Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Friday, July 13, 2018
Life Issues Forum: When a Friend Is Considering Abortion
This edition of the Life Issues Forum is available in English and Spanish, and has been posted to our website.
The Life Issues Forum is a bi-weekly column by Pro-Life Secretariat staff addressing the latest issues on the culture of life. Columns may be reprinted as they appear here (in full and without alteration) without further permission.
The Pro-Life Secretariat
LIFE ISSUES FORUM FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
When a Friend Is Considering Abortion July 13, 2018
USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
If someone shared with you that she was pregnant and hadn't
ruled out having an abortion, would you know how to respond? Although
the first instinct may be to convince her that abortion ends a baby's
life, hearing facts is not the first thing she needs. Research shows
that many women in a pregnancy crisis think, "This is the end of my life
as I know it." To face the challenges before her, your friend needs to
know you care about her for her own sake and she is not alone.
First listening to your friend will help build trust and
facilitate openness. Eventually, when she knows you truly care about her
and she trusts you, you can share the truth in love. You can share
facts about abortion, her own intrinsic worth, and the practical help
and support available so she can choose life for herself and her baby.
Consider the four steps of the L.O.V.E. Approach™*: Listen and Learn, Open Options, Vision and Value, and Extend and Empower.
L Listen and Learn
First, prioritize listening over speaking. You don't have to
worry about whether you may say something "wrong," and you don't need to
have all the answers. Start by listening to her story.
Ask her about her feelings, thoughts, values, beliefs, and
wants. Do not interrupt, except to ask her to expound, when appropriate.
Ask open-ended questions, and confirm what you think you are hearing.
O Open Options
When her story is fully shared, it is your turn to provide
factual information, always in a loving and caring way. You might share
about the reality of abortion and the wounds that typically result. As
they relate to her life, you might share experiences about having a
baby, adoption, and marriage. It's most helpful to keep the focus on
V Vision and Value
Awaken a vision in her for a healthier life (a vision she may
never have had, or that may have dimmed). Help her value herself
differently. She is a special creation, worthy of love. Reassure her
there is always hope and she is not alone. She can make positive,
life-giving choices. She can do it.
E Extend and Empower
Provide practical help and support. Her local pregnancy help center (heartbeatinternational.org/worldwide-directory)
can offer consultation, lists of community resources, and ultrasound
services. Consider keeping such lists of resources in your car, purse,
or wallet. Help her plan next steps.
The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is a way to bring Christ's love at a
crucial life-saving and life-defining moment. We are created to walk
with and support one another. May we not hesitate to reach out in love.
This issue of Life Issues Forum has been adapted and
shortened from the 2017-2018 USCCB Respect Life Program brochure by the
same name: www.usccb.org/l-o-v-e.
*The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is trademarked by Heartbeat
International, Inc. and may not be adapted or modified. The L.O.V.E.
Approach™ is used in "What to Do When a Friend Is Considering Abortion"
with permission from Heartbeat International, Inc.