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  #1  
Old Feb 16, '12, 7:11 pm
TeachAg TeachAg is offline
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Default Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

I hope this is the right section for this question... if not, maybe a mod could move it.

I am a high school agriculture teacher. Today I had a student in one of my shop classes confide in me that his girlfriend just told him that she thinks she is pregnant. He said that if she was, they would have an abortion. He is totally non religious so would not respond to anything from that approach. He knows I am prolife. In fact, he even said, “I know you are probably prolife.” Which I confirmed. I did not have to tell him.

I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I can reach this young man. It would have to be a secular argument to be effective. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old Feb 16, '12, 8:58 pm
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Leegal Leegal is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeachAg View Post
I hope this is the right section for this question... if not, maybe a mod could move it.

I am a high school agriculture teacher. Today I had a student in one of my shop classes confide in me that his girlfriend just told him that she thinks she is pregnant. He said that if she was, they would have an abortion. He is totally non religious so would not respond to anything from that approach. He knows I am prolife. In fact, he even said, “I know you are probably prolife.” Which I confirmed. I did not have to tell him.

I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I can reach this young man. It would have to be a secular argument to be effective. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
This site might give you something to work with as it presents secular and legal arguments that are pro-life. Depending on how far you can go with this with him, I might look up ultrasound photos to go with the various stages of development. Does the school system limit you in any way in counseling this boy - from the secular and legal standpoint, without bringing religion into the discussion?

However, I was pretty taken by the fact that this young man came to you knowing that you are pro-life. I think he wants to be convinced otherwise -- why you?

God Bless you.

http://www.frc.org/brochure/the-best...ular-audiences

Edited to add that there are also atheist pro-life sites that might give you some insight on how to approach this -- under the circumstances. This might help. There's several essays.

http://www.godlessprolifers.org/library.html
__________________
For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience.
.
-- Douay Rheims, Jeremiah 29:11
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  #3  
Old Feb 16, '12, 9:06 pm
gilbs72 gilbs72 is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

I am thinking the response would be very personal one, in which case we need to understand the couple's reasons and respond to each one. Is it because of family shame? Is it because of money problems? Is it because they don't feel responsible enough (yet)? I think somehow each case will have an appropriate response.

I also note the fact that religious point of view may not work well. But there are many things about life and babies that do not necessarily be linked to religion. I'd like to think that even "pro-choice" people still see the beauty of a baby - and not seeing babies as plain "statistics" or diseases or problems.

Browsed a bit and found this interesting article.
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  #4  
Old Feb 16, '12, 9:29 pm
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Trishie Trishie is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

From me, prayers for the baby and the mother.
__________________
JESUS who died once for all persons
who gives Yourself wholly in Communion to billions throughout time
please pray in me for every person
as if each person is the only loved one.
JESUS please welcome each person with love, healing, and great joy!
Thank You JESUS


Mother Mary at the wedding feast of Cana (John 2:1-12)
though JESUS protested it was not yet time for miracles
you successfully interceded with Him for a family's temporal need
please now intercede with your divine Son
for each person's temporal and spiritual needs.
Thank you Mother


JESUS please grant our prayer for this person


Catechism of the Catholic Church http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
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  #5  
Old Feb 16, '12, 9:32 pm
MidnightSun12 MidnightSun12 is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

At the end of the day, the only argument you can give him to not have an abortion is a "religious" argument. The truth is that without God there is NO good or evil so there really is no way that you can prove that an abortion is wrong without God.

I would emphasize with 100% confidence that an abortion is wrong decision that you can guarantee with absolute certainly that him and his girlfriend will regret. It's well-known that an abortion usually leads to depression on behalf of both the mother and father. It also pretty much guarantees that his relationship with his girlfriend will fall apart not too long afterwards. Emphasize adoption as an alternative and that there are an enormous number of people on a waiting list to adopt a child just like their's. I recommend giving him this story:

http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/abortion.htm

This was a guy who wasn't religious in the least and he was involved in TWO abortions. The state of his life degraded to such a point that turning to God was the only thing that saved him! My hope is that the holy spirit might be able to open up his heart if he is forced to face some ugly truths like this.

I will pray for this couple and I urge everybody on here to do the same!
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  #6  
Old Feb 16, '12, 9:53 pm
TeachAg TeachAg is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leegal View Post
This site might give you something to work with as it presents secular and legal arguments that are pro-life. Depending on how far you can go with this with him, I might look up ultrasound photos to go with the various stages of development. Does the school system limit you in any way in counseling this boy - from the secular and legal standpoint, without bringing religion into the discussion?

However, I was pretty taken by the fact that this young man came to you knowing that you are pro-life. I think he wants to be convinced otherwise -- why you?

God Bless you.

http://www.frc.org/brochure/the-best...ular-audiences

Edited to add that there are also atheist pro-life sites that might give you some insight on how to approach this -- under the circumstances. This might help. There's several essays.

http://www.godlessprolifers.org/library.html
Thank you. I will check out those sites. Your idea about ultrasound photos is a great one. I have a 9 week old right now. My wife suggested maybe brining him in for a visit. I could put his ultrasound picture up in my office. I did talk to him about my experience with my wife’s recent pregnancy and the birth of our son. My hands are a bit tied in terms of what I can say in the public school system. I can not get super preachy. I am not supposed to push my views on the students. The key is that he initiated the conversation. If at some point he told me to back off, I would have to.

It surprised me when he confided in me today too. As a shop teacher/ ag teacher, I have a unique relationship with many of the students. I work with them and interact with them in a way that no other teacher on campus does. It is great to be able to work with these young (mostly) men. I like to think that I am a strong male role model for them. I try to always set an example and instill values in an indirect way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbs72 View Post
I am thinking the response would be very personal one, in which case we need to understand the couple's reasons and respond to each one. Is it because of family shame? Is it because of money problems? Is it because they don't feel responsible enough (yet)? I think somehow each case will have an appropriate response.

I also note the fact that religious point of view may not work well. But there are many things about life and babies that do not necessarily be linked to religion. I'd like to think that even "pro-choice" people still see the beauty of a baby - and not seeing babies as plain "statistics" or diseases or problems.

Browsed a bit and found this interesting article.
He said that “it would not be fair to her” (his girlfriend) to have to go through it. I told him that the pregnancy and birth are not that bad all things considered. He said it wasn’t that, but it would ruin her life and reputation. She “would be labeled as a slut for the rest of her life” and so forth. He said it would not be fair for her to be pregnant in high school.

He also talked about what the reactions of family would be on both sides.

I do not think he is worried about money or raising the child. I mentioned adoption to him and his response to that idea were the objections above.
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  #7  
Old Feb 16, '12, 10:01 pm
TeachAg TeachAg is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trishie View Post
From me, prayers for the baby and the mother.
Thank you!
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  #8  
Old Feb 16, '12, 10:20 pm
NAMartyrs NAMartyrs is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeachAg View Post
I hope this is the right section for this question... if not, maybe a mod could move it.

I am a high school agriculture teacher. Today I had a student in one of my shop classes confide in me that his girlfriend just told him that she thinks she is pregnant. He said that if she was, they would have an abortion. He is totally non religious so would not respond to anything from that approach. He knows I am prolife. In fact, he even said, “I know you are probably prolife.” Which I confirmed. I did not have to tell him.

I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I can reach this young man. It would have to be a secular argument to be effective. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Unique DNA is created at conception. This means there is another human being inside the mother from this point forward which intern means to stop the growth of this human being would be to committ murder. Because the DNA sequence is different from that of the parents you would have a difficult time saying the embryo is part of the mothers body. On the contrary the embryo is inside the mothers body but is not part of her body, therefore she has an obligation to ensure its safety and health. If a friend is in your car you are legally responsible for the safety of that person. If they die due to your negligence for their safety you're responsible for their death.
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  #9  
Old Feb 16, '12, 10:26 pm
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Leegal Leegal is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeachAg View Post
He said that “it would not be fair to her” (his girlfriend) to have to go through it. I told him that the pregnancy and birth are not that bad all things considered. He said it wasn’t that, but it would ruin her life and reputation. She “would be labeled as a slut for the rest of her life” and so forth. He said it would not be fair for her to be pregnant in high school.

He also talked about what the reactions of family would be on both sides.

I do not think he is worried about money or raising the child. I mentioned adoption to him and his response to that idea were the objections above.
Here you might be helpful. I can guess that the parents will be upset, but realistically they probably love her (and his parents love him) enough to step up to the plate and the fact that she is pregnant. Do you have access to speak with the girlfriend too?

I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility for you to help them tell the parents, with them, if they are willing? Would they be open to having your support in telling the parents? You know the home situation better than any of us.

You and I know that being pregnant and a teen and then having an abortion makes an already bad decision into a much worse one. I might put it into those terms. That these decisions don't come without regret and later doubt that never goes away. One replays the "what if" for the rest of their lives. Giving a baby up for adoption is hard and not without its own consequences, but to end a life comes with much more regret later on. The problem is that you are dealing with teens who don't really have a concept of "long term" -- they really live in the "now."

If she is pregnant, can you speak with a someone before they make any decisions who may give further insight in how you can combat his fear of stigmatizing the girlfriend. Realistically, kids can be mean but they will live this down -- and with much less regret for the long term. They just can't see it.

I will pray for you. God Bless.
__________________
For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience.
.
-- Douay Rheims, Jeremiah 29:11
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  #10  
Old Feb 20, '12, 7:41 am
maggiecme maggiecme is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeachAg View Post
He said that “it would not be fair to her” (his girlfriend) to have to go through it. I told him that the pregnancy and birth are not that bad all things considered. He said it wasn’t that, but it would ruin her life and reputation. She “would be labeled as a slut for the rest of her life” and so forth. He said it would not be fair for her to be pregnant in high school.

He also talked about what the reactions of family would be on both sides.

I do not think he is worried about money or raising the child. I mentioned adoption to him and his response to that idea were the objections above.
Hey Teach!

Know that my prayers are with you. I would recommend that you help him see this from a more long-term perspective. In a highschooler's mind "labeled as a slut for the rest of her life" is a real concern but as adults, we know that we have forgotten more kids we went to high school with than we could ever remember about the few we do recall.

So his concern is coming from a very short-sighted perspective and perhaps it would help him to become aware of this.

Additionally, you can safely say that as far as long-term stigmas go, his girlfriend (and he for that matter) will live with this secret knowledge of their abortion for the rest of their lives. It's not something they can freely share because while it's a protected "choice", no one really is proud of having an abortion so they typically keep it a secret which eats away at them. No one really wants to hear someone talk about their abortion either. Isn't it amazing that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion but if you look around at the people you know, you may think you don't know anyone who has had one (male or female)?

They will be very alone in their knowledge of this action and it will likely always be a wall between themselves and others who don't know, or who know and think less of them for it. Future spouses may try to accept this and will likely try to be comforting but it is seldom a welcome piece of news about someone you love.

As they mature they will regularly regret the life they can not know. They may stay together but it is more likely, statistically, that they won't. They may each have children in the future but there is no guarantee with that. Abortion is known to cause spontaneous miscarriages far more frequently than women who have not aborted. This means their parents may or may not have future grandchildren.

She will be subjected to a much higher risk of cancer and her body will be changed forever regardless of whether she aborts early or late. Stopping the natural outcome of pregnancy causes the body to do things to "protect" itself that causes cellular damage and long term risks.

The bottom line is that this action is final.

If she has the child, whether she gives it up for adoption or raising the child herself (or himself) every day they can wake up and know that they have a new opportunity to do the right thing. Be a better parent or know that they are the best parent they could be at the time in the case of adoption.

If they abort, they will wake up every day knowing that they can never undo the action. That in this case they were not the best parent they could be and for that child they can never provide a better option.

That is a regret I don't wish on anyone, it's one I have carried everyday for 26 years.

I will be praying for this boy and his girlfriend as well as their baby, and you, as you have an opportunity to relate with this father and guide him as best as he will allow you.

M
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  #11  
Old Feb 20, '12, 8:27 am
St Francis St Francis is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

Tough situation, but i must wonder what school you teach at? We homeschool, but there are so many pregnant girls at our high school that it seems the students accept this as normal.

My suggestion was going to be pictures, because my overall thought is that anything along the lines of "sex ed" at the younger years should involve photos of babies in the womb so the students will know from a young age (before the hormones hit) exactly "what" is involved. I think this young man came to you precisely because he knows you are pro-life and hopes you will be able to help him save his baby. He might not have any arguments himself.

I would think about the "culture" in your school. Is it known that lots of students are engaged in this activity? What is it about pregnancy as opposed to merely havibg sex that would label her in this way?

Is there a system jn your school for tutoring students who are at home, or some sort of alternative school? Or might her parents homeschool her during the pregnancy?


Prayers for all of you.
Is there a pro-life group at the school or some resource to help her with her fears?
__________________


"The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love."
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  #12  
Old Feb 22, '12, 5:19 pm
silenced silenced is offline
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Default Re: Help me respond to a student thinking of an abortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeachAg View Post
I hope this is the right section for this question... if not, maybe a mod could move it.

I am a high school agriculture teacher. Today I had a student in one of my shop classes confide in me that his girlfriend just told him that she thinks she is pregnant. He said that if she was, they would have an abortion. He is totally non religious so would not respond to anything from that approach. He knows I am prolife. In fact, he even said, “I know you are probably prolife.” Which I confirmed. I did not have to tell him.

I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I can reach this young man. It would have to be a secular argument to be effective. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Reach this young man about what, exactly? Do you want to instruct him to strong-arm his girlfriend to carry the baby to term? Does she have no say in the matter at all? If she has an abortion, it would be on her conscience, not on the boyfriend's (unless he condoned it), and certainly not on the teacher's (because it's none of his business).

The best thing for the teacher to do is say "follow your conscience". These young people are old enough to decide how they want to proceed without interference from anyone. Yes, the boy ran it by the teacher, but the teacher's opinion bears no credence in this situation. It is not the place for the teacher to heavily endorse full-term pregnancy any more that it would be for him to drive the girl to an abortion clinic. We each have our own consciences. Allow us to use them, please.
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