Monday, February 28, 2011

A Catholic Teen Author Shares His Thoughts on the Eve of the Next 40 Days for Life Campaign

True love leads to life.

By Andre Bottesi, 16

Stepping out of the car I felt the cold surround me, which made me wish I had brought better gloves. The pain from the cold was nothing compared to the pain in my heart. I grieved for the children that have died in the abortion clinic that I was standing in front of, and because of the pain the mothers, fathers, and family felt after the death of their young child. Some people say that it isn’t a baby before it is born, but how can you say that?

The baby’s heart beats inside its mother and it can dream before it is born. That baby is a human and has been one since it was conceived. When you want to plant an apple tree you put the seed in the ground and once it starts to grow and is springing up from the ground you don’t just rip it apart and destroy it. Abortion does just that to a baby before it is born. It is wrong to kill and it always will be. There is no justification for killing such an innocent life.

As I thought about that, we joined the others who came to pray and show others what evil abortion is. The people who came were so nice and caring. They know the truth and so do I; awakening others to the truth and stopping this evil is of extreme importance to this world.

My mom talked to the others about what we were going to do while we were there. One of them handed me a sign and I walked to the corner of the easement by the road and held it up with great sorrow and also with great pride. I know the truth and the truth must be told.

I saw someone pull into the parking lot of the plaza. I saw a woman in the car with a man and I feared the worst. They did not go into the clinic but into the sub shop next door. I am relieved, but then sickened because the thought came to me that there were people eating subs right next to the slaughterhouse of children.

Cars passed by and I returned to facing the street and showing the oncoming traffic my sign. Some people honked and waved in approval of what we were doing. Others, particularly teens and young adults, give us a thumbs down or cupped their hands over their mouths and booed at us. A few said horrible words as they passed by. They useed their words to do damage to others while we used our words to try and save lives.

I feel bad for those young people who passed by and discouraged us. They don’t know the truth, and they could be the next victims of abortion. Some are not as fortunate as I am to have learned the truth at an early age, that abortion is evil. We need to teach the youth of today about such things to protect them and everyone they could impact with their actions. We need to reach out and teach the truth, because if we don’t, who will?

We, along with the others who were outside of the clinic with us, began to pray the Rosary. I was given the honor of leading one of the decades. I felt foolish when I forgot a part of one of the prayers, but the others helped me remember and then I didn’t feel so bad.

If you don’t know a certain prayer or don’t know how something is done, you have nothing to worry about. The people around you will help you and guide you in the right direction. When I first went to the clinic I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know what to do. The others who were there showed me what to do and after I began, I felt like I really knew what I was doing.

A 40 Days for Life volunteer leads the Rosary.

My trip to the abortion clinic was thought provoking and special to me. I sometimes feel that I am powerless to stop abortion. I feel that alone I will not make a difference. I remind myself that this is not true. When people don’t vote in an election they most likely feel that their one vote will not make a difference. If everyone had this mindset then who would be left to vote?

The same is true about being against abortion. Every person makes a difference in ending this tragedy that is devastating our country. Every prayer is important and every prayer matters. Every protester standing outside the abortion clinic has a great impact on ending abortion. You matter and so do every one of your prayers and contributions.

I may be just 16, and in the eyes of the government I am not an adult, but I can still make a difference in ending abortion. I will not sit down and watch television all day while my brothers and sisters are dying before they even get to live.

From before you are born to before you die you have a right to life. Whether you are one or one hundred it makes no difference. Everyone has an equal right to life and everyone is equal. Life begins at conception and once God creates that life, it must be defended to its dying breath.

Model of an unborn child in an adult's hand.

An unborn baby is not a blob of tissue but is a real human person.

The next, record-shattering

40 Days for Life Campaign begins

March 9, 2011.

To get involved, visit:


Andre J. Bottesi is the co-author and illustrator of the Catholic teen book, Your Teen Apostolate: Accepting and Sharing the Love of God (Rochester, MI; Joseph Karl Publishing, 2009), which was named 2010 Best Children's Book and 2010 Best Family Life Book by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.