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winning submissions & honorable mention pieces

Honorable Mention: A Compassionate Proposal

October 22, 2017

for preventing the infirm, feeble-minded, and poverty-stricken from being a burden on their kinsmen or their country, in keeping with the philosophical ideology of the most progressive of the political factions.


It is a melancholy object to those who are witness to the politics of this great nation that there remain immense schisms amongst a people whose namesake signifies unity. 

One such division is presented concerning the termination of humans whose creators have decided against their uninterrupted development and resulting birth for any number of reasons. Chiefest among these motivations are sentiments of meagerness of preparations for guardianship, as a display of empathy in regards to a child baby fetus potential life that carries with it the grim prognosis of existence under the curse of a debilitating disease, as a necessary action to terminate the resulting consequence of a man forcing himself upon a woman, or as a pre-emptive kindness to offspring who would be born to a poverty stricken family and forced to fend its way amongst the horde of siblings previously born to its parentage…all two of them.
It is with the express intention of finding one such solution to a problem that is so divisive, that I modestly present the following proposal--

It is indeed true that the execution of humans in the natural life-sustaining cradle of their mother’s womb may not echo as this generation’s most humane and enlightened position when our posterity reflects upon the decisions of its ancestry in ages to come. Our legislative foils contend that it is preposterous to extinguish the existence of those whom we do not yet know what they will make of life, nor life of them. I would be remiss not to admit that this reasoning does hold some merit. Therefore, I propose an immediate halt to all voluntary abortions. I would gladly continue with said practice, no matter how nonsensical, but it has proven to be a point of much contention, hindering the further progression of the discussion of policies of great import to our party. Now, I am well aware of any concerns that may attend such a bold course of action. You wonder, “But what of the loss of proceeds that will accompany the cessation of voluntary abortions? What of the subsequent explosion of human inhabitants? What of the obligations necessary for the sustenance of hundreds of thousands more discarded humans per year?” There is no cause for panic or fear; for with such a bold action to halt one deed, an equally courageous undertaking will follow as a deputation. 

Alongside the falling away of abortions will come the “birth” of an expanded philosophy. I dare not say “new” philosophy since the notion is one our commission has promoted for centuries, as it is a posture taken by those with superior intellect and compassion--those who wish to propel society and civilization forward as opposed to perpetuating antiquated dogmas from centuries past. To accomplish such a feat would make us vigorous participants in aiding the natural world in its selection of the best among us to thrive and increase our sophistication with each generation.  It is of absolute import that your bear in mind that it is with great humility of heart and mind and love of country that I present the reasoning for my proposal. Otherwise, one may be tempted to view it as callous or arrogant. 

In the stead of those who will no longer be aborted will stand humans who perpetually find themselves in a state of life-threatening infirm, mental torture resulting from sickness of the mind, feeble-mindedness or affliction resulting from birthing defects, or occupying a life of tremendous poverty of affection, nourishment, or any other such resource as is necessary for a creature to flourish. Before you protest, please consider that many of our fold endorse this ritual at present, in the manner of physician aided easing into expiry for those with grievous illnesses or injuries. My proposal merely expands this practice and the compassion that accompanies it to others who would be best served by such a kindness. Further, it is the natural progression in a bold endeavor to empower and equip the entirety of our citizenry with the ability to nobly choose the peace and relief of death rather than linger in a life fraught with pain and grief or plagued by danger, deficiency, and disorder. 

Let me first ensure all you great men and women that there will be no encroachment upon the rights bestowed upon us by our God and our Constitution. Compassionate Life Cessation will only be an opportunity for those who choose it for themselves or those who are wholly dependent upon others for their provision. Now, there may be some small question of constitutionality for the latter, but permit me to swiftly put your mind to ease. We have been accustomed to only allowing the rights of one to supersede the rights of another in the practice of abortion, where the rights of the expectant are paramount and the potential life within carries no rights. I humbly submit that we follow this same logic concerning born dependents, notwithstanding their level of physical development or growth. After all, are they so very different after birth than before? Can they survive without the support of their parents, guardians, or the good will of the public? Those with mental obstructions and deficiencies--do they possess the capacity to comprehend their existence or humanity? I think not! It would be absurd to contend otherwise!   

To be sure, an undertaking of this nature is grand in scale and thought, and those who suffer from small-mindedness will perhaps think it impossible or worse… immoral! But I pray that all would pause to fully consider this proposal and permit me to demonstrate how it is in keeping with our political philosophy promoting the progression of society. Now, please allow me a moment to return to the questions I knew for certain would surely be conjectured after such a bold submission. 

Firstly, “what of the loss of proceeds that will accompany the cessation of voluntary abortions”? Whatever one may think of the doctors and attendants employed in the commerce of abortion, it remains an income producing occupation that numerous medical professionals have come to depend upon for their livelihood. With our great nation’s enterprises beginning to flourish once more, it is a wonder that a proposal that would refuse to supply the demand of willing patrons would even be uttered! However, the revenue collected for Compassionate Life Cessation services will be considerably greater than that for abortion services, which has seen a decline for many years. As it stands, the enterprise of lawful voluntary abortion produces about $457 million per year. This is with nearly 926,000 abortions performed annually in our nation. Now, I pray you bear with me as we trudge through the figures that impart confidence in my proposal. The figure for those who purposely take their own lives stands presently at 44,000.  Pair this with an auxiliary one million failed attempts yearly. The fee of the growing practice of Legal Physician Aided Suicide is nearly that of an early abortion, around $500. Employing solely these numbers for those who have already attempted taking their own lives, we are already at $522 million per year of annual revenue for those physicians to supplant the loss of abortion proceeds.  And those figures do not yet contain those with new or existing verdicts of cancer or other enervating and painful maladies, those in extreme poverty, the severely mental, forsaken wards of the state, those advanced in years, or those with lasting unwelcome reliance upon others. These are all unfortunate and dire life circumstances from which millions will desire relief in the form of Compassionate Life Cessation. I would assert that CLC will increase more swiftly than any other service offering in the history of these United States. Unlike the regulation of abortion, the intricacies of any statutes concerning CLC must be worked out with severe scrutiny, and cessations must be granted at a staggered pace so as not to cause too severe an alteration to our populace, which leads me to the next inquiry that I possessed the foresight to address. 

“What of the subsequent explosion of human inhabitants?” The consequence of a halt to abortion attended by the introduction of Compassionate Life Cessation would greatly diminish the ever-present danger of this dear and sacred land of the free perishing under the immense ruin of human overpopulation. The citizens of the United States must not fail in our duty to preserve the precious and scare stores of materials found within our territories. Though we will indeed see an increase in births, the number of those procuring CLC services will more than compensate for the additional new lives. In fact, I suspect that the population will not only steady, but will decline. We can pray that those in the distant lands of Africa and Asia will see fit to follow suit. Not only that, but those who remain among us will thrive without the pecuniary, mental, and palpable compulsion to attend to the less able-bodied. As we have learnt many a remedy to aid our mother-nature in her striving to certify that the fittest among us endure, so will we continue in this noble practice as we gently encourage the most ill-suited for existence among us to transition to the after-life, which is a life better suited for them.

Now, this next question is one certain to be posited by our more conventional civic fellows. Though they are of the persuasion that voluntary abortion is a horrible occurrence to be righteously opposed, they likewise dispute the allotment of wealth belonging to “We the People” in the aiding and abetting of the impetuous desires of the commoner. “What of the obligations necessary for the sustenance of hundreds of thousands more discarded humans per year”? I suspect that it must be apparent by now that not only will their electorate be elated at the new preservation of life for those most disposed of and helpless, but they will also celebrate that a levy solely on those who procure Compassionate Life Cessation services will be contributed to fund the care of poverty-stricken expectant mothers and their babies, so as to avoid their seeking out unlawful abortions. The diminution in state imposed expenses nation-wide will be astronomical and historical. The populace will no longer be burdened by the obligation to publicly support the accommodation and care of the aged, the grievously infirmed, nor the destitute fatherless. Our party’s willingness to yield concerning abortion will lead to a far greater ambition than could ever have been obtained from abortion alone. All this without even changing our perspective on this matter, but rather shifting it to other portions of the population who fit the same description of those presently terminated within their mothers’ womb. Our nation will experience a time of great wealth and prosperity as never seen before, all born from our zeal to exhibit compassion for those to whom life has been most unkind.

I sincerely profess that my interest in promoting this proposal--this necessary work, is solely one of brazen affection for my country. History will not remember our generation as one of extravagance and intemperance, but as one of compassion. Those individuals who choose Compassionate Life Cessation for themselves or for those in their care will be making a choice of dignity, a choice that leaves wealth to our posterity, and a choice that offers relief from the perils of life for those who have been its victims for far too long. Their suffering will end in a quick and painless journey as they venture beyond this life of condemnation to one that still holds hope for them, and they will thank us as we stand united in our mercy and compassion for them. Being found worthy of our great nation’s namesake, once again. 



1. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2017, from
2. FAQs - Physician-Hastened Death. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2017, from
3. Fees. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2017, from
4. Induced Abortion in the United States. (2017, July 25). Retrieved July 30, 2017, from
5. Parenthood, P. (n.d.). Fees for Services. Retrieved July 30, 2017, from
6. Suicide Statistics — AFSP. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2017, from


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@2017 by Aimee Murphy and Encounter Youniverse project collaborators.