Converting an Indifferent Abortion Culture

Dustin Siggins recently posted something titled "Time To Change Pro-Life Tactics?" where he lists things that he would change in the approach that pro-lifers take in America. He says that it is all about "converting a culture that is largely indifferent regarding abortion". Here are a few excerpts from his article with a few of my comments:
  • Stop using Biblical arguments to debate abortion.
    It is wonderful to be motivated by faith and words from the bible but it is not always profitable to quote scripture to people who do not embrace our values.
  • Do a better job of educating people about responsible sexual activity prior to becoming pregnant and having an abortion.
    Not sure that people really need more information - even teens understand.
    I might suggest that the abundance of abortion facilities that are used for after-the-fact birth control contributes to irresponsible behaviors.
  • Indiscriminately throwing up images of dead babies and similar tactics as employed by Randall Terry will cause most people to simply turn and look in the other direction.
    Sadly religious hate speech and outrageous imagery seems to have an audience and folks often gravitate to the incendiary words of religious leaders.
  • Stop making abortion about women vs. children. Both are victims when it comes to abortion.
    Often, in the case of incest and rape, women are victims. Yet, more often than not, abortions are done for the convenience of the mother with little regard for the baby.
I suggest that you read the whole article here. I have been pro-life for almost forty years. I long to see us embrace an approach that really makes a difference. I long to see the a change in America where babies are not dismissed as fetuses. Do you resonate with Siggins? What do you think pro-lifers should do to advance the cause of life?


  1. I wouldn't characterize our culture as largely indifferent towards abortion. I think most people are fairly passionate about it one way or the other. As for the tactics listed, I agree that people have to stop using the Bible when it comes to the legal argument for or against abortion. Better education and making birth control more accessible surely can't hurt. The images of aborted fetuses are not helpful. I'm not sure how I feel about making abortion about women versus children. It's never been about women versus children for me. And, when people say it is, it takes us down a whole road of "when does life begin?" and is a zygote a "baby"? I don't' know anyone who is pro-life who agrees with the idea that a couple of cells is a baby.

    1. I do feel an apathy on both sides of the aisle on this one Brian. On the right side of the aisle there is a sense that nothing more can be done and pro-life politicians will do nothing more. On the left there are people like you who are anti-abortion but are misunderstood because you are pro-choice.

      I understand what you are saying about zygotes but think that most abortions are performed much later in the pregnancy. And usually they are done for the convenience of the mother. I am pro-choice but think the choice should be before sex and not after.

    2. Bob, I'm not sure what you mean by "later in the pregnancy" but 75% of the abortions are done in the first 10 weeks, 90% by the 12th week and only 1% are done after week 20. Some women have to delay abortions because they have trouble with paying for, finding or traveling to an abortion specialist. Women who live in Kansas and require an abortion can be expected to abort later because the laws in Kansas force these women to go out of state for the abortion.

      More than 50% of the women who receive abortions used contraceptives during the period of conception, which suggests frequent failure or misuse of the contraceptive. Although "convenience" is the label applied when the reason for the abortion is other than the health of the mother or pregnancy due to rape and/or incest, "convenience" suggests an insufficient reason.

      It is hard to believe that 43% of all women will have at least one abortion and that 47% of the abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion. Also, 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as Born Again/Evangelical. Less than 24% of all abortions are performed on women who identify with no religion. Since only one-third of all women identify with no religion, the number of women having abortions is disproportionately higher among women who identify with a religion, 76% among 66% of all women versus 24% among 33% of all women who are religiously inactive or non-believing.

      If abortion becomes illegal throughout the US I don't expect to see a significant reduction in abortions, rather I expect to see a significant rise in women's deaths due to botched abortions.

    3. Thanks for stopping by Joe. Doubt that we will see abortion illegal in our time but maybe the amount of them will decrease. A Gallop poll recently reported that 41% of Americans who now identify themselves as "pro-choice" and is down from 47% last July.

  2. "Indiscriminately throwing up images of dead babies and similar tactics as employed by Randall Terry will cause most people to simply turn and look in the other direction."

    I recall seeing small children holding signs with pictures like that on them. Just terrible to try to manipulate people like that.

    I like the excerpts that you posted. So often women seeking abortions are treated a lot like the woman who Jesus stopped from being stoned.

    I started to read the article, but Siggins lost me at "demonizing tactics of the left."

    The thing I hate about this whole argument is each side acting like the other doesn't have any valid arguments.

    1. Good points Mike. We do need to treat women with unwanted pregnancies with the kind of compassion that Jesus showed to that woman.

  3. Dustin Siggins, the author I quoted from, sent me an email this morning thanking me for my post and directing me to his followup article. You can read it here.

  4. I think part of the problem in the pro-life movement is the too common assumption that if we could just get the right law passed or have the right supreme court decision it will immediately turn things back the way they were. I really wish that were true and of course anything is possible with God, but what I suspect what we have is a long struggle of getting people to reexamine their opinions, or at least to care strongly enough to want to change the status quo. To do that I believe we need the right balance of firmness and compassion. Firmness enough to stand for what is right and compassion enough to do it in a loving way. This is a hard balance to maintain, but I believe it must be the goal.

    1. "the right balance of firmness and compassion"

      Well said Mike!


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