Today, January 22, 2021 marks the 48th anniversary of the infamous Roe v Wade decision declaring abortion legal throughout the nation. As we mourn the loss of over 62,000,000 babies though abortion, we should celebrate the lives of many young adults who were blessed with the gift of life.
Recently I received a copy of an essay written by a young adult who not only was blessed with the gift of life by his parents, but is an ardent advocate for the life of preborn babies who are so vulnerable. Luke Parlee is a ‘Distinguished Honors’ student at Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He recently applied to Boston College and chose the following question for his essay, “If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why?” Below is his response.
If I had the opportunity to create a college course, I would address one of society’s most controversial issues. The course would be entitled “The Truth about Abortion – Legal, Moral and Economical Implications.”
Abortion, for many, is a sensitive topic. That is why I believe the college classroom is a great place for it to be discussed. The college years are crucial to character development and the best time to expose students to societal issues like abortion. The course would reveal that Roe v. Wade is a flawed law, intended to protect the right to privacy but disregards the more fundamental right to life.
Students would learn about the philosophy of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. They would watch movies including, “Unplanned” and “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” In a society that values science, the course would emphasize the science behind the pro-life movement, that biological fact that life begins at conception. Also, the economic implications of abortion, including lost annual tax revenue and loss of valued work by contributing members of society will be examined. Most importantly, the course would present options other than abortion. It would highlight work being done at crisis pregnancy centers that offer hope to women and support them to enable them to choose life.
The inspiration behind my course comes from growing up a practicing Catholic. As a Catholic I profess that life begins at the moment of conception and is the most sacred, fundamental right. Recently, I had an eye-opening experience while attending a prayer vigil out front of a local Planned Parenthood. Before long I realized that I was the youngest participant. In a conversation afterward with Tim Powell, the president of Bucks County Right to Life, I was made aware of how little support the push to ban abortion is from people my age. Clearly, my peers are unaware of the truth of abortion and that it is one of, if not the most critical social issue of our time. This is why if I were able to create a college course it would expose students to the truth about abortion and in keeping with the Jesuit tradition, “encourage them to use their God-given talents in the service of others to help make the world a more just and humane place.”
Besides being a ‘Distinguished Honor’ student, Luke is a three-sport varsity athlete and works at the New Britain Inn. He also loves surfing. His Mom, Terry told me that he and his siblings were honored to play their music instruments for Cardinal Sean O’Malley for the Cardinal’s birthday at a small celebration a few years ago at their former parish in Needham, MA.