Over the past few years I’ve had several conversations with people on both sides of the abortion issue. The farther one gets to either “wing” the more ridiculous the conversation gets. I think  most things are that way. 

The ability to engage in meaningful dialogue with folks you don’t necessarily agree with is becoming a lost art. At some point I began asking questions instead of sharing information. The more fringy the responses, the more questions I asked. 

Consider these scenarios…and answer honestly, even if just to yourself. .

First scenario…A couple you are friends with comes to talk to you. They tell you that they are nine weeks pregnant and have decided to have an abortion. How do you respond? What do you say to them?

Second scenario… A couple you are friends with comes to talk to you. They tell you they are nine weeks pregnant and had a miscarriage. How do you respond? Is your response different than it was to the first couple? 

Third scenario…You’re talking with a friend who shares they have an abortion in their past and they deeply regret it. They tell you of pain and sadness and shame. How do you respond? 

I pose these questions because the way we respond says a great deal about what we really think. Canned answers from either camp on the abortion issue won’t do here. We have to dig deep and consider what we really believe. 

And that’s the hard part. 

We are conditioned to regurgitate whatever our “side” says. We are conditioned to think in sound bites. We are conditioned to believe we’re the keepers of the righteous truth and so we must defend it without question; lest we be “one of them”. 

So what are my responses? 

I guess that’s not really the point here. I have thought mine through and my responses have grown over time as my level of knowledge, experience and self-awareness has grown over time. 

One thing I know for sure is loss is loss. I know that we often hide from pain and we definitely hide our shame. And one of the commonalities in the above scenarios is a need for hope and healing. 

I pray that, in my interactions with others, I lead with hope, healing and understanding. I pray the same for you.