As an officer of Titans for Life at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (one of our wonderful Affiliate Groups across the country), Sally Windler knows ERI apologetics forward, backward, and inside out. Recently, on the way out of a pro-choice panel discussion on her college campus, Sally stumbled upon an all-too-common scene: two men with cameras strapped to their bodies, holding a giant image of a bloody, dismembered baby doll. A camera on a tripod nearby recorded the small crowd that had formed around the pair as they screamed Bible verses at the appalled students.
Unfortunately, this scene is all too familiar to the pro-life advocates we train. In fact, one of the most common questions we receive from sidewalk counselors is how to handle “abolitionist” activists who act like this (or worse). It is often the case that no matter what the more gracious pro-lifer says;, the abolitionist will often get argumentative or just refuse to talk to the advocate at all, making progress nearly impossible.
Yet, after only one conversation with Sally, these two abortion abolitionists abandoned their bullhorns and walked away!
So, how did she do it?
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
I just sat down for coffee with my pro-choice US congresswoman and had the best abortion dialogue of my life.
Read that again.
Having productive dialogues with your representatives about abortion is possible.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Over the summer, the Whatever Podcast hosted two debates on YouTube with streamer and political commentator Destiny defending the abortion-choice position. His first debate featured Live Action’s Lila Rose and Students for Life’s Kristan Hawkins defending the pro-life position, and his second debate was with pro-life apologist Trent Horn. In both debates, Destiny’s position seemed to be the following:
What we value in human beings is their capability for human consciousness. This is what determines whether or not a biological human is a human person—someone with moral value who has rights and to whom we have obligations. Without some capacity for human consciousness, there is no “someone” who has rights, and therefore, they cannot be harmed in any morally relevant way.
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Now, according to this view, we declare someone dead when they no longer have a capacity for human consciousness in the future. So Destiny makes a symmetry argument, saying that if someone stops being a person when they no longer have the capacity for human consciousness and future human conscious experiences, then something starts being a human being once it has an actual capacity for human consciousness and human conscious experience. In other words, something is a person beginning with the moment human conscious experience is possible up until the moment it no longer has the capacity for human conscious experience. A fetus that does not have the actual capacity for human consciousness and has not had a human conscious experience is not a person. The fetus only has its first human conscious experience and gains an actual capacity for human consciousness, and subsequently a right to life, at around 20–24 weeks when the proper “parts” are developed from which human consciousness (by argument) emerges.