Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In 2012, over a million human lives were ended through abortion in the United States, bringing the number of abortions up to 55 million since the Supreme Court decision in 1973.
Sanctity of Human Life Sunday—the Sunday closest to the January 22nd anniversary—was last weekend, and you may have heard your pastor preach on intrinsic human value and the horror of abortion. Maybe you’ve resolved to support pro-life organizations or individuals who you think are making a significant difference. That’s valuable, but I don’t want you to think that the fight is “out there” in the hands of some elite group of influencers and policy makers. When our culture turns around on this issue, it will not be mainly because of big-name activists. The change will occur because of small-scale interactions, through millions of conversations where people like you convince one person at a time to protect the weakest members of our human family.
Making the pro-life case is completely within your ability, I promise you. You just need to arm yourself with some information, a game plan, and some tools to help you get started. So I’ve put together a short list of resources, chosen for their simplicity, clarity, and accessibility. There are no textbooks in this list, and you don’t have to be a philosopher to understand any of this material. There are many resources available that go into greater depth, but I confined my list to a few essentials that cover the basics and will effectively equip anyone wanting to enter into this fight for universal human rights.
- Pro-Life Crash Course: This post gives an overview of how to argue for the pro-life position and includes links to resources that can clarify the points further, if you’d like to learn more. Familiarize yourself with the main points you’ll need to cover. Pro-life arguments are simple—that is, you do not have to learn heaps of information in order to address the most important question: what is the unborn?
- Pro-Life 101: Now that you have the outline in mind, Scott Klusendorf fills in the details in these CDs. The set also includes a debate (so you can hear how he responds to objections) and a booklet, Pro-Life 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Case Persuasively.
- Tactics: It doesn’t matter how much you know about abortion if you don’t have the confidence to enter into conversations about controversial topics with people you’d like to persuade. Greg Koukl’s Tactics material (available as a book, CDs, MP3s, or DVD—whichever format works best with your learning style) will teach you how to do this effectively, and it’s the most valuable material I’ve ever encountered as an apologist. And again, the skills taught in Tactics can be learned and used by anyone.
- The Unaborted Socrates: This book is short and brilliant. The best way to describe it is a cross between Pro-Life 101 and Tactics (see above). See what it looks like when you put the material from those two resources together, and learn by example how to use what you learned in Pro-Life 101 in a persuasive, non-threatening conversation. This book is the simple and powerful pro-life arguments spoken with clarity through a fictional dialogue between Socrates, a doctor, a philosopher, and a psychologist.
- This Is Abortion: The ancient Roman poet Horace said, “Less vividly is the mind stirred by what finds entrance through the ears than by what is brought before the trusty eyes.” Abortion is mostly hidden from our eyes, and that makes it easy to forget what we’re talking about—the deaths of young human beings. This video takes the term “choice” out of the dark and truthfully shows us the victims of abortion (but see the next link before you watch).
- How Should We Use Graphic Images?: The graphic images are powerful and painful. If we’re going to respect the people we’re trying to persuade, there’s a right way and a wrong way to introduce these images and the truths they reveal. This short video of Scott Klusendorf serves as a good example of how to compassionately prepare people for what they’re about to see. He also gives a defense of using graphic pictures as a persuasive tool, citing an example of how true, yet brutal, images helped to end human rights abuses in the past.
It’s up to you now. Won’t you join the fight?