By Jenna Smith

Pro-abortion messaging is everywhere. Billboards, TV shows, political campaigns, and commercial advertising all contribute to the widely held conviction that the unborn is inhuman, women need abortion to succeed, and life without the option to end a child’s life is miserable and hopeless.

In the days of ancient Greece, it was common to hold debates in the city square to settle disputes on matters of policy and philosophy, but these days, standing at the corner of Main Street and challenging bystanders to debate the reality of gestational science and our moral obligations surrounding it is not an accessible form of persuasion to most.

However, we Christians can still refute the lies told by our culture in a Gospel-motivated way, and the option is at our fingertips. Get your phone out and start writing. You can be your own little Snopes fact-checking machine when it comes to abortion, you just need an effective strategy. Here are some ideas to get you started breaking down the wall of deceptive rhetoric that protects abortion from extinction and replacing it with truth and hope.

  1. Know the facts. This is a vital part of spreading a truthful message about life. Keep a Google document or Notes App entry with basic information and statistics. Every once in a while, you can update your information to match the most recent scientific discoveries and social trends. This way you can pull up the truth, and references to prove it, whenever you need.
  2. Listen. Read the erroneous statement carefully, whether it is a celebrity post or a reply from a stranger. You cannot depend on stereotypes or ad hominem attacks when you are discussing a matter as important as abortion. Who will read your post? What should they come away with? Is this content even worth interacting with? And can you make a clear confession of the truth found in Scriptures – that every person is valuable?
  3. Have a script. Creating a general outline of how to converse in the comments section about abortion, adoption, and legislative action means that you will respond tactfully and graciously in a very emotional conversation. It’s good to remember that even our opponents are beloved children of God, souls for whom Christ died (John 3:16). Drafting a beginning, transition, and end to your thoughts before you even encounter pro-abortion arguments keeps you consistent and clear, while other commenters may follow the whims of passion.
  4. Do not reply. I know this sounds shocking, but social media is not an extremely fruitful place for conversations. You need to know your limit. Try committing to 3 messages if you are in a back-and-forth debate: in your first, summarize the argument you’re making. In the second, respond to the counter arguments of your opponent (if they are worth responding to). In the last message, communicate a civil end to your discussion, thanking them for their time and leaving resources that could answer further questions. Even though the temptation to “own” someone with “facts and logic” seems innocent, long days of aha-ing and gotcha moments turn into worthless babble. And they do nothing to further the Gospel (2 Timothy 2:16). Watch a recent presidential debate and do the opposite. Your time is valuable, and only productive conversations change minds.

Your footprint online is genuinely one of the most public parts of the modern era, whether for good or evil. Keeping the truth a few clicks away and remembering the admonishment in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” is a way of calling out to the public square and engaging in one of the most important human rights conversations of our time. These strategies will help you stay productive, honest, and responsible while doing so. See you in the comments!