How to Discuss Abortion while Keeping Your Head
By: Anthony Rivera
“It’s my body…”
You have probably heard a range of arguments used in defense of abortion, from “I personally wouldn’t, but a woman should be able to choose for herself,” to “It’s better and safer than back-alley abortions,” to the common, “It’s my body, and I can do whatever I want with my body.” We should know how to respond to the whole range of abortion-defensive arguments, but it is too common that we lose our heads doing so. Perhaps we know that abortion is wrong but do not know why, or know all of our facts but do not know how to get them across. Maybe we know the facts but get our point across in an unloving way. Any of the three will lead to a failed argument. There are ways, however, that you can talk about abortion without losing your head.
KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, AND CHARACTER
Studying some basic statistics, the biological components of pregnancy, and the Roe vs. Wade case will definitely help in talking about abortion. Become as knowledgeable as possible so that you don’t get stuck with nothing to say when talking with someone. However, while knowledge is important, wisdom is also. You should know not only what points to get across, but how you’ll get it across. Part of this is knowing when to talk and when to listen. You can know all the facts in the world, but if you don’t know how to have the conversation with someone, it will mean nothing. Wisdom goes hand-
in-hand with character; we should possess personal virtue to talk about abortion. It shows virtue when you know how to talk to people charitably, no matter how fired up the other person gets or how emotionally pressing the topic is.
ASK QUESTIONS, LISTEN, AND FIND COMMON GROUND
Talking about abortion should not be a debate, nor a battle. Ask questions with an open heart to understand their point of view, not to find out what to say next. The person will realize that you do not care about them and are only listening so that you win the argument. Instead, listen so that you can find common ground. While there might be confusion in the hearts of pro-choicers, and some may be flat-out rude in their defense of abortion, they are not the enemy. As a matter of fact, they are our allies. This might sound crazy, but we have more in common than most think. While discussing abortion you should find this common ground so that they know you actually care about them. While trying to convince someone that abortion is wrong is challenging, sometimes it is not about convincing them that it is wrong, but having them walk away with a pebble in their shoe—something to think about. As challenging as this is, it is possible, so long as you keep your head while doing it.