A Few Thoughts from ‘Miss High and Freakin' Mighty’
As someone who regularly engages in dialogues surrounding the controversial topic of abortion on Social Media, newsprint, and in person, I’m often asked, “Why do you bother? You’re never going to change someone’s mind.” Well, first off, I have never once entered a conversation with someone about abortion with the intention or hope of changing his/her mind. I completely agree with my skeptics that no amount of facts, logic, narratives, or pictures will ever change the mind of the majority of pro-abortion individuals. There is only one category (I’ve concluded there are three) of pro-choicers who are open enough to change their mind. And with abortion it’s not so much about changing the mind as it is changing the heart.
The first category of pro-choicers is the innocently ignorant. They’ve been told by their parents, friends, teachers, and the media that a human fetus is a clump of cells and that pro-lifers are white men who wish to control women. They’re most often young and eager to challenge socially accepted narratives. These are the pro-choicers who when confronted with abortion procedure videos or POC (product of conception) lab pictures are shocked by what they see. Their first encounter with the reality of what abortion looks like and its contrast to the lies they’ve been fed can sometimes, if you’re lucky, be enough to spark a slow change of heart that grows as they further investigate and challenge what they previously believed. Members of this group are hard to come by, especially online.
The second group of pro-choicers have already been confronted time and time again with the logical contradictions and horrific implications of their beliefs, but they’re just not (yet) ready to let go. It’s a difficult task for any person in relation to any topic to allow oneself to let go of our previous belief when confronted with the beliefs of another, especially a stranger. We are just too prideful. Pro-choicers in this camp engaging in abortion-related conversations will jump around from viability to rape to foster care to hangers to sex-education to health care to even immigration policy in a frantic effort to grasp at any possible way out of the true and terrible implications of their stance on abortion. And as I point out flaws in each and every point they try to make, they stretch to another until finally they have nothing left but to attack me. And it ends this way. Every. Single. Time. My religion, my age, my color, my education. This is a sure sign that I’ve succeeded in exposing their faulty logic. They cannot defeat my argument so they feel they must instead defeat me personally. This group will not change their minds because of me. But there is still hope.
I have never personally discussed abortion with an individual who falls into this category, but I have read their writings and heard their speeches. Every once and a while we come across someone who admits life at conception, admits abortion ends that life, and simply doesn’t care. They feel no need to justify their position with logic, they simply believe in a person’s right to do whatever he/she pleases with no consequences, even if it means taking a life. I think we tend put more people in this group than deserve to be. But they exist, and it is important we acknowledge this, though again, not with the purpose of changing minds.
In my experience, it is only through sidewalk advocacy that hearts are softened. These advocates speak with sincere compassion and understanding to women in crisis pregnancies who want another way out. The very personal experience of these women who walk away from abortion and choose life, and the experiences of their friends, their family, and their children, are among the few things powerful enough to change a pro-choice stance on abortion. So, if I’m never going to change the opinions of pro-choicers in group two and three while just talking to them, then why do I bother?
I unapologetically speak out against abortion every chance I get because I have an obligation to speak the truth and to stand up for what is right. I need to be able to look back on this day, this year, this lifetime and say that I stood up, that I spoke out, that I fought hard and never backed down. When abortion advocates are not confronted with the truth, they are empowered. They mistake the silence for reassurance.
We cannot let evil works be left unanswered. We cannot allow the pro-life side to go unnoticed. If you decide to speak out against abortion on social media, newsprint, or face-to-face, know that you will be dragged through the mud. You’ll be misjudged, you’ll be frustrated, you’ll be discouraged, you’ll be devastated. But know also that you tried. You did not remain silent. The unborn who have been lost are heard through you. You are on the right side of history. If you’re interested in changing hearts and saving lives, join the sidewalk advocates. But if time, circumstances, and location does not allow it, simply use your voice.
I wrote an article earlier this year in a major state newspaper pointing out the gruesome practice of second trimester dismemberment abortion. Among the 250 comments online following its publication, all of which seeking to deconstruct me as a person and none of which addressing a single point I’d made, one woman addressed me as ‘Miss High and Freakin' Mighty.’ While she’ll never get the chance to know how deeply she mischaracterized me, she is right that the pro-life movement is the higher way. And together, when we speak out, we are mighty.
"Though argument does not create conviction, lack of it destroys belief." -Austin Farrer