episode 16

NOTE: Please be kind to me.  I’m not suggesting you can talk to everyone this way.  I’m simply writing down what I WISH someone would have said to me when I was young, in college and pro-choice.  I’m not trying to speak for all people or to all people.  I haven’t recorded this podcast yet.  I will tonight and you’ll have it Friday morning!

I hope you enjoyed my last article about Why I Changed My Mind About Abortion.  At the very least, I hope you learned something or maybe softened your heart toward pro-choice people in your life.  Today I want to talk about how to talk to someone who is pro-choice.

Let me start out by saying, it is a rare occurrence to change the mind of a person in one conversation at the moment you’re speaking with them.  I believe it is much better to view your conversations as the planting of seeds.  You want to start knocking down their false ideas and planting seeds of truth.  In time, those seeds will grow.  You may not even know this person by the time they fully come around to changing their mind.

Don’t let pride get in the way of our true mission.  We want to save unborn babies.  We should not want to be right or to be the hero that brought another person to the pro-life side.  There’s a huge difference in motivation here and that will show through your words.

People do not respond well to being forced.  If you have a person in your life who is pro-choice, don’t bully them into having a conversation with you.  Your relationship will suffer and you likely won’t make any progress on this issue.  Don’t let the weight of abortion pressure someone into listening to you.  It won’t work.

Now, it is a completely different situation if you know someone who is pregnant and who wants to get an abortion.  Then I think you should rally the troops and do what you can to help this woman and her baby.  And I mean really help her.  Where is she going to live? How is she going to work? Can you help connect her with an adoption agency? Can you take her to appointments? Do whatever you can to get her an ultrasound so she can see her baby.

For most people, having to speak about a heated topic creates a fight or flight reaction in them.  Once they sense danger, their fists go up or they are ready to run from the room.  Your job is to always keep the conversation calm and filled with love so you never get to this point.  Here are some good phrases to use:

“I know we disagree about this but if you want, I can explain how I came to be pro-life. We don’t need to argue about it, but I’d be happy to share my own story.” 

“Let me throw out a few questions.  You don’t need to answer them.  I just want you to think about them at a different time.”

Some people enjoy having a heated discussion and debating topics. But whether you like a good debate or not, you should firmly know why you are pro-life.  If you also have come about your opinion because it’s what everyone around you has always said was right like I did when I was younger, I would suggest you do your own research and determine why precisely you believe abortion is wrong and what you think we can do about it.

Though Provoking Questions to Ask Someone Who Is Pro-Choice

  1. Do you think third trimester abortions should be allowed? Follow this up with second trimester abortions.  Then ask, “What about the day before?”  Try to get them to see that any time chosen would be arbitrarily.To me, this is the most important conversation to have.  You MUST establish that the baby is a life to be protected.  If they keep insisting that it’s not alive or that the life doesn’t matter, all the remaining arguments won’t matter as much to them.
  2. If there was always free health care, free counseling and someone to adopt a woman’s baby, do you think we could get rid of abortion then?  For many pro-choice believers, their main concern is safety.  They think of back alley abortions putting women at risk.  If we had public services to assist these women, those concerns would go away.  With all the money used to campaign both for pro-life and pro-choice, we could create hundreds of centers to help women.
  3. Most arguments about why we should allow women to get abortions sound ridiculous if you replace abortion with slavery.  “Well I wouldn’t have slaves but I think that person should be able to choose.”  Be careful, if you say this in a flippant way, the person will think you’re calling them dumb because almost no one believes slavery is okay.  But the point should be gently made.  Just because people get to run their own life, there are some things they should not be allowed to choose.  Again, if they don’t think the fetus is a baby, this argument breaks down.
  4. Risk is not a reason to allow people to make their own rules.  Yes, some people will probably still get illegal abortions.  That is a risk of making abortion illegal. Many people still do illegal drugs even though it’s not good for them and there are laws against it.  We can’t avoid making laws because it puts the people who don’t follow them at risk.

I know these questions aren’t comprehensive.  I know it may only work on a small percentage of pro-choicers who think like I used to think.  But I wanted to give you hope.  You can change someone’s mind.  You can treat them with kindness and love.  You can work hard to understand their objections and then slowly show them how you too want the best for women and that abortion is never best.  Be patient. Be understanding.

Here is an article that tackles a lot more objections and responses.  39 Major Pro-Choice Arguments and Their Refutations. In my experience, most of these would never have come up between me and my pro-choice friends.  But it’s good to read this comprehensive list in case you do encounter someone who genuinely believes any of these facts.