When I sat down with the rest of CCBR’s Communications Department to discuss how we were going to structure STUCK: A Complete Guide to Answering Tough Questions About Abortion, we were agreed that we wanted to create something that could be used as a textbook. One of the most difficult parts of compiling this resource was deciding what order to put certain arguments in, and how to make the book flow so that it made sense to people. When it came to Part One, however, it wasn’t difficult to decide what we needed to address first: the difficult circumstances that often surround unplanned pregnancies. Anyone who has had conversations about abortion with others has heard statements such as: Abortion is necessary if a woman is poor, or young or without support, etc. As we point out in Part One of STUCK:
The main challenge we face in conversation is a difference in focus. Those we dialogue with often focus all their attention on the fear, uncertainty, and even desperation that a woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy may be feeling. While as pro-lifers we recognize the painful reality of these circumstances, in conversations about abortion we focus on the important question that Scott Klusendorf, president of Life Training Institute, emphasizes as the foundation of all pro-life apologetics: What are the pre-born? Morally speaking, we know the question is not about circumstances. After all, if the pre-born child is a human being, abortion, which violently ends his or her life, is completely unethical. On the other hand, if the pre-born child is not a human being, then abortion is the moral equivalent of getting a tooth pulled. The question we must ask is not whether circumstances are hard; rather, we must ask whether the pre-born child is a human being.
Throughout Part One, we go on to explain how to bridge this gap in focus using a simple, three step communication strategy: finding common ground, using analogies, and asking questions. When we are discussing difficult circumstances it is crucial that we do so with compassion, while recognizing that we don’t end the lives of innocent human beings because they happen to be poor, conceived through sexual assault, or are in some way considered inconvenient. While responding to these difficult situations often leave people tongue-tied—such as politicians who claim to be pro-life—there are simple and effective ways to respond to these questions, and our staff and volunteers at CCBR have countless testimonies to prove it.
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