How can we change hearts and save lives?

Recently, Live Action’s Facebook page published a post: “(Fill in the blank): If I had 30 seconds to talk to a woman considering abortion, I would say ____________.”

I thought it was a fantastic post and I immediately looked through the comments, hoping I could find some good ideas to use while sidewalk-counseling abortion-minded women. Instead, I saw a slew of comments that epitomized the pro-abortion view that many pro-lifers just express hateful anti-abortion outrage. At first, I figured the page was being trolled by people who wanted to make pro-lifers look bad–but as the comments kept being added, I realized that this is exactly how some people view abortion-minded women.

To put it lightly, I was utterly appalled.

If I were a woman considering or unsure about an abortion, the one thing that would absolutely solidify my decision to abort would be hearing a “pro-lifer” scream “MURDERER!” or “YOU ARE SO STUPID!” It would give me the false sense that I would actually be safer inside an abortion clinic. Is this really what we want? To drive women into a place that will inevitably kill her unborn child? Doesn’t hate seem counterproductive here?

I am surrounded by and work with caring, compassionate pro-lifers day in and day out and have been for years, so I have been under the impression that the extremist, misogynistic, stereotypical anti-abortion movement has been withering away and was being replaced with a peaceful, prayerful movement. However, judging from what I recently read on Facebook, I can see that we still have a long way to go to reach that point.

I see how effective a kind and loving approach to those who support or consider abortions can be. I think about young mothers I or my friends have sidewalk counseled— we offered free help and information to them, and they changed their minds! I think about clinic directors and employees like my friend Abby Johnson. If she had heard the words “You baby killer! You are going to hell!” day in and day out, instead of “We love you and care about you!” during 40 Days for Life vigils, do you really think she would have had a change of heart and come to the Coalition for Life for help when she had her pro-life conversion? I highly doubt it.

To win this war that we fight today for the unborn, we must change the hearts and minds of those who deem abortion a “right” and educate others on what abortion entails. The only way we can do this is through compassion, patience, and loving outreach—something that not all pro-lifers understand.

The bottom line is that to change the hearts and minds of pro-choicers, we must first change the hearts and minds of pro-lifers. We have to realize that disdain and anger directed toward those who don’t realize the truth about abortion will never change minds or save lives. Love, education, and outreach will.

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