With the recent news about abortion bills in Georgia and Alabama, the pro-life movement has been at the forefront of national conversation and criticism. Misinformation has spread like wildfire, and people are upset. As the conversation begins to escalate, here are four tips for pro-lifers, spoken from a pro-lifer, that could help improve and advance our movement.

Be supportive

On both the pro-life and pro-choice sides of the debate, there are people who are directly associated with the experience of abortion — abortion survivors, women who have had abortions, women who are considering abortions.

If we cut through the, oftentimes, vicious words of those with loud opinions on both sides, we arrive at those who have battled and are battling this personally. I think the primary emotion pro-lifers should consider in this debate is fear rather than anger. Women in these seemingly impossible situations are scared. Women who have been in this situation have experienced that fear.

The reason people in our culture are talking about pregnancy like it’s a death sentence is because women have felt that way before, regardless of whether this is true. Instead of exclaiming that abortion is murder, we can and should exercise sympathy. We can support women and mothers who are struggling, both emotionally and financially. And for the pro-life women who have been in that situation — and there are many — you have the rare opportunity to exercise empathy. Let’s start there.

Be gentle

Abortion is a thorny issue. We all know that opinions and emotions run high, just at the word. Similar to above, it does the pro-life movement little good to scream that abortion is murder, or to berate the other side for their opinion.

The pro-choice side is already berating pro-lifers; let’s not return the favor. We can meet the other side with gentleness in the face of their anger (even their disdain).

And again, you never know to whom you are speaking. Statistics have shown that 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. Be careful with your words.

Be factual

The pro-life movement has something on their side that the other does not: science. Despite attempts by pro-choicers to gloss over the realities of fetal development (like Alyssa Milano’s call for a fetal heartbeat to be called “fetal pole cardiac activity”), scientific fact is not so easily changed.

Argue kindly, but also factually. Use the truths of fetal development to show others why you believe that unborn life is still life.

Additionally, many pro-lifers (me included) hold fast to strong religious beliefs that complement our conviction that life in the womb is still life. However, it is important that people know that religion, while it certainly informs and directs many people’s pro-life beliefs, is not the sole determinant. I have found that it is easier to have a conversation about abortion when it is debated with scientific fact rather than religious conviction. With the conversation of abortion already as emotion-filled as it is, throwing religion into the mix seems to only add fuel to the fire.

Tell your story

A lot of pro-lifers are the products of parents — a mother, specifically — who chose life in the face of opposition. Whether it be from family, doctors, or both, many women have resisted these people’s call for them to abort their child. Then, their child has lived a full and healthy life. I’m one of those children!

Facts are powerful. But stories can be just as powerful — for some, they’re infinitely more convincing. So tell yours.

Creating a calm, steady conversation in the midst of such a heated debate is an important step for pro-lifers to consider. If we want to foster a culture that respects life, we need to be respectful of others, too.

Liana I.
FFL Cabinet
Liana is a follower of Christ and current communications student at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She enjoys writing, reading, and serving others.

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