by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A 12 year-old Toronto girl stunned her teachers and has become an instant celebrity on Youtube after delivering a five-minute pro-life speech for a school competition. Even though teachers threatened to disqualify her, and one judge actually left the room during the speech, in the end, the girl was awarded first prize for her “controversial” message.
The student, known only as “Lia” begins her powerful speech with a question. “What if I told you that right now, someone was choosing if you were gonna live or die? What if I told you that this choice wasn’t based on what you could or couldn’t do, what you’d done in the past, or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you, you could do nothing about it?
“Fellow students and teachers, thousands of children are right now in that very situation. Someone is choosing without even knowing them whether they are going to live or die. That someone is their mother. And that choice is abortion.”
The speech, which can be seen in its entirety on Youtube, has been viewed more than 100,000 times, and has turned Lia into an instant celebrity.
But what made her choose to speak about abortion?
“It was really a family thing,” her mother explained on the blog Moral Outcry. “I saw Lou [Engle] speak at a conference several years ago. I came back to my family with the Life Bands, and we all wore them, made our covenant, and prayed the prayer for abortion to end. … We were invited to participate in a ‘Life Tape Siege.’ Once my kids heard of this invitation, they all agreed: ‘We have to do that!’ Since then, Lia’s passion for seeing abortion end has continued.”
However, in spite of Lia’s enthusiasm for the topic, her teachers were more interested in political correctness and “strongly encouraged” her to choose something else to talk about or risk being disqualified for an upcoming speech contest.
“[S]everal teachers discouraged her from picking the topic of abortion; she was told it was ‘too big,’ ‘too mature’ and ‘too controversial’,” her mother wrote. “She was also told that if she went ahead with that topic, she would not be allowed to continue on in the speech competition.”
Initially, Lia’s mother tried to help her find another topic, “but in the end, she was adamant. She just felt she wanted to continue with the topic of abortion. So she forfeited her chance to compete in order to speak on something she was passionate about.”
When her teacher heard the speech, however, she was so impressed she allowed Lia to advance as the winner. Lia presented her speech to judges in front of her entire school on Feb. 10.
During this competition, Lia’s mother told LifeSiteNews.com that one pro-choice teacher on the judge’s panel “didn’t even want to hear” the speech, and stepped down from the panel before Lia began.
After the speech, which Lia’s family said was well-received by both students and teachers, the judges initially told Lia she had indeed been disqualified. But controversy among the judges eventually led to a reversal, and Lia’s family learned the next day that the panel agreed the girl deserved to win the competition.
Lia now plans to take her message of life to a regional speech competition,.
When asked what inspired Lia to pursue the topic so adamantly, her mother said it was “a little mystery.”
While the family espouses pro-life Christian values, “it’s not like we’re out every weekend picketing,” she said. “It was just something really deep in her heart, and she just felt really passionate about it.” She added: “I kind of snicker when I see people on the Youtube video [comment box] saying ‘Oh, her mother forced her to do this’ – I’m like, ‘No, I’m on the other end, trying to make her pick another topic!’
“But she was just really passionate about it, and she has her research on it,” said the mother. “I really believe it’s just something that God put in her heart.”
Watch Lia’s speech on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOR1wUqvJS4&feature=chann…
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