Dear Friends in Christ:
Some of my friends believe abortion is immoral. However, they
believe women should have the “right to choose.” What is the best
way to engage in a non-confrontational discussion with them?
I appreciate any suggestions you can give me.
Dear Friends in Christ:
Ask them what that means.
What is the woman choosing?
At the end of the day, the fetus is either a human life (and abortion is murder) or it’s not (and the person is ignorant of science).
Use logic to dismantle their argument in a loving way. They should have a reason for believing that so figuring out why would be a good start.
I think my friends who find abortion immoral are very timid about
making abortion illegal. Even before Roe v. Wade, the discussion
has been framed in terms of women’s rights. None of them
is bad. They just don’t want to tread on women’s rights as they
have been indoctrinated to believe. Whereas I believe that it is the worst
“choice” of all.
Your friends sound like the kind of people who, back in the day, were opposed to slavery but didn’t want to tread on anybody’s property rights.
How can I encourage them to see the link between
personal views and political changes? It’s tough
in the Northeast, where I live, to take this stand.
They need courage and inspiration to overcome
this climate, just as @redbetta and @SeriousQuestion
have suggested. It’s hard to identify as Catholic.
I’m not kidding.
These are great ideas, btw. To be honest, I sometimes
lack courage in taking on this challenge. I thank you.
You might simply ask them what ideas they have instead of making it illegal. For example, rather than banning abortion perhaps they would favor cutting the time when a woman could have an abortion. Perhaps they would be in favor of increasing spending on education and child care so that a woman would be in a position to support her child rather than abort it. As you talk you may find that you have a great deal of common ground even if you don’t agree on absolutely everything. That’s a good starting point for further discussion.
If abortions stay legal, there will of course be more abortions.
Many share this sentiment, they are pro-life but they wouldn’t want to force anyone into it. It’s weird but somewhat understandable. I’m for life, in all circumstances.
We know our life, and its circumstances. We have no idea about other people’s.
Some feel strongly that people should freely choose life. What happiness, it would be for people to say yes because they have all the help they need, yes because they are not judged for being unmarried, yes because they can still work and provide for themselves, yes for having maternity or paternity leave, yes to parenthood.
This happiness is so special. This freedom to say yes to life is irreplaceable.
The world, because it is a fallen world, isn’t full of these yeses. It is full of nos. No, we make it hard for you to get help and if you need it it’ll cost, no because you aren’t married and you must have questionable morals, no because we don’t want to accomodate working parents, no we don’t want to provide leave for you to have children, no to parenthood.
It countries where the majority of these issues are address have a higher birthrate. Scandinavian countries have a quite high birthrate in comparison to the rest of Western Europe.
We have to be the light of yes, and encourage people to choose the light and then stand with them.
Do they believe wife-beating is immoral? Should wife-beating be legal so as not to interfere with each husband’s individual choice on this matter?
Tell them while you understand them not wanting to force their belief on others, the problem with having abortion be legal is that it encourages people to have abortions, which results in a higher number of babies being killed. So it is necessary to be anti-abortion in order to save lives.
Also tell them that having abortion be legal increases the possibility for the tax dollars of you and others who don’t want to be part of abortion in any way to be used to facilitate abortions, and you can’t support that.
Finally, tell them that legal abortion promotes the mother’s rights at the expense of the baby’s rights as a human and in some cases at the expense of the father’s rights, so you can’t support it from a rights perspective.
I have friends and family who believe life begins at conception, but women should be allowed to terminate their pregnancies until the fetus is viable outside the womb. They see the blood being in the mother’s hands not theirs. Their arguments basically hinge on free will.
I have not found an effective way of cracking that argument, so I just pray for them.
From a practical standpoint, we cannot do much to punish the mothers. The primary purpose of anti-abortion laws was to criminalize the acts of abortion providers.
As far as I can tell, they don’t argue for Earthly punishments. They argue that God will take care of it.
In other words, they are content to let civil law be civil law and let God’s law be Gods law.
They believe that life begins at conception, but that it is OK for the law to allow another to kill that person? Is that not denying the humanity of the child in the womb?
And if they see it being simply about a woman and what she would choose to do then (even if they view the action as being wrong) they are removing the child from the equation and effectively dehumanising the child.
I don’t think anyone would accuse them of having a position that is logically consistent. They have no interest in going any further than “God will take care of it”. They don’t see a role for themselves here.
I used to be that person. But then I realized. It makes no sense to say ‘well I’m against slavery/murder/literally any violent crime but I think people have the right to choose whether they want to or not’.
If people sincerely hold this view and insist ‘well, abortion is different’, then the focus should be on why they view abortion and murder as different. Keep digging and you’ll eventually see that they believe the value of a fetus is less than a value of say, a 5 year old imo. That’s the fundamental issue in the abortion debate. Not about autonomy at all.
Taking that approach there would be no need for any laws, because if people do wrong God will take care of it, which of course he will, but a main reason we enact laws is to protect people from harm. Do they think that a child in the womb is not worthy of protection from being deliberately killed?
I’m not sure how they would respond to that question. Probably something about separation of church and state, and something about Roe v. Wade. Maybe I’ll ask them next time the subject comes up.
Right after I started this thread, I had the most wonderful experience when I talked to my closest friend about this issue. I just drew her out into a Q&A and she ended up evangelizing me. She had so many examples that she had reflected on. And she was comfortable with the political implications. And I was blown away. I need to pray about this mission rather than make assumptions. Upon reflection, I should NEVER judge what’s in peoples’ hearts. It was an amazing experience. I have tried this with staunch abortion supporters and it never works. So pray for me to reflect more and not to judge so much.