Pro-life essay contest winners in California show reverence for life


Three students in Los Angeles-area Catholic high schools have won cash prizes in a pro-life essay competition that one organizer described as a show of reverence for the sanctity of life.

The contest, sponsored by, sought essays on the theme “Abortion Is Deadly.”

The first place $1,000 prize went to Elizabeth Chapin of Villanova Preparatory High School in Ojai. She wrote that abortion “kills the future, and it kills a child’s chance to speak out. Give a baby a voice and let the child live.”

The second place $500 prize went to Bronwyn Bennet, also of Villanova Prep. She wrote about how she and her older sister were adopted and how they owed their lives to birth mothers who let them become part of a loving family.

The third place $250 prize went to Megan Golbranson of St. Monica Academy in Pasadena. She refuted defenses of abortion, saying “every child has a right to live.”

Entrants had to support their essays with facts and stories gathered from the website and its 32-page pro-life, pro-chastity newspaper.

Fr. Sal Pilato, superintendent of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, authorized the voluntary essay contest last Spring. He asked the principals of 48 Catholic high schools to distribute copies of the newspapers to about 30,000 students.

J.T. Finn, editor of, said that today’s youth want to “save unborn babies and end abortion.”

“Abortions are truly deadly, physically, emotionally and spiritually,” he continued. “Abortion has taken the lives of one-third of their generation. But these students see through the deadly lies of the abortion industry. They each accurately and persuasively tell the truth: Abortions kill babies and devastate women, families and society.”

The students clearly love babies. They revere the sanctity of human life and express that very well,” Finn wrote.

Finn said that he is working to duplicate the essay contest and reach thousands more students in other dioceses. Many pro-life leaders across America are “very interested,” he said, asking that any diocese or member of the general public who wants to sponsor a distribution and pro-life essay contest should contact him.

He said has a standing offer to send 200 free copies of to anyone who requests them.

He also offered to print a special edition of with the name, phone number and website of a diocese on all 32 pages. Finn said this effort helps to reach students with “pro-life truth,” and would save lives and souls, spare young people from “tragedy and heartaches,” and inspire many to become pro-life activists.

Winning contest entries can be read at the website and at

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