While doing activism, one of our foundational conversational tools is the Human Rights Argument. Last Friday, while we were doing “Choice” Chain at Mount Royal University in Calgary, I had a conversation with a young woman who wasn’t sure what she thought about abortion. You may be surprised, but this is actually a very common response, especially from high schoolers or 1st year college/university students. Many of them simply haven’t thought much about abortion.
I joined Edmonton Against Abortion in their door-knocking project last Wednesday. The evening temperature was -11°C and I wasn’t sure how many people were going to come to their doors. There were lights on in many of the houses we approached, but either no one was home or whoever was inside wasn’t coming to see who was outside. Instead, we left postcards. We were heading up the walk to our last home of the hour. So far, three doors had opened but the people who met us were too busy, too sick, or too young to have a conversation with us.
During “Choice” Chain, we often have more than one person listening to our conversations. If I’m standing on a street corner talking with one person, there might be a few others who are waiting to cross the street. My audience is suddenly larger. Or if I’m speaking with a group of people but one of them is doing most of the talking, I need to remember the others are listening as well.
Two days ago, I was standing across from a high school in Calgary, holding a sign showing a 10-week old pre-born child, pulled apart in an abortion. A young man was crossing the street but at such an angle that I needed to overextend my reach, offering my brochure, as I projected my voice, “Hey, what do you think about abortion?”