Presenting Church Teaching on Abortion to 8th graders


As part of my RE class for 8th graders on January 18 (March for Life Sunday in Chicago), I will present a segment on the Catholic Church’s position on abortion. This will include time
for some Q&A.

In addition to the Catechism, I would appreciate any recommendations.

I will be sending an outline to their parents ahead of time. This includes and an open invitation for them to attend.



One of the most effective thing we’ve used is to take the statistic ( whatever it is at the moment) and apply that to your class by having the “aborted/non-present” people wear a plain white tee with a large X on it. You can ask for volunteers form the kids who would like to do this in advance.
Those students are then at class, but have no participation,. No talking, no participation in any way. In my daughter’s Catholic High School they went to their regular lunch tables with friends, but didn’t talk. They were just “invisible”.
It illustrates how different life would be without the people they have to come to value greatly in their lives. You could do a version of this.
This is a good non-violent way to illustrate the reality of lives lost.

I don’t think the lesson will be anything but positive, due to the age involved. Having recently been very young children themselves :wink: this age group is profoundly pro-life. Many of them likely have infant siblings. The fact that there are mothers who opt for the death of their children is horrifying to most kids.
Good luck, You’re in our prayers.


I’ve never encountered any problem presenting the Church’s teaching on abortion to 8th graders. They completely understand and agree that killing babies is always wrong.

Even in the one case where one of my 8th graders said they’d learned abortion was “just a choice” in school, I simply asked “so what is it that the woman is *choosing *to do?” After 30 seconds of thinking about it, the horrified look appeared.

It is adults who are the problem. Children are horrified by the idea that mothers kill their babies.

I simply present the truth about the sanctity of life, the 5th commandment, and that we must continue to fight for the rights of the unborn.

I would not call it the “Catholic Church’s position on abortion”. That makes it sound like there are other legitimate positions. I would call it the truth about the dignity of the the human person, including the unborn.


Thanks! I believe it is both the truth AND the Church’s teaching (position). Perhaps my choice of words was poor. The reason I want to present it AS the Church’s teaching is to be consistent in my approach in class that the truth comes from the Church. I understand what you mean by “legitimate” but I am making a distinction between moral truth and bad (immoral) law.

Of the 14 who attended today, 12 see it as a violation of the 5th Commandment. The other two were confused. Your premise about young people is spot on. More next week.

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