By Cheryl Magness
On June 26, National Right to Life (NRL) held its annual national high school oratory contest in Herndon, Va. The first-place winner of the contest, Anna Young, is a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Nashville, where her father, the Rev. Phillip Young, serves as pastor.
The NRL oratory contest takes place each year in conjunction with the NRL national convention. This year’s contest featured contestants from 11 states, each of whom delivered a 5– to 7–minute speech on the sanctity of life, with topics ranging from abortion to euthanasia to stem-cell research. Young qualified for the contest by winning the Tennessee state contest on April 24.
For her topic, Young chose the theme “female empowerment.” In her speech, she told about seeing a Planned Parenthood Instagram post that said, “There is nothing more empowering than a woman walking into a Planned Parenthood.”
Young challenged this assertion, saying, “I refuse to believe that women’s empowerment … could come from killing another human being. … Women’s empowerment is a woman realizing she shouldn’t have to choose between her baby and her dreams … a woman realizing her body and the baby inside of her is not the enemy … a woman standing up to the culture and saying ‘I can’ when everyone around her is telling her that she is too weak. …
“Empowered women empower women to choose life. No matter how heartbreaking your situation is, abortion will not solve your problems because living human beings inside of you are not problems; they are blessings. There is empowerment waiting for you, but it is not inside of a Planned Parenthood.”
Young said that her win motivates her to continue to speak out. She wants everyone “to know the fullness of the Gospel and understand the beauty and joy within God’s creation — inside the womb and out. … Women deserve better than abortion. Men deserve better than abortion. Pre-born babies deserve better than abortion.”
In 2019, Young started a Students for Life of America chapter at her public high school in Franklin, Tenn. She graduated summa cum laude in May and will attend Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), Mequon, Wis., this fall as part of CUW’s Business Scholars Program, which allows those in the program to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in four years. Young plans to get her undergraduate degree in marketing and her graduate degree in public administration. “I am so excited to continue to use my voice for the preborn in a new place,” she said.
Posted Aug. 6, 2021