Late-Term Abortion? ... Our Open Mic Archives Help You Prepare for the Dialogue

Did you know that you can watch real JFA open mic conversations at our  "Explore Resources" page?  We've even created some questions to help you practice having similar conversations.

VIDEO CLIP: Late-term abortion has been in the news recently.  Here's a dialogue excerpt from the JFA archives to help you prepare for conversations with your friends. *(See parental advisory below.)

  • Step 1: Listen to the first thoughts from this student at ASU. Stop the video.
  • Step 2: Think of a question you can ask to build common ground with the speaker. Write your ideas in the comments section.
  • Step 3: Now listen to the remainder of the video. Did Steve's attempt at common ground succeed?

*Warning: Parental Advisory. 
The audio/video clips of JFA's Open Mic sessions contain unedited free speech audio and portions include profanity and frank discussion of sexuality.  If you are under the age of 18, please invite your parents to preview this material and approve it for your listening.  Once they've reviewed it, you might invite them to listen along with you!  These clips provide great opportunities for discussing what you think about life before birth, pregnancy, and abortion.

My Presentation at Yale on October 1

I'll be speaking at Yale this coming weekend on the topic "Mastering Dialogue to Make Abortion Unthinkable" as part of the "Vita et Veritas" Conference hosted by Choose Life at Yale (CLAY).  Here's a description of what I'll share in that presentation: 

The pro-life movement is full of good intentions, but without a focus on changing public opinion, we can’t hope that the unborn will ever be protected in law the way other human beings are.  Contrary to popular perception, however, public opinion is not fixed, and it’s not easy to pin down.  It's all over the map, with many people uncertain of their positions.  Many others are certainly against most abortions, but they lack the courage or confidence to argue publicly that abortion is wrong or that the unborn should be protected in law.  While there is value in many pro-life activities, the pro-life movement must at the very least “get back to the basics” of mastering the skills of dialogue that makes abortion just as unthinkable as other human rights violations.  Dialogue cannot be merely a buzzword, however, and its substance must be permeated with genuine love for every human being, including the pro-choice advocate and the women and men personally wrestling with unplanned pregnancy and abortion.  In “Mastering Dialogue to Make Abortion Unthinkable,” Steve Wagner draws upon thirteen years of outreach experience and hundreds of conversations with pro-choice advocates to give the audience a road map for becoming skilled at the sort of dialogue that helps pro-choice advocates change.  Steve outlines the key principles of dialogue, but also gives practical tools pro-life advocates can begin using to change hearts and minds immediately.

Mother Teresa to the Supreme Court (1994)

Mother Teresa's 1994 amicus brief, filed by Robert P. George with the Supreme Court, is worth reading in its entirety. 

Note the tone of the entire piece, both praising America for its virtues and calling America to respect its highest ideals.  Mother Teresa is both mindful that she is an outsider and bold to speak from her unique vantage point as one who has distinguished herself in caring for the poor, something most people hold in high esteem.

Note also that here Mother Teresa does not speak about the value and rights of the unborn in a way that pits them against the rights of women.  She see valuing both as being necessarily connected.  She also focuses most of her piece on the underlying principles that drive the American project, namely our concern for freedom and human rights, and then shows how care for the unborn is a natural, practical outworking of those underlying principles.

Then she goes on to name some of the effects of abortion on American culture, but only within this necessary context of discussing the human rights of the unborn:

America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts—a child—as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered domination over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners.

Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.

You can read the amicus brief in its entirety at The Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse blog.

CSU-TV Channel 11 Covers the New JFA Exhibit Project

When JFA debuted its new Art of Life Exhibit at CSU a few months ago, the student television station did a short piece on the exhibit, protesters of JFA (were they protesting the exhibit?), and some of the other responses of students.  You can hear an introduction to the exhibit by JFA's Rebecca Haschke at 1:12.

See our "Exhibits" page to learn more about all of JFA's exhibits, including "Art of Life" and "Stop and Think," created in 2016.

UCLA's Fem Newsmagazine Comments on JFA@UCLA

JFA partnered with Live Action UCLA to bring The Art of Life and Stop and Think, two new exhibits by Justice For All, to UCLA in May.  (See an introduction to the two exhibits here.)  During the day we displayed The Art of Life, I was engaged in a conversation with two gentlemen at the exhibit when Jacqueline Pei, a reporter with Fem, a Feminist Newsmagazine at UCLA, asked if she could record our conversation for a story she was writing for Fem News.  I was hesitant, but agreed, and we had a good discussion.  Another woman joined at one point as well.

Ms. Pei published her report at Fem a few days later.  I was happy to see that although she was confident in a different perspective than mine, she appears to have given my thoughts and ideas an accurate rendering and a fair hearing.  Thanks, Jackie.  I hope we can continue the discussion at some point.