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“Is this for pro-life or pro-choice?”

Two students walking across the quad stopped and examined the image of the face and arm of a child aborted at fifteen weeks. “Wait. Is this for abortion or against it?” Several other students had already asked the same question that morning.

How could they look at the photos of dismembered children and be unsure where we stood on abortion?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that, instead of rebutting arguments, it has become the norm in today’s most divisive debates to attack the messengers. On social media, for example, where a concept must be conveyed in a single eye-catching image or a few seconds of video, it’s much easier to paint pro-lifers as out-of-touch, heartless, backward bigots than it is to explain why our position itself is wrong. 

When faced simply with photos of aborted children and medical diagrams of how abortions are performed, the college students we encountered that morning had to grapple with bare facts and think for themselves. Most seemed to appreciate the challenge. Hundreds of students accepted the literature we offered them (excellent magazines published by our friends at Human Life Alliance) or stopped to talk. 

A nursing student was hesitant to share his thoughts on abortion when asked because he didn’t know where we stood, but said that he had done enough ultrasounds to think abortion must be wrong at some point. His outraged fellow nursing student asked him, “Do you have a uterus?” - but I pointed out that the truth doesn’t have a gender. The two students went to class still disagreeing, but the pro-life student was better equipped to defend his beliefs while the pro-abortion student could only say that the male student wasn’t allowed to have an opinion.

Another student, realizing we were pro-life, declined the literature as he walked by. A minute later, he turned around and came back. He wanted to know if we were crazy radicals who opposed birth control as well as abortion. I pointed out that the vast majority of women are using contraceptives so clearly contraception is not the answer to abortion, that hormonal contraception is terrible for women’s health, and that hormonal contraception can kill very young children in utero. He was impressed that I had reasons for my position and, at the end of our conversation, he asked for a copy of the literature.

To students who undergo constant indoctrination in school and online, discussing the facts is revolutionary. 

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