in the dark, lighting it up, even just a little. We are those campfires, and we should never give up, we should never go out.”

From Bridget’s speech:
“In 2009, the National Institute of Health put out guidelines for embryonic stem cell research that, ‘helps ensure that NIH-funded research in this area is ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and conducted in accordance with applicable law.’ Riddle me this, what does it mean to be ‘scientifically worthy’? What could possibly be a worthy enough cause to destroy a child at the earliest, most vulnerable stage of her development? After all, we don’t even kill the worst of our criminals simply for the purpose of doing research on them. Why should we do this for the most innocent persons in the world? We don’t even like testing our cosmetics on bunnies! Yet, we when we balk at the idea of destroying a new life, we are considered the “radicals’ and ‘science deniers.’ The science is out and it’s on our side.”

From Malakai’s speech:
“What happens to her choice when she’s receiving pressure from every side: from her family, her partner, and everyone around her like Jacinta? What happens to her choice when her boyfriend is threatening to kill her because she won’t abort, like Breana? What happens to her choice when she is strapped down and administered anesthesia as she is pleading with them to stop, like Cheryle? Pro-choicers attempt to persuade us that every abortion is simply a choice made by a woman and her doctor; and the media is so hurried in backing up that belief. But in all of these situations; the pain, and the emotions, and the scars are all because of a choice someone else decided to make in her stead.”