How Should Pro-Lifers Think About Post-Abortive Shame?

The way our society uses the word “shaming” is complicated. In this post I discuss three different types of shaming and how they relate to abortion.

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My views on this topic are the kind that if you only get a snippet of it out of context, there are many ways to misunderstand it. I don’t think my view is offensive, but my view improperly understood is definitely offensive several times over. It’s always good to read someone’s entire explanation instead of just part of it, but there are some topics where that’s more essential than others. This is one of the more essential cases. If you just want to skim, or you are not committed to trying to understand what my view actually is, then please don’t read this.

On Understanding the Baltimore Rioters

A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook asking for help understanding why people in Baltimore are rioting. Here was my attempt. Interested in additional thoughts from all over the political spectrum.

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Okay, here’s my best shot. The more peaceful protesters are black people who feel like the lingering societal effects of slavery and segregation still last, resulting in it being harder for them to get good jobs, live in nice neighborhoods, etc.

There has been a lot more documented police brutality than before when cell phone videos weren’t a thing, and some police agencies aren’t responding appropriately to that. This means that they feel real physical danger when stopped by police.

They also believe that unlike white, privileged people, their voices aren’t really heard, so they do the next “louder” thing: get together and protest, *just like we do in DC every January!*

The violent rioters? I think some of them are described above but their feelings about it are so strong that it has turned to anger and even hatred of police/the government/anyone they believe is too powerful.

I think there’s a third group of people who just want to watch the world burn. They don’t care so much about racism and police violence as they do the fun of participating in a riot and burning stuff.

6 Resources on Whether or Not Birth Control Pills Cause Abortions

birth control smallerHere are the six most helpful resources I know of for trying to assess whether birth control pills and/or Plan B definitely cause abortions or not.

The most common question I get emailed to me goes something like this:

I’m trying to figure out what contraception is morally acceptable to use and would appreciate any info you could send me on research about how hormonal contraception and Plan B prevent implantation. My understanding is that they thin the uterine lining. I’d specifically be interested in studies establishing a correlation between fertility and thickness controlling for all other factors. Or at least given my current understanding of how the drugs work.

Here’s my short answer:

What to Say to Someone Who Says “I Wish I Had Been Aborted”

E-mail concept on white background. Isolated 3D imageI got a tough question from a reader this week:

“Josh, what should I say to someone who tells me that they wish that they had been aborted? I hear this a lot from people who had bad childhoods.” ~ Rebecca from Georgia.

I would probably start by saying this:

“That makes me sad that you would say that. It tells me that you must have lived a very sad life. I’d be open to hearing about that if you’d like to share with me.”

Notice that I’m not taking the bait to debate abortion at this point. A statement like that deserves a relational response, similar to the way Steve Wagner trained me to respond to the issue of rape.

My friend Jasmin Aprile said it well on my Facebook page where I invited people to offer their responses to this challenge:

“Find out why they feel that way. Listen to their story. Find common ground with the difficult circumstances they may have experienced, be it poverty or abuse or growing up without a dad. I would say building the relationship is the top priority.”

What Should You Say to a Woman Who is Happy That She Had an Abortion?

I got a great question from a colleague recently, and wanted to share my thoughts with you. If you have something to add, I’d love to read them in the comments!

The question was this: If a girl comes up and says that Roe vs. Wade has improved her life, and talks about all the things she has been able to do after an abortion like go to college, what do you think is the best way of responding to that?

Excellent question. Off the top of my head, I think I’d say something like this:

I’m glad that you didn’t suffer any physical complications of your abortion, and that you aren’t suffering from the depression that some of my friends who are also post-abortive have experienced.

Let me ask you a question that’s a little more philosophical though. Do you think there any other factors that people should consider as they try to assess whether abortion is morally right or wrong? Do you think that if some women are not negatively affected by abortion, that proves that abortion is morally neutral?

What I’m doing here is trying to lead her to discussing other things besides whether a particular woman is happy or sad about her abortion. I want to get us talking about the central question of the abortion debate: is the unborn a valuable human being or not? We could demonstrate that abortion is wrong even if every single post-abortive woman had positive feelings about her abortion.

You could also have a discussion about the difference between right/wrong and wise/foolish. Arguably, some pro-life slogans make a stronger case that abortion is foolish, that it’s not a wise decision because of how it affects some women and society. I think women should consider whether abortion is not a wise decision, but we also want them thinking about how some things can be wrong even if they don’t affect us negatively. For example, the head of a corporation that irreparably harms the environment or kills whales around Antarctica may not feel any guilt from that, and he may not suffer any loss in profit either. Yet it may still be immoral to harm whales or the environment in that way. (That would probably be a more helpful example than a plantation owner who doesn’t feel bad about owning slaves.)

Here’s what I would never do: Say that you don’t believe the person in front of you. “But everybody is affected by abortion!” “You may not feel guilt yet, but you will later.” Statements like that will not be helpful.

The post “What Should You Say to a Woman Who is Happy That She Had an Abortion?” originally appeared at JoshBrahm.comClick here to subscribe via email and get exclusive access to a FREE MP3 of Josh Brahm’s speech, “Nine Faulty Pro-Life Arguments and Tactics.”

Question: What would you say to a woman who is happy that she had an abortion? Post your thoughts below in the comments!