Since the advent of JFA’s Loving Every Human Being with JFA monthly resource bulletin, we’ve posted over 20 unique conversation starters to the JFA Blog and our @7conversations Twitter page, including video of our dialogue artists in action, trending news stories, and more. The goal of every JFA conversation starter is to help an average pro-life advocate to create a conversation about abortion in a natural, less awkward way. If you haven’t yet done so, choose one and open up a dialogue with a friend or co-worker. We’d love to hear how it goes!
Use the outreach video recently posted at the JFA blog in order to start your own conversation in a natural way. In it, JFA trainer Rebecca Hotovy talks with a pro-choice student named Julia at Colorado State University. (See the description of the video in the image caption below. The four video clips containing the dialogue play automatically via a playlist at the links below.) Why not share this footage with a friend and ask, “Have you ever been a part of a conversation about unintended pregnancy and abortion like this one?”
Use a video we just posted to create a conversation about whether unborn children have equal rights. In the video, Rebecca Hotovy interacts with a student at Colorado State University. She skillfully uses questions to explain how we can be confident unborn children deserve equal treatment to the rest of us. You can find the video here or at the links below. After watching, share it with a friend and ask your friend, “I’m interested in better conversations about abortion, and this seems like an example. I’m curious: What do you think of this woman’s reasoning?”
Use the recent re-unveiling of “The Miraculous Journey” in Doha, Qatar to create a conversation about unborn children in a natural way. To help, we’ve posted a link to the photo essay by Penny Yi Wang which she published in 2013 at the original unveiling. Note in our post that we aim to begin the conversation with common ground:
Whatever your views on human development and abortion, can we all agree these amazing pictures show sculptures that are an amazing human feat illuminating an amazing human journey? (Damien Hirst's "The Miraculous Journey" was just re-unveiled last month.)
Use JFA’s new “Invitation to Dialogue” Brochure to start a conversation with a friend in a natural way. (Click here to download the brochure to your phone or request a paper version.) The brochure begins with an invitation to understand and show concern for women experiencing unintended pregnancy: “Unintended pregnancy is not simple, and it’s not easy.” Then it invites the viewer to consider the question, “Is the unborn a human being with equal rights?” After being warned, the viewer can lift a page to view accurate, graphic images of early abortions, and the brochure asks if the pictures depict a medical procedure or the killing of a human being. Finally, the brochure invites the viewer to explore solutions for unintended pregnancies.
Use Joanna Bai’s recent post, “Opposite Poles?” to start a conversation in a natural way. This post refers to a recent article by Conor Friedersdorf in which he argues that many people are more similar in their beliefs than at first they appear to be. You can start a conversation with a friend or acquaintance by retweeting or posting to Facebook and asking, “Do you think this writer is correct that many people are not as far apart as the media many times portrays them? I’m interested in seeing if we can agree and work together on some solutions to unintended pregnancy in order to help women and children.”
Use the recent post, “Liz Harman’s Interview: A Lesson I Didn’t Expect to Learn” to start a conversation about unintended pregnancy and abortion in a natural way. This post features a reflection from JFA Trainer Joanna Bai after a video of a pro-choice philosopher defending abortion was mocked by many viewers when it was posted last year. Note Joanna’s
willingness to say she learned something through the process. Note also the questions she poses at the end of the post to get a conversation started. You can share her experience with a friend to help your friend see that you are interested in different viewpoints and aim to be intellectually honest.
Use the recent post, “I Don’t Have the Money,” to start a conversation about unintended pregnancy in a natural way. This post features a picture and quotation from an Exposures Project on-the-street interview. You can easily begin your conversation with common ground by expressing sympathy for this woman’s situation. Most share that sympathy. Indeed, not having enough money is one of the most common reasons women give for having an abortion. (For tips on moving the conversation forward from there, see www.jfaweb.org/tott.)
Use the recent JFA blog post, “Her Experience Matters,” to start a conversation with common ground. This post features a JFA exhibit panel that uses Paul Simon song lyrics to give expression to the feelings of many women facing unplanned pregnancy. In every conversation about abortion, you can find common ground on the importance of women and their bodies, and this post will help you do this in a natural way. It will also help you to develop empathy for women facing unplanned pregnancies, and it will help you gently pose thought-provoking questions about those difficult experiences.
Featured Conversation Starter (June):
Use the recent JFA blog post, “Can She Embrace Both?” to start a conversation with a friend on social media. The post features a panel from JFA’s Art of Life Exhibit which suggests that “embracing child and career” is “better than abortion.” The image on the panel, though, is a painting which appears to be only loosely related to the title...until one looks a little closer. The post also features free speech board comments about the panel and asks the viewer to add his or her own comments to begin a conversation. The post ends with the question, “How can we help an underprivileged woman to embrace both her unborn child and her career?”
Featured Conversation Starter (May):
Use the recent JFA blog post, “What _s M_ss_ng?” to start a conversation in a natural way this month. The post shows a JFA kiosk sign, presenting a quotation from an article by author and newspaper editor Verlyn Klinkenborg in a mysterious way that invites the viewer to think more deeply about unintended pregnancy and the unborn. You can use the post to ask a friend, family member, or co-worker, “What do you think is missing after an abortion?” and, “Is the unborn something very similar to you and me, or is the unborn something very different?”
Featured Conversation Starter (April):
Use the recent post, “Should We Step In?” to start a conversation in a natural way this month. This post features a true story from Exposures, a Voices for the Voiceless project. The post uses the story as a springboard to ask pro-life advocates, “Do you think abortion should ever be legally available?” and asks pro-choice advocates, “Are there any circumstances in which you would try to stop someone from getting an abortion?”
Featured Conversation Starter (March):
Use Steve Wagner’s recent blog post, “Human but not human” to start a conversation with a friend about pro-choice statements that are often confusing to pro-life advocates. It’s easy to write off people who say things like, “The unborn is human, but it isn’t human,” but Steve offers practical advice for giving the benefit of the doubt when we hear perplexing statements like this. With a message to pro-choice advocates followed by a message to pro-life advocates, this post will make it easier to discuss a friend’s thoughts on when human life begins biologically and at what point he or she believes a human gains rights and value.
Featured Conversation Starter:
Featured Conversation Starter: Use the recent post, “He Forced Me to Get an Abortion,” to start a conversation in a natural way. This post features a true story and highlights a great question for common ground (also found in Common Ground Without Compromise, JFA's featured resource for this month): Should boyfriends and parents pressure women to have abortions? Very few people will say yes. So, you can start a conversation by saying, “Whatever we think about the legality of abortion, can’t we agree that we shouldn’t pressure women to have abortions? Can’t we agree that what the boyfriend in this story did was wrong?”
Featured Conversation Starter:
Share Joanna Bai’s recent post, “Eliminating Disabilities or the People Who Have Them?” to start a conversation in a natural way about unborn children diagnosed with disabilities in the womb. The post features a video news story on Iceland’s treatment of unborn children with Down syndrome, gives links to helpful commentary, and asks a question to start the conversation.