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By Alan Shlemon, The Stream, October 13, 2018
Being pro-life is not merely an attitude. It’s a behavior — it’s something you do.
Last week, I spoke on the art of pro-life persuasion in San Diego. Towards the end of my presentation, I offered seven action steps pro-lifers could take to make a difference in the lives of the unborn and their mothers who face crisis pregnancies.
1. Don’t have an abortion yourself.
Planned Parenthood data indicates that a significant percentage of women who have abortions identify themselves as Christian. That means Christians are killing their own children. If we’re going to make abortion unthinkable, it needs to stop with us.
That’s what I taught last week in San Diego. These are tactics that help you effectively, yet graciously, engage abortion-choice advocates on the most important aspects of the discussion about abortion. I would add that besides studying the material, you should role-play the tactics with a friend.
3. Engage people who disagree with you.
Once you’ve learned how to graciously engage others, start talking to people who disagree with you. You’ll never learn the art of pro-life persuasion effectively until you get pushback from abortion-choice advocates.
This is a multi-day (two days or more) mission trip geared for anyone who wants to learn and practice the tactics of having persuasive, gracious conversations with abortion-choice advocates. You learn how to integrate your pro-life view with multiple areas: moral, theological, legal, practical, etc. The training and role-play prepares participants to effectively share their convictions in actual face-to-face conversations with those who disagree. You can read more about this experience here.
5. Volunteer for a pregnancy resource center.
This is the front line. These centers provide support, resources, counseling, and sometimes even housing for women facing crisis pregnancies. Many women who are abortion-minded decide to keep their child after encountering the loving care provided by these centers and their staff. You can find a center near you by using a search tool like this or this.
6. Vote for pro-life policies or candidates.
We need to change the laws to protect women and their unborn children. That’s not going to happen if we vote people into office or pass laws that don’t protect the most vulnerable people in our society. Besides, laws tend to inform the conscience of a culture. Allowing abortion to remain legal and unrestricted tends to make people believe that abortion is moral. If abortion were made illegal, then eventually people would tend to think it’s immoral. To clarify, I’m not arguing that what’s legal is moral. I’m just saying that behaviors that are legal suggest to some that such behaviors are moral.
7. Financially support a pregnancy resource center, pro-life group, or pro-life leader.
Whether we like it or not, money makes it possible for people to get their pro-life work done and helps pregnancy resource centers to support more women. If you can’t volunteer your time and energy (action step #5), support pro-life work with your finances.
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Again, it’s great to be attitudinally pro-life, but we also want to do something to stop the killing. These seven steps are all practical ways to put feet to your convictions.
Alan Shlemon is an author and speaker for Stand to Reason and trains Christians to share their convictions in a persuasive, yet gracious manner. Known for teaching on some of the most controversial issues of our time, he tackles topics such as abortion, evolution, homosexuality, bioethics and Islam. Alan has been a guest on both radio and television, and has spoken to thousands of adults and students across the country at churches, conferences and college campuses.