By Mary Kizior
You’re pro-life. You pray to end abortion and talk about pro-life issues in your circle of friends. But when a coworker, neighbor, or perfect stranger makes a passing comment about a “woman’s choice,” you don’t know what to do. By the time you can think of a rebuttal, the subject has passed and bringing it up again might make you look like a pro-life fanatic.
“But I don’t want to offend my friend/neighbor/coworker,” you say. What you don’t realize is that your silence is your tacit agreement with the statement.
What stops us from speaking out against abortion?
- Fear of losing friends
- Fear of offending others
- Fear of conflict
- Fear of not knowing what to say (or sounding stupid)
- Fear of not speaking compassionately
- Fear of being ostracized
The list is endless. The point is, we don’t speak up because we’re afraid of something. That could be losing our reputation or public image, or maybe even losing friends. But we shouldn’t be afraid, for we have the truth on our side.
As the Bible reminds us, we have no reason to fear: “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NABRE).
With God on your side, who can stand against you? Part of living the gospel of life is sharing it with others. Instructing the ignorant is actually something we are called to do as a work of mercy.
We can’t let fear of being called a bigot or other names stop us from defending innocent preborn babies, senior citizens, or people with disabilities.
We are each called to build a culture of life using our own unique talents. Some of us are outspoken extroverts who love arguments, while others are introverted and prefer a quiet corner with a book to read. Every personality has its strengths. Use yours to help build a culture of life with every person you encounter.
Sharing the pro-life message as an extrovert
Are you a people person? Do you thrive on talking to others and sharing stories? If you answered yes to these questions, you are an extrovert. You have a natural gift for engaging others in conversation or being the life of the party. For you, sharing the pro-life message with others is a joy.
But how do you spread the truth with compassion so you can help transform hearts? Here are a few ideas to help you spread the culture of life:
1. Wear a pro-life T-shirt. Try to stay away from those that simply state “I am pro-life,” but wear one that makes people think. Poignant T-shirt messages are great conversation starters and can help you evangelize in ways you couldn’t imagine.
2. Be prepared to engage someone in conversation. This means knowing your facts and keeping up to date on pro-life news.
3. Practice. It sounds odd, but practice speaking about abortion with a friend. Pay attention to your words so that your points come out clear and succinct.
4. Know when to walk away. Some people argue for the sake of arguing. If they are unwilling to hear any valid points you have to make, shake their dust from your feet and walk away.
5. Be vocal on social media. Social media is a great platform for sharing resources and research with others. Share memes and articles that articulate your pro-life beliefs. Don’t get caught up in lengthy arguments on social media, but don’t be afraid to respond to your friends in a kind and compassionate manner.
Sharing the pro-life message as an introvert
Are you quiet and reserved, someone who doesn’t always say aloud what you’re thinking? Do you find parties exhausting and frequently need time to yourself? If so, you are likely an introvert. Just because you prefer quiet solitude doesn’t mean you don’t have a role in spreading the gospel.
Not everything you do to build a culture of life has to put you in the center of attention. Even if you’re shy or have a fear of public speaking, you don’t have any excuses not to try to spread the pro-life message.
Practice speaking about abortion to help you build confidence so that you can go out and talk to others in more stressful situations. Do you fear confronting others? Here’s what you can do instead:
1. Pray and fast. This is something you should be doing no matter how comfortable you are in social situations.
2. Use your hands. Social interaction not your cup of tea? Use your actions to build a culture of life. Invite others to join you at a pro-life prayer vigil or at a visit to a nursing home.
3. Put a pro-life bumper sticker on your car or a pro-life sign in your front yard. Nine times out of 10, you won’t have to talk to anyone about it, but it is a visible sign of your inward convictions. If you didn’t have a sign, no one would know that you support moms and babies in their hour of need.
4. Dialogue on social media. Face-to-face interaction might not be your thing, but you can still spread the pro-life message by sharing memes and articles on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, and by making statements about what you believe.
Make a commitment to do something every single day to help end abortion. Educate yourself on pro-life issues, then educate your children. This summer, American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program will release the first part of Defend Life, a unit study for 7th and 8th graders which teaches them how to defend every human being, from the moment of their creation until death.
Sign up for our e-mail newsletter to receive a sample from Defend Life as well as updates on when this supplement will be available.
Mary Kizior is a content developer for American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, which stresses the culture of life as an integral part of every academic discipline. CLSP is dedicated to helping students become effective communicators of the pro-life message.