16 May, 2022 Teach your teens to debate against abortion
By Summer Lane
There’s no avoiding the conversation with kids who have their finger on the pulse of cultural conversations – and most tweens or teens with access to a smartphone or social media have probably been hearing a lot about abortion lately.
In early May, the Supreme Court of the United States confirmed the authenticity of a leaked opinion draft written by Justice Samuel Alito. The draft indicated that the highest court in the land is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that enables abortion to be protected as a right on the federal level.
Since Roe v. Wade was implemented in the 70s, the National Right to Life Committee revealed in January 2022 that more than 63 million infants have been killed in the womb. Like it or not, abortion is happening in America – and it’s happening by the millions.
How do Christian parents talk to their kids about this incredibly tough topic? How do they prepare their kids to rebut cultural talking points that they will hear from peers and teachers about “women’s rights” or “reproductive rights?”
Let’s take a look at four powerful and simple ways parents can equip their tweens and teens to stand firm for life in the womb while having a respectful and loving conversation with pro-abortion advocates.
Teach your children to reason
Biblical truth is the most important thing that you can teach your children – but Biblical knowledge without practical skills to apply it will yield no fruit. It is imperative to teach your children how to converse with those who advocate for abortion without dumping mere statistics and figures on them from the get-go.
Of course, statistics and figures matter. But kids, like adults, tend to argue emotionally, and so it is often more impactful to make a logical statement instead. Pro-life apologist Scot Klusendorf contends that an intellectual grounding is necessary to make a strong argument against abortion, because the entire issue hinges on one very important question: what exactly is the unborn?
Klusendorf’s book, The Case for Life, is a helpful resource for parents who are looking to understand valuable and practical advice in the abortion debate that they can share with their kids. Remember, teaching your kids to defend the unborn begins with a right understanding of what the unborn is, and why it matters when a fetus is terminated.
Separating science from religion
A common rebuke against pro-life advocates by proponents of abortion is that, “I respect religious convictions, but keep your religion out of my medical decisions.” It’s important to ground your child in the truth of the Bible, which clearly tells us that all humans are created in Imago Deo, that is, the image of God (Genesis 1:27). However, for the non-Christian, this argument holds no water. Before you can bring the conviction of the Bible into the conversation, you must first make a logical argument.
How do you do that? For starters, give your child information about basic embryology, which contends that life begins at the moment of fertilization. It’s also helpful to bring up the fact that the stages of development have no moral bearing on a human’s worth. Just because a baby is dependent on their mother at nine months old outside of the womb doesn’t make them any less valuable inside the womb. Remind your child that the onus is not on them to defend why a baby shouldn’t be killed in the womb – the onus is on the pro-abortion supporter to defend why someone should kill a baby in the womb (Relatable host Allie Beth Stuckey has a really good argument about that here). Teach your child to routinely kick back the burden of explanation to the person who is arguing for killing the child, because it will be very difficult for them to logically reason that out without introducing distracting arguments.
Syllogisms will come in handy
Here’s a handy piece of advice that will give your kids the upper hand when they’re faced with debating friends or peers on the topic of abortion. Syllogisms can knock a pro-abortion advocate off their feet really quickly. What is a syllogism? It’s a form of deductive reasoning, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, and it consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion.
Abortion advocates will use illogical statements like, “Abortion is a right because women have value.” They are separating abortion from women’s rights and making a non-existent connection from two totally isolated issues.
Kids can rebuke bad logic like this by bringing good logic to the table. A syllogism they can use might look something like this: Murdering another human is wrong. An unborn child is human (abortion advocates will argue about this). If murder is wrong, and abortion involves the murder of a human, therefore, abortion is wrong.
Many pro-abortion arguments do not logically hold up. Equip your kids with logical, leading questions and premises that they can pose when they are debating the opposite side of the aisle on this issue and it will throw abortion proponents off their game in a major way.
Focus on the baby
Perhaps the most important thing to tell your kids to prepare them to debate secular abortion advocates is to keep the focus on the baby. Pro-choicers will routinely deflect their bad logic and their weak position on the issue by deflecting. They will bring up “reproductive rights” and “maternal mortality rates.” They will say how barbaric it is for women who have conceived children in rape to be “forced to give birth” to those children. First, let your children know that it’s okay to express sympathy for these women (Scot Klusendorf, again, presents some valuable information on this!). Yes, it’s terrible when a woman dies in childbirth and it is a tragedy when someone is raped. However, that is not the issue at stake in the argument of abortion: the argument is regarding the personhood of the baby. Always, always bring the conversation back to the child. Because if the child is human, then terminating its life has savage repercussions for humanity, and it will greatly convict the heart of the person your kid is debating.
To save the babies, impress upon your child that the argument is all about the baby. Don’t get distracted by someone’s chaotic or unorganized talking points about women’s rights or the tyranny of the patriarchy. That’s not the debate.
Teach your children to stay on target, be prepared, and use good, intellectual reasoning grounded in a foundation of Biblical truth.
The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.
Check out the Counter Culture Mom Show with Tina Griffin and check out this truly staggering story of Kelly Lester, a former abortion clinic employee who left her job and now exposes the tactics that abortion clinics use to coerce women into terminating their pregnancies.
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series and Resurrection Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, she analyzes politics and policies in weekly op/Eds on The Write Revolution.
Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats, and gardening. She is passionate about writing about women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.
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