Five Thoughtful Questions for Your Pro-Choice Friend
Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash
Although the abortion debate has been prevalent for years, it has heated up within the past few weeks due to the Dobbs decision handed down by the Supreme Court. While that decision did not outlaw abortion, handing it back to the states instead, the topic of its legality has surged among the American public.
As Christians, we have an obligation to do as Proverbs 31:8-9 tells us: “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” This means that we need to be speaking up for the most innocent and vulnerable lives among us—the unborn children who are being killed by abortion daily.
We may, however, struggle to find the words to do this in wise and loving ways, for as Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Because we desire to share the Gospel with unsaved friends, we might fear saying things that drive a wedge in that relationship.
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Yet Proverbs 10:11 says, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” It is a loving thing for believers to speak the truth, especially when that truth is lifesaving. If we choose not to speak up against abortion when given the opportunity, we are helping to “conceal violence” against those in the womb.
What are some ways, then, that we can wisely and thoughtfully address our pro-choice friends on the topic of abortion? Here are a few general principles before getting into the specifics:
- Seek as much as possible to have face-to-face conversations. Sometimes we do feel led to share our convictions on social media, and, after the Gospel, the topic of abortion probably deserves it the most. Sometimes a debate about it online could also be helpful, even if it’s just to help other readers of the thread to see good answers to questions that others might pose. But for the most part, face-to-face is best so that we can build the relationship in our tone, posture, and in-depth conversation.
- Try to avoid engaging with angry, divisive people, especially online. If you sense that the person you’re talking to is only interested in picking a fight or airing their over-the-top emotions, take a step back. The conversation most likely won’t be productive or rational.
- Be aware of your own emotions escalating.
Abortion is a topic to be passionate about. Murder is wrong, and the thought of that happening to tiny babies should make us want to weep. But we don’t want to direct our anger about the sin toward the people who are deceived and held captive by that sin.
- Ask good questions as much as possible.
The best evangelistic technique is to get people to think about their own views and guide them to the point where they see inconsistencies in their logic. This applies to the topic of abortion as well. People may seek to evade the question or change the topic if they can’t answer it, but gently try to guide them back to the question if possible.
With that being said, here are five thoughtful questions to open dialogue with your pro-choice friends:
- When does a human life begin and what scientific evidence backs your claim? The morality of abortion hinges on whether the baby inside the womb is a human life. If you can get your friend to define when this life begins, that can lead to other questions.
- Who decides what constitutes a person? The “my body, my choice” argument for personal autonomy is extremely popular. Your friend may concede that an unborn baby is a “life,” but they might say, “it’s not a person.” If that’s the case, they need to clarify what makes someone a person. People claim no one should have a say over what happens to a woman’s body, but there’s another body inside of her, distinct from her own. If you have another being inside of you that has a separate DNA, separate organs, brain, and heartbeat, wouldn’t you say that’s a separate person?
- How would you define murder? Abortion is largely successful because it uses euphemisms to mask what’s actually happening. Abortion clinics are famous for using words like “procedure” and “removal of the fetus” to numb women into not believing it’s murder. They try to make it sound no different than removing an unwanted mole so that women won’t think about the toxic chemicals being used to stop their child’s heartbeat.
It’s important that we define our terms and have others define their terms so that we can speak truth about what’s really happening. And if your friend defines murder as intentionally killing a helpless person, you can then ask what would be the difference between intentionally killing a helpless baby inside the womb and intentionally killing a helpless two-year-old on the street.
- Why do we use different terms in pregnancy when a baby is wanted versus when it seems unwanted? When a child is wanted, parents announce to all their friends, “We’re having a baby!” They don’t say, “We’re having a fetus!” When a child is wanted, women start doctor’s appointments right away to keep the baby healthy in utero. When a child appears unwanted, pro-choice people say a woman needs just one doctor’s appointment to get rid of it.
“Few want to acknowledge the pain and trauma that women face from having an abortion and from being pressured to have one.”
- Is it really “their choice” when women feel pressured to get an abortion? There is so much talk from pro-choice advocates about celebrating a woman’s right to choose and celebrating abortions in general. But few want to acknowledge the pain and trauma that women face from having an abortion and from being pressured to have one by family members or boyfriends/husbands (or society in general). Helping pro-choice friends to see this will hopefully open their eyes to the far-reaching negative effects of abortion on women.
There are so many more questions that could be asked. Indeed, if you start asking these questions, you will probably ask more follow-up questions as well. As you do, pray for grace to temper your tone of voice so you don’t come across as antagonistic, and pray for wisdom to have the words to say in response.
You may not change a person’s mind in one conversation. But you are planting seeds of truth with every question you ask, and that person may continue to think about it for weeks to come.
The Lord will do the work of changing hearts. You just have to be a faithful servant to speak truth and love whenever you can. May even one baby’s life be saved as a result.