This is probably one of the hardest questions I have to answer, and unfortunately it is asked too often. I have talked to countless women who were considering abortion. I wish I could tell you that I was able to talk all of them out of an abortion, but I can’t. There are no magic words that you can say that will automatically change someone’s mind. There is no set answer that will work in every situation.
There are several things that we have to consider in order to answer this question. The first thing I would like to address is our own heart and how we react to someone who comes to us in this situation.
If you have been involved in the pro-life movement, or know someone who is heavily involved, you probably have seen the passion we have for life. This passion can often be overwhelming for some and even scare many people away from the pro-life movement if it is not tempered with love.
I can tell you from my own experience that I have turned many people from pro-life work with my own actions. I have used my knowledge and passion to attack those who did not agree with me. I have spoken without thinking about the words I was saying, and hurt people I was trying to reach. While I was trying to love the baby, I forgot to love the mother I was trying to reach out to.
Before I was a Christian I remember Christians preaching at me and telling me I was going to burn in hell. I just laughed at them and disregarded anything they had to say. It was a doctor in a hospital who, instead of telling me how evil I was, told me how valuable I was to God that finally got through to me. That doctor loved me and showed me the love of Christ, and God used that to break my heart and bring me to Him.
In the same way God used that doctor to love me, we must let God use us to love someone considering abortion. The words we use must be words of hope and love, not words of judgment and condemnation. I must make it clear that the doctor who talked with me did not save me, Christ did. While God used that doctor, it was God alone who opened my heart and showed me that I needed Christ.
Something I think a lot of people forget when they’re talking to women about abortion is the woman herself. We get so wrapped up in talking about her baby that we forget about her and what she’s going through. A woman considering abortion is often scared, confused, hurt, and feeling alone. She often thinks there is no other option for her and there is no one there for her. If we only talk about her baby, and ignore her, then we just reinforce what she is already feeling.
In order to talk to a friend about this, we must first be ready to listen. We must be able to understand what our friend is going through and be able to talk about her problems and needs. Just convincing her that her baby is really a baby does not take away whatever brought her to this decision.
Then it comes time to talk to our friend about the life of the child in her womb. We must never approach this in a situational way. So many people think that the situation someone is in defines the level of personhood of the child. There are no levels of personhood, there is only personhood. We must establish the personhood of the child in the womb.
We must also be knowledgeable about life and what life is. If we cannot answer basic questions about the life of the child, then how can we expect someone to trust us or listen to us. In situations like this I would highly encourage you to take your friend to a pregnancy resource center to talk to a trained counselor. Many of these centers have doctors and nurses on staff and even free ultrasound machines. You can always call 1-800-395-help and they will connect you to the center closest to you.
While getting your friend to a pregnancy resource center would be the best option, many times they won’t want to talk to anyone else. In a situation like this you can always call us at Stand True and we can get you the resources you need to help your friend. We would be happy to mail you literature, fetal models or any other resource you need to talk to your friend. Our contact information can be found on our web site, http:// www.standtrue.com , and there are a lot of resources for you under the “Educate Yourself” section.
This would bring us to the second half of the question, “Should I say anything?” One of the most common things I hear from people is that they don’t want to push their beliefs on someone else. Though they believe abortion is wrong, they worry that it’s not their place to tell anyone else that it is. There is really no logic at all in this line of thinking.
There are people who believe it is ok to beat their children or beat their wives. There is an actual organization that believes it is OK for grown men to have sexual relations with young boys; truly believes that it is OK. I would ask someone who did not like to push their beliefs on someone else if they would ignore someone beating their wife? Would they look the other way if a man was going to harm a young boy?
If the child in the womb is a human person then we have an obligation to stand up for their life. It is not a question of pushing your beliefs on someone, but a matter of loving our neighbor as our self.
With all of this said, I would also encourage you to pray for your friend and offer them prayer. Even if they are not a Christian, many times they would welcome prayer in rough situation. Prayer is the most powerful tool that we have and it works. After all, it’s not really you who will change your friend’s heart, it is God.
Please feel free to ask us for prayer in these situations also. You can always e-mail me directly and ask for prayer.