prepare for conversations

Resource for March - "Empathy Opens the Door"


In “Empathy Opens the Door” JFA trainer Jon Wagner shares his conversation with “Eva,” a student whose pro-choice view stemmed from her experience in foster care. Notice how Jon invited Eva into the dialogue, starting with common ground rather than an argument. See also how “Trotting Out the Toddler” revealed that, if the unborn is a human being, abortion is not a compassionate solution to the difficulties surrounding unplanned pregnancy.

Resource for February - "Watch this Conversation" (Outreach Video)


JFA trainer Rebecca Hotovy talks with a student named Julia at Colorado State University in a video JFA just posted. Prepare for your own conversations by watching Rebecca share the Equal Rights Argument (Part 1), graciously challenge the idea that legalized abortion aligns with feminism (Part 2), ask key clarification questions related to women’s rights and bodily autonomy (Part 3), and offer evidence for the biological humanity of the unborn (Part 4).

Resource for January - "Americans Are Weird!"

Featured Resource For Equipping Yourself:

Grace Fontenot described a conversation she had at Colorado State University in the fall in a recent letter, “Americans Are Weird!” And Why That’s Fantastic. Her conversation is a beautiful model of how asking just a few open-hearted questions can help a person go from seeming completely closed to the pro-life position to actively engaging the question of whether the unborn are human beings with equal value to the rest of us. Along the way, Grace helped a British student see why something that seemed crazy to him at first, Americans discussing abortion, is actually not crazy at all. Some of our trainers have latched onto a phrase at certain points in our history: “Don’t be weird.” By that they mean, “Don’t add unnecessary weirdness to a message that seems inherently weird to many people.” Grace clarifies in this letter that there is definitely one type of weirdness we should not be afraid of exhibiting — the weirdness of working to create respectful conversations about unborn children.

Featured Resource for December - Car vs. Polaroid Distinction

Richard Stith has made a distinction between construction of a car and development of a Polaroid photo that can help you understand and illustrate for friends how the unborn child is a human organism from the time of fertilization. You can read his entry-level treatment of this topic, “Arguing with Pro-Choicers” (First Things, Nov. 4, 2006), and his scholarly article, “Construction vs. Development: Polarizing Models of Human Gestation” (Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 2014), through the link below.

Featured Resource for November - New "Invitation to Dialogue" Brochure

Learn to use JFA’s new “Invitation to Dialogue” Brochure in the third section of JFA’s updated “Learn at Home” Program. It features a short script you can use to start a conversation with a friend using the brochure. It also includes a longer script that helps you dig deeper into all of the resources referenced in the brochure. The entire “Learn at Home” Program takes just one hour to complete (followed by a conversation you start with a friend), and this portion of the program takes only 15 minutes!

Featured Resource for October - Story: “My Mom Wanted to Abort Me."

In “My Mom Wanted to Abort Me,” Jeremy Gorr shares a story from our recent outreach event at Kennesaw State University. In the conversation, he saw first-hand how a personal story can help open a person’s mind and heart to change. Take note of Jeremy’s approach to the conversation, asking questions and gently challenging Amin to consider a more optimistic perspective. Note also how God caused Ima to be present at precisely the right time with the courage to speak. We’re reminded that we can train Christians in good conversation skills and good arguments, but ultimately we depend completely on God and his work behind the scenes to change hearts and minds.

Featured Resource for September - “What Is the Unborn?” and “What Is Abortion?” Web Pages

Our “What Is the Unborn?” web page features the most important information you can share in conversations to demonstrate that the unborn is a living human being. Our “What Is Abortion?” web page helps viewers wrestle with accurate videos, images, and descriptions of what abortion does to unborn children. Both of these pages is written with the pro-choice reader in mind so you can pass the pages on to start a conversation. Both pages have been recently updated to include new links and information. Take a look!

Featured Resource for August: "It's Her Body" Series, Part VI

Last month we featured “It’s Her Body,” Part I of Steve Wagner’s series focused on defenses of abortion which refer to the woman’s body.  This month we’re featuring Part VI of that series (“From a Foundation of Love for Women and Children, We Respond Intellectually to Bodily Rights Arguments”).  In Part VI, Steve outlines a thoughtful response in eight steps, and he includes links to help you prepare for each step of the conversation. 

Featured Resource for Equipping Yourself - July

Read Steve Wagner’s recent article, “It’s Her Body,” and the accompanying series of blog posts to prepare for defenses of abortion that refer to the woman’s body, such as “my body, my choice” and “she can do what she wants with her body” and “the unborn is part of her body.”  Even after 15 years of engaging bodily rights arguments, Steve recently realized he’s been missing something very obvious and very important.  Through Steve’s reflection on a recent campus conversation, you’ll gain a new way of seeing these arguments and a step-by-step framework (including links to in-depth resources) for meeting the relational and intellectual challenges present in every discussion of bodily rights and abortion. 



Featured Resource - “A Living Room Conversation - Part 3”

Prepare for Conversations (June):

In the last two months, we’ve encouraged you to read Parts 1 and 2 of “A Living Room Conversation,” by JFA trainer Grace Fontenot.  This month, you can finish the story by reading Part 3, in which Grace discusses the topic of feminism with “Heidi,” a young woman she met, not during an outreach event, but in an everyday-life setting.  Do you know someone, like Heidi, who wants to be pro-life, but is fearful of coming across as “anti-woman”?  Through this story, you’ll learn one of the most powerful arguments we’ve found for helping pro-choice advocates rethink their position.  It will prepare you to explain how the pro-life view is the most consistent position on abortion for those who care about women’s rights and human equality.

Featured Resource - “A Living Room Conversation - Part 2”

Prepare for Conversations (May):

Last month, we encouraged you to read Part 1 of “A Living Room Conversation,” by JFA trainer Grace Fontenot.  In this three-part story, Grace shares her conversation with “Heidi,” a young woman she met, not during an outreach event, but in an everyday-life setting.  This month, we encourage you to read Part 2 of Grace’s story, in which Grace helps Heidi think through the biological evidence that the unborn is a living, human organism from the point of fertilization.  As you read Part 2, you’ll learn several simple questions relating to biology that you can ask in your conversations about the unborn and abortion, and you’ll gain resources for further study.

Featured Resource - "A Living Room Conversation - Part 1"

Prepare for Conversations (April):

In “A Living Room Conversation” Grace Fontenot shares a conversation she had with “Heidi,” a young woman she met, not during an outreach event, but in an everyday-life setting.  In Part 1 of Grace’s three-part story, you’ll see Grace help Heidi think through the social and legal implications that logically follow from what Heidi characterized as her “religious” beliefs about abortion.  In doing so, you’ll learn several questions you can ask in your conversations with family members, co-workers, and friends who say, “I am personally pro-life, but I don’t think I can limit the choices of others through the law.” 

10 Years Later - Common Ground Without Compromise

Featured Resource for Equipping Yourself:

It’s been ten years since Common Ground Without Compromise was published, and I’m excited to see so many pro-life people now talking about finding common ground as essential to advocating for unborn children. I intended the book as a letter to all sides of the abortion debate, suggesting that we could make more progress in discussing abortion if we consciously made an effort to agree whenever possible. I look at the landscape now, with many cultural observers saying ‘we are more polarized than ever,’ and I think we need to continue to make finding common ground a habit — just as much as we need to be ready to support our beliefs with good reasons. Finding common ground, though, has the power to cause people who disagree with us to want to listen to those reasons we’re eager to share, even as it has the power to help us to want to listen to the many true things they are saying.

Featured Resources - Deformity and Abortion

Featured Resource for Equipping Yourself:

Click on the image above (from JFA's Original Exhibit Brochure) to link to all resources listed in this blog post.

Click on the image above (from JFA's Original Exhibit Brochure) to link to all resources listed in this blog post.

In “We Don’t Deserve This” (JFA’s Jan. 2018 Impact Report), Susanna shared a story of a conversation about spina bifida.  See these resources to prepare for conversations about deformity and abortion:

  • JFA’s Original Exhibit Brochure (Page 4, pictured right) refers to Samuel Armas, a boy with spina bifida who received a surgery in utero. Review the story and download the image.
  • Read dialogue tips. (Pages 160-162 of JFA’s Interactive Guide)
  • How many babies diagnosed in utero with spina bifida and Down syndrome are aborted? Two articles discuss this.

Featured Resource - "See Baby Pregnancy Guide" App

Last month, we encouraged our readers to download the “See Baby Pregnancy Guide” app by the Endowment for Human Development (EHD). We’d like to feature the app again, but this time, let’s focus on the heartbeat counter built into the app. Consider Jesus as a 7-week embryo. How many times had his heart beaten by this point? We’re not going to tell you. Find the answer by downloading the app and scrolling to 7 weeks. In addition to the heartbeat count, the app features stunning video of unborn children throughout development. Please use the app and consider giving a gift to EHD to make sure the app continues to be available as a valuable resource for conversations.