Students at Columbia Right to Life recently “hit a brick wall” when they tried to organize a public debate with a pro-choice representative. They were ready and willing to fly a speaker across the country and get a group of two hundred to witness the event. The hardest part, though, was actually getting a pro-choice representative to agree to the debate!
“I always stress the importance of asking questions in order to understand where the person is coming from,” Colleen Shaffer, CRL president, writes in her article. Asking questions is probably one of the best ways to engage in productive and civil dialogue with your opposition. When does life begin? Did you know the heart starts beating just 21 days after conception? Do you think women would reject abortion if they had the support and means to raise a baby?
Shaffer continues, “while we may have disagreements over the issue of abortion, there is usually some common ground that we can start from as we engage in dialogue; in this case, compassion for women in need.” She’s right again—for the most part, those who defend abortion truly believe they are doing a service for women; that they are defending women’s freedom, and they don’t realize what abortion entails nor realize the dire consequences it has on these women. When we show them that we do care about pregnant women and their families (especially by working with pregnancy centers that offer free support and supplies for them), abortion-rights supporters generally become more open to dialogue and discussion, which makes way for education, a vital aspect of ending abortion.
Then, Columbia Right to Life finally came across a woman named Shanna, a Planned Parenthood activist, who agreed to the public debate. A question and answer session brought up a very uneasy topic for Planned Parenthood enthusiasts—the undercover work instigated by Lila Rose when she was a freshman at UCLA. Shanna explained that Planned Parenthood became “very aware” of Lila and her investigations with Live Action.
“…we were worrying about [Live Action] finding something that would put us out of business.”
Planned Parenthood is right to fear the discoveries Live Action continues to make regarding their abortion business and willingness to abet sexual criminals in their prostitution of underage girls.
“At Students for Life of America, we teach students that learning the pro-life basics is just a part of being an effective activist, and must be supplemented with leadership and outreach skills… Harsh tones and hard rhetoric puts up walls between people, while respectful dialogue brings them down,” Shaffer concludes her article.
“You can’t bring someone over to your side if there’s a wall standing in the way.”