Abortion as Injustice Interview—Part 2

Author Alan Shlemon Published on 07/11/2014

I was recently interviewed by students about the injustice of abortion. I thought I’d share my answers. You can read the first part of the interview here. This post is the second part of that interview.

Do you know of anyone else who is already trying to make a difference? What are they doing?

There are many organizations and individuals working hard to make a difference. Besides myself and Stand to Reason (the organization I work for) there are other training groups, like Life Training Institute and Justice for All, that are trying to reduce abortions by changing minds. In addition, there are thousands of pregnancy resource centers that serve the needs of pregnant women. They provide pregnant mothers with prenatal care, supplies, and counseling to support them during and after their pregnancy. Many of these care centers also use ultrasound machines to show mothers images of their unborn babies. Sometimes abortion-minded women who see an ultrasound of their child will change their mind and carry their baby to term. By serving and helping them during their crisis pregnancy, these centers reduce the chances that the mothers will abort their children.

How many abortions do you think have been stopped through your program?

That’s a difficult question to answer because most of the time I don’t see the full impact of my work. The vast majority of what I do is training Christians to defend the pro-life view. When they actually engage in practicing what they’ve learned, I am not usually with them. The one exception is when I take pro-lifers out on the streets and engage abortion-choice advocates. Sometimes during my involvement in their hands-on training, we get a person who was abortion minded to change their mind. In several other instances, I have had students come back from engaging abortion-choice advocates and tell me that they prevented an abortion. But these examples are uncommon because of the nature of what I do. However, I do know that the pro-life principles I teach are effective and can change minds on abortion. In many presentations I’ve given on secular university campuses, I’ve had people tell me they are no longer pro-choice. These people may one day face a life or death decision and now I know they’ll make the right choice. Therefore, I’m confident that lives are being saved even if I don’t get regular reports of my impact.

What do you believe is the most effective way to combat abortions in the U.S. and also worldwide?

This requires a three-pronged approach: personally, publicly, and politically. First, individuals must personally commit to not have an abortion themselves. Around 30% of people who have abortions identify as Protestant or Catholic. So, first we need to act consistently with our own values and stop killing our own children. Second, we need to stand up, publicly, against the killing of innocent human beings. That means changing minds on abortion with friends and family. It entails public presentations and debates at universities and other public forums. It also requires that we serve women facing crisis pregnancies with the care, love, and support they need. Third, we need to fight against abortion laws in the political realm. Laws tend to inform the conscience of the culture. When we make a behavior illegal, it communicates that the prohibited behavior is also immoral. To combat abortion in these three realms requires that people get trained with effective pro-life tactics.

What governmental change do you foresee about the issue of abortion?

I think the government should act consistently. It is already against the law in at least 38 U.S. states to kill the unborn. If someone kills a pregnant woman, they are accused of a double homicide. Killing the unborn, in this case, is treated as murder. The only exception to this law is if the mother decides she doesn’t want to be pregnant, she can request a physician to kill her unborn child. But that’s not consistent. On the one hand, the government treats the unborn as a valuable human being who deserves protection. On the other hand, it treats that same child as neither valuable nor deserving of protection when something happens: the mother decides she doesn’t want a baby. Then, she can request a physician to kill her unborn child. Why does the government strip a member of the human community of their right to life simply based on the desire of their mother? The government isn’t being consistent and it needs to stop this behavior by treating all human beings under its jurisdiction equally.

How can young adults make a difference?

First, they can commit to not have an abortion themselves. Too many people who are attitudinally pro-life aren’t behaviorally pro-life when it matters most. They think their situation is different and, when in a bind, succumb to the pressure to abort. Unfortunately, the data shows many Christians are having abortions. This needs to stop. Second, they can learn the art of pro-life persuasion so they can change minds on abortion when the conversation comes up. All they need is some basic skills to help them understand the science and some simple philosophical distinctions. The evidence is on our side so there’s no excuse. Third, they can volunteer for a pro-life organization or pregnancy resource center. There are many non-profit, pro-life organizations that work hard at saving lives. Anyone can call them and ask how they can help by volunteering their time. Also, they can volunteer at a pregnancy resource center. These centers come alongside women who are abortion minded and serve them when they need help the most. Fourth, they can financially support pro-life speakers, activists, and organizations. The reality is that money is needed to fund the work of people who have committed their lives to ending the injustice of abortion. It is the holocaust of our time and money provides the means to ensure the work they do to end it doesn’t stop today.