It’s the question we’re asked more often than any other, and we want to answer it carefully. The question is, “What should I do about the pro-life activist near me who is being difficult? Should I approach them differently than I do my dialogues with pro-choice people?”
Josh and Emily invited ERI Lead Editor Andrew Kaake and Secular Pro-Life’s Executive Director Monica Snyder on the show for a two-part discussion on the way they think about responding to online comments, eight common types of difficult pro-life people, and how you can respond to them.
Note: Sorry for the occasional distortion with Josh and Emily’s mics. They’ve had a good six-year run, but we’re replacing them before the next time we record (the mics, not Josh and Emily).
We also had technical issues with Monica’s video stream due to technical issues. All of her audio is there, but the video is missing sometimes.
This quick response video addresses one of the most challenging pro-choice dialogue points, what we call the “human-plus” argument: that you need something like human nature, plus another feature like sentience or consciousness, in order to have personhood.
As Emily Albrecht explains, the human-plus argument isn’t challenging to respond to because it’s a good argument, but because it’s a bad one; human-plus is ad hoc, adding extra requirements just to exclude the unborn, and it’s hard to get people to realize why this is a problem. This video walks you through what we’ve found to be most effective when trying to help someone avoid being ad hoc in a dialogue about abortion.
In this podcast, two authors discuss recent research regarding fetal pain: John Bockmann, co-author of “Reconsidering Fetal Pain” (2020) and Dr. Bridget Thill, MD, MS, author of “Fetal Pain in the First Trimester” (2021).
Here’s a link to the five slides Bridget Thill discussed, including working links to the sources in the footnotes. (Opens PDF)
People often have trouble recognizing when two seemingly contradictory statements are both true and not at all contradictory. (Christians ought to have a bit more practice with this, since the nature of the Trinity, for one, is a hallmark example of this kind of thing.) But it’s not enough for things to seem contradictory, nor for someone to just assert that they can’t possibly coexist; it’s important to drill down to what the statements actually mean and whether those meanings are or aren’t compatible. Unfortunately, as is often the case in arguments about abortion, people like to stay at the “seeming” level and share snarky memes rather than engaging in this next level of critical thinking.
And so one side of the debate tells us that abortion is a complex issue, too complex for simply banning it to be an option (but, it bears mentioning, not too complex to label those who oppose abortion as “anti-choice”). Every abortion situation is unique, they say, and every possible regulation on abortion could affect a woman’s life in myriad ways, so it’s best to keep our noses out of other people’s business and simply “trust women!” The other side maintains that abortion is fundamentally simple, and anyone who says otherwise is trying to distract from the fact that “babies are murdered here.” The assumption is that one or the other of these statements is correct; either abortion is simple, or it is complex. The reality, however, is that both statements are true: abortion is a simple issue and a complex issue.