I’d grab this girl by the shoulders and shout in her face, “What are you thinking?!?! Do you hear what you’re saying?” Well, that’s what I would like to do anyway. What I should do is start asking questions. Stand to Reason is an organization that provides a great training in how to engage in these conversations by asking specific questions. It’s called Making Abortion Unthinkable, and it is something I encourage all Christians to look at.
First, find out what your friend thinks “the unborn” really is. The state of South Dakota has regulations in place that require abortion doctors to share with their patients that an abortion will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being,” (NPR story from Jan. 22). This is a FACT supported by scientific evidence. People who consider abortion should have to wrestle with this.
Second, ask your friend what should happen to a two-year-old whose parents die tragically. Would it be better to kill the two-year-old, too, than have him be adopted or raised by people who weren’t his biological parents? This would be absurd, of course. But by using these kinds of examples it forces people to realize that the unborn are children, too, they’re just smaller than a two-year-old. The Making Abortion Unthinkable curriculum calls this method “trotting out the toddler.” It’s a very effective argument.
The goal of having an ongoing conversation with this friend would be to help her see the following logic and come to agree with it:
1. It’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings (e.g. the two-year-old).
2. Abortion intentionally kills innocent human beings (e.g. scientific evidence).
3. Therefore, abortion is wrong.
Abortion is not right, or even “more right.” It is not merciful or a better option. Stories of troublesome adoptees are about as much justification for abortion as stories of troublesome biological kids (which, I would argue, are equally present in our gossip circles). People believe whatever will ease their consciences, no matter how unfounded the story might be. When abortion is used as a form of contraception, as this woman describes it, she must find a “good” reason to justify it because her conscience needs her to. I suppose you can be grateful that her conscience is still active, it’s just incredibly misinformed. Perhaps you’re in a place to help remedy that. Pray for guidance and courage from the Holy Spirit to love this friend, keep talking to her, and help expose the lies that she is believing.
(Another great resource for preparing for abortion debates is Peter Kreeft’s The Unaborted Socrates: A Dramatic Debate on the Issues Surrounding Abortion.)