Abortion Basics

For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13

Step 1: Watch the Video

Video

This video features abortion policy history, beautiful film footage of life in the womb, former abortionists explaining abortion using medical animation and fetoscopy, testimonials, and communication training.

Source Video Outline

Episode 1: History: What Do Past Policies Say?Overview of Abortion Policies from 400 B.C. to 2022 A.D. by Tough TopicsSee https://www.toughtopics.life/topics/abortion for a list of History Research Sources
Episode 2: Biology: What Is Life in the Womb?The Wonders of God’s Creation—Human Life: Crown of Creationhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBGZatl7GKk© 2022 Moody Publishers & Moody Bible Institute, www.moodypublishers.comBrought to Life: National Geographic’s The Womb by Roy Shakkedhttps://vimeo.com/56742451© 2022 Music to Moving Pictures, www.royshakked.com
Episode 3: Biology: What is Abortion?2nd Trimester Abortion—Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)—What Is Abortion? featuring former abortionist Kathi Aultman MDhttps://abortionprocedures.com© 2022 Live Action, www.liveaction.orgEclipse of Reason featuring actor Charlton Heston and former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathansonhttps://vimeo.com/68151234© 2022 Bernadell Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Eclipse-Reason-Charlton-Bernard-Nathanson/dp/ B002ZZ0N3C)
Episode 4: Testimonials: What Does Experience Say?HUSHhttps://projektor.com/u/mightymotionpictures/hushfilm© 2022 Mighty Motion Pictures, www.mightymotionpictures.com
Episode 5: Communication: How Is Truth Communicated with Compassion?When They Say, You Say (Key Pro-Life Arguments) by Olivia Gans-Turnerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0iWES-2qFgWaterford Pro-LifeWhen They Say, You Sayhttps://ondemand.ewtn.com/paid/Home/Series/catalog/video/en/when-they-say-you-say© 2022 Eternal Word Television Network Inc. www.ewtn.com

History Research Sources

1. Excerpt from the Hippocratic Oath by Hippocrates of Kos, Father of Western Medicine [~460BC -~370BC]Hippocrates, Jusjurandum, W.H.S. Jones, Ed.http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0252
2. Excerpt From a Letter Attributed to St. Barnabashttps://divineoffice.org/ord-w18-wed-or/ ) Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. IV, p.71
3. Excerpt from Against Apion, Book II, section 199, by Flavius Josephushttps://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0216:book=2:section=199&highlight=abortion
4. Excerpt from Dobbs regarding Abortion under Common LawDobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392,597 U.S. at 20 (2022)https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf
5. Excerpt from Dobbs regarding British ParliamentDobbs, page 23
6. Excerpt from Dobbs regarding 19th Century U.S. State LawsDobbs, pg. 23
7. 1920 Russian Public Health AnnouncementBibleMesh Team, https://biblemesh.com/blog/early-evil-the-legalization-of-abortion-in-russia-1920/
8. Excerpt from the Physicians Oath, developed by the World Medical Association at the 1948 Geneva Convention.https://www.wma.net/what-we-do/medical-ethics/declaration-of-geneva/decl-of-geneva-v1948/
9. Excerpt from Dobbs regarding State Laws Before RoeDobbs, page 24
10. Excerpt from Doe v. Bolton Defining HealthDoe v Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 at 192 (1973) See paragraph 28 in this text:https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/410/179%26amp
11. Statistics Regarding Number of Abortion in the US Since Roe and Estimated Number of Late-term Abortionshttps://nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdfhttps://lozierinstitute.org/late-term-abortion-stats/https://lozierinstitute.org/questions-and-answers-on-late-term-abortion/
12. Gandalf and Frodo ExchangeJ.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Part I, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, Chapter 2.
13. The Geneva Consensus Declaration(2020 record of USA as a co-sponsor)https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/3894530?ln=zh_CN (and click on English PDF)(2021 version of the declaration with USA crossed off)https://www.theiwh.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/GCD-Declaration-2021-2.pdf
14. Excerpt from Dobbs Overruling RoeDobbs page 69

Biographies of Featured Speakers

Olivia Gans Turner

Olivia Gans Turner is the host of When They Say, You Say, a five -episode presentation for Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). She is also the director of American Victims of Abortion (AVA). AVA is an outreach project of the National Right to Life Committee.


Having suffered through her own acute emotional reaction to her own abortion as an unwed college student, she helped to organize one of the nation’s first peer-to-peer post-abortion support groups. Mrs. Turner has spoken widely on post-abortion syndrome and other abortion-related issues in both America and Europe.


She has appeared frequently on nationally syndicated programs such as Nightline, Good Morning America, C-SPAN, CNN and NPR.

Step 2: Review Important Principles

After watching the video, give teens a chance to comment or ask questions. Go over the following together.

  • Created Beings: All humans are precious because they are made in the image of God.

  • Health: Abortion is a deliberate act that kills an unborn child. It is harmful in various ways to the mothers.

"In the case of an abortion facility, someone always dies and someone else leaves wounded or maimed for life." (Olivia G. Turner)

  • Honesty: Words should be based on reality and clear in meaning. Use words that concisely create accurate mental images, (e.g. baby, mother, facility) See “When They Say…You Say” below for a review of some contrasting words.

  • Charity: Instructing the ignorant is a work of mercy. Explaining the truth about abortion can help prevent tragedies and lead to healing.

“The words that we use matter, because we’re always talking to someone who has a story of their own.” (Olivia G. Turner)

“Care for the person in front of you while you speak for the voiceless.”
- Olivia G. Turner

Step 3: Practice the Role-Play

Scenario #1: Facing Fatherhood

You’re in a locker room and one of your teammates looks distracted....

View this Script


Scenario #2: Steering a New Mom to Safety

A friend calls you and tells you that she is pregnant and doesn’t know what to do. Then she asks, “Do you know where I can get an abortion?”

View this Script


Scenario #3: Do Looks Matter?

After History class you comment to a peer how bad the Dred Scott decision was. You can’t believe that in 1857, the Supreme Court affirmed that slaves were property and the descendants of slaves from Africa were not counted as full citizens in this country. Your classmate agrees and adds, “We’ve come a long way.”

View this Script


Scenario #4: Sharing a Service Project Idea

It’s lunch time at school, and you’ve been thinking about what might be within your circle of influence to help mothers choose life for their babies. You sit next to a peer whom you’d like to get to know better and strike up a conversation with, “Hey, I’d like to organize a fundraiser selling cupcakes to benefit the local Pregnancy Resource Center. Do you want to help me?” She asks you, “Why should we try to help the Pregnancy Resource Center?”

View this Script

“Women are made with room for another.”
-Mary Hasson

Download the program materials and distribute to participants. The materials include the important principles and the complete role-play scenarios for participants to review and put into practice.

Best Practice:

Allow about two hours (one hour for video, one hour for role playing). One parent presents the video program to three or four teen friends with youth in the front of the room and their parents in the back of the room. After presenting the video, move to another room and act out the role playing scenarios. Give each teen a chance to read the “You” part of each script. Parents take the roles in the scripts opposite of “You.” The role playing was a primary motivation for developing the T2 : Tough Topics programs. Youth in the parish wanted not only to learn about a tough topic but also to get practice articulating the principles underlying the Christian response to the topic.

Sample Permission Slip for Youth Ministry

Recommended Age:

13+ years old, defer to parent’s judgement. A segment of the video program contains strong and explicit material unsuitable for pre-teens. To preview sensitive segments, see sample permission slip.

Prerequisite: Some sex ed covered by parents.

Helpful sex ed resources: PUREly YOU!, Theology of the Body for Teens, Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

See other age appropriate recommendations in Raising Children of Light.

Additional Resources:

To search for life affirming help near you such as medical services, financial assistance, work or education opportunities, material and legal support, recovery, mental health, prenatal diagnosis resources and care for children, visit herplan.org

For care and support for any pregnant mother: Gabriel Project, Toll-Free Confidential Helpline at 866-444-3553, https://www.gabrielproject.org.

For abortion pill reversal: hotlines: 855-209-4848, https://reverseabortionpill.com/

For those suffering in the aftermath of abortion: Project Rachel
https://hopeafterabortion.com

Project Rachel is a diocesan-based network of specially trained priests, religious, counselors, and laypersons who provide a team response of care for those suffering in the aftermath of abortion. In addition to referring for Sacramental Reconciliation, the ministry provides an integrated network of services, including pastoral counseling, support groups, retreats and referrals to licensed mental health professionals.

It's normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one's heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness. Be assured that there is forgiveness, hope and healing – many women and men have participated in diocesan Project Rachel Ministries and returned to a loving relationship with God.

For healing retreats: Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat, www.rachelsvineyard.org

For testimony of a woman conceived in rape: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkV0T-hTmXs

Kathy Barnette's mother was raped when she was 11 years old.

For age appropriate formative resources (toddlers – 18 years old): Raising Children of Light: A Parent Guide to Pro-life Formation bit.ly/RaisingChildrenofLight_SJB

For young children 3-7 years old, Philo and Sophie: Philosophy for Children by Healing the Culture www.philoandsophie.org

To read the full text of the Dobbs v Jackson Supreme Court Decision: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf

For those seeking pregnancy needs near the Diocese of Arlington, VA

For assistance after abortion call Confidential Helplines:

English Helpline: 703-841-2504

Spanish Helpline: 703-841-2504 ext. 268

Men's Helpline: 703-841-3833

or visit helpafterabortion.org

For emotional, spiritual, material and financial support through a pregnancy: Gabriel Project helpforpregnantwomen.org.

For compassionate, non-judgmental help call 703-841-3810

Where to find abortion pill reversal in Virginia: https://tepeyacobgyn.com/services/abortion-pill-reversal/

Tepayac OB/GYN (703) 273-9440, select option 6 for more information and to make an appointment during regular business hours.

For free sonograms and general medical needs: https://www.ccda.net/need-help/medical-and-counseling/free-medical-clinic/ free, quality healthcare to low income individuals

free, quality healthcare to low income individuals

For prenatal and labor & delivery needs: https://tepeyacobgyn.com/services/obstetric-services-midwifery/

A pro-life Obstetrics and Gynecology medical practice

For medical, spiritual, and emotional support in the case of a poor diagnosis for an unborn baby (perinatal hospice needs): https://tepeyacobgyn.com/services/perinatal-hospice-care/

For free and confidential same day counseling appointments: https://www.awomanschoicecenter.com/