2016 Oratory Contest Winners


State Contest Winners
State Contest Finalists

Pictured from left:
Eva Solak, Second Place, Gaylord RTL;
Maria Tizedes, First Place, Downriver RTL affiliates;
Kaylee Tegethoff, Third Place, Holland Area RTL;

19 local contest winners competed at the 27th Annual High School Oratory Contest in Holt, MI on May 14, 2016.

First Place Speech: Maria Tizedes, Downriver Right to Life affiliates

Do you believe in women? Do you believe in women’s rights? Do you believe in women’s empowerment? I do. But I’m prolife.

So when pro-choice people see me they say that I am waging a war on women. But here’s the real war on women: abortion.

Abortion sold as health care chains women to their past, actually puts their health at risk and destroys their peace, but choosing life empowers women to take control and prove to themselves and the world that they are strong!

]In the 1970s the women’s movement began to rise, in 1972 Helen Reddy’s song "I Am Woman" became a pillar in the women’s progress. The movement pushed for equal rights in the work force, better opportunities in the professional world, and an urgent call to help women overcome poverty.

Tragically in 1973 Roe versus Wade became law. Women were ready to fight, and were sold the lie that abortion was part of the health care they deserved. Swept up in the movement abortion became a symbol of women’s rights. The word choice was stolen and used as a way to promote abortion.

Helen Reddy once said "All the women in my family were strong women!" That’s what the feminist movement is all about, women showing their strength, their equality! Women are tired of feeling helpless. But that’s exactly what abortion does is targets the helpless, hopeless and the women feeling despair.

There are more abortion mills among the low income, and college towns than in any prosperous area. Because poverty cause stress, desperation and vulnerability, while college students are away from home and often have no support system. There is fear in these uncertain situations. And fear can drive people to do unthinkable things.

Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world, calls themselves "the leading women’s health care provider and advocate." Women are told that being pro-choice and pro-woman is the same thing, that you can’t be prolife and pro-women.

Planned Parenthood presents any prolife gain as a direct attack on women’s health care and freedom. Planned Parenthood now has warnings on their website about radical anti-woman protests outside abortion mills referring to people praying and witnessing to life. So to all of you praying good job!

Erika Bachiochi, lawyer, author and feminist, once said "like so many of my 'feminist' compatriots, I unreflectively assumed abortion to be an essential piece of the puzzle in helping women escape poverty." The first time she ever even heard a prolife alternative articulated was in college when she was assigned the book "Rights Talk" by Mary Ann Glendon. The book states that instead of giving women a choice, that ultimately abandons mothers and their children. People as a community should meet the needs of the mother and child so that they can mutually flourish.

Erika said "I could see this prolife idea was far more difficult and time-intense, but I also knew, then and there, that it was more authentically human, and thoroughly pro-woman."

One of the lines from the song "I Am Woman," is: "If I have to I can face anything, I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman!"

That is the message the world needs to hear! That women are strong! Strong enough to have their baby! Strong enough to face their family! Strong enough to tell the father that she is going to keep this precious baby! Or strong enough to entrust her child to loving parents through adoption.

Women’s true empowerment will come when the world sees that abortion sold as a health solution keeps women living in fear and shame. And that giving birth to their child though one of the hardest challenges they may ever face, proves their strength and authentic power!

Yes, I’m prolife, and I believe in women’s rights! I believe in women’s empowerment! And I believe women deserve better than abortion!

2016 Winning Speeches

Maria Tizedes, 1st Place

Eva Solak, 2nd Place

Kaylee Tegethoff, 3rd Place

Oratory Contest Information

arrow Results and winner speech

arrow Past state and national winners

arrow Oratory homepage

2016 Contest Rules and Forms for Affiliates:


arrow Oratory contest instructions and frequently asked questions - PDF

arrow Affiliate contest sponsorship form - PDF

arrow Student application form - PDF

arrow Sample judge ballot - PDF

arrow Promotional flyer - PDF

arrow Sample promotional letter - HTML


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