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

For Teens:

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.

For Mature Audiences:

The following video includes everything in the teen video plus graphic testimonial footage of a baby.

An introductory overview of the Tough Topics Abortion Basics Program

Source List

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-basics for a list of History Sources
Episode 2: Biology: What Is Life in the Womb?Is the Embryo a Human Person?  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=exGd-tynMGE©2023 Healing the Culture, www.healingtheculture.org
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.com
Brought to Life: National Geographic’s The Womb by Roy Shakked https://vimeo.com/56742451© 2022 Music to Moving Pictures, www.royshakked.com
Episode 3: Biology: What is Abortion?This is Chemical Abortion https://thisischemicalabortion.com/docuseries/©2023 Students for Life of America www.studentsforlife.org  **Teen version in episode 4
2nd Trimester Abortion—Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)—What Is Abortion? featuring former abortionist Kathi Aultman MD  https://abortionprocedures.com© 2022 Live Action, www.liveaction.org
Episode 4: Testimonials: What Does Experience Say?Eclipse of Reason featuring actor Charlton Heston and former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson https://vimeo.com/68151234© 2022 Bernadell Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Eclipse-Reason-Charlton-Bernard-Nathanson/dp/ B002ZZ0N3C)  **Not included in Teen version
HUSH https://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


Mother & Baby https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/black-mother-taking-car-her-child_33412218.htm#page=2&query=mother%20and%20baby%20kissing&position=38&from_view=search&track=ais"

History Sources

Title Sequence ImagesMiscellaneous Items in High Demand, PPOC, Library of Congress;Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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:1999.01.0252ImagesAnne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson; Public domain,via Wikimedia CommonsPaulus Pontius; Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
2. Excerpt From a Letter Attributed to St. Barnabashttps://divineoffice.org/ord-w18-wed-or/ ) Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. IV, p.71ImagesPaolo Veronese; Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons "The Miracle of St. Barnabas"  |  St. BarnabasBartholomeus Breenbergh; Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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=abortionImagesWilliam Whiston; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsRijksmuseum; CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
4. 1920 Russian Public Health AnnouncementBibleMesh Team, https://biblemesh.com/blog/early-evil-the-legalization-of-abortion-in-russia-1920/ Images Photos of Vladimir Lenin, all public domain via Wikimedia CommonsPavel Zhukov  |  EmirhanEfel  |  Grigory Petrovich GoldsteinNazi ImageryVancouver Holocaust Education Centre; Public domain,via Wikimedia CommonsUnited States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park;Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsPerSona77, CC BY-SA 3.0 PL, via Wikimedia Commons
5. 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/ImagesBritish Red Cross; CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia CommonsKevin Quinn, Ohio, US; CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia CommonsRed Cross, Albert Herter; Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
6. 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%26ampImagesNational Photo Company Collection; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsNational Museum of the U.S. Navy; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsMennonite Church USA Archives; No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

7. 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/ImagesLorie Shaull from St. Paul, US; CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia CommonsRobert S. Oakes; Public domain, via Wikimedia Commonsunknown photographer; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsNational Archives at College Park; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsNoble36; CC0, via Wikimedia CommonsMichael Del Priore; CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia CommonsBernard Gotfryd; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsFocus on the Family; CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

8. 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.pdfImagesU.S. Department of State; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsPhoto 1  |  Photo 2  |  Photo 3
9. Excerpt from Dobbs Overruling RoeDobbs page 69ImagesFred Schilling; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsSteve Petteway; Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsSamuel Alito  |  Clarence Thomas

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.

“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:

Sample Permission Slip for Youth Ministry

St. Teresa of Calcutta
Public Domain

A Prayer of St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910 - 1997 AD)

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.

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:  The Birds and Bees Online Program, Cana Vox Tips, 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 abortion pill reversal: hotlines: 855-209-4848, https://reverseabortionpill.com/ 

Watch the “This Is Chemical Abortion” Docuseries for everything you need to know about dangerous Chemical Abortion Pills at https://thisischemicalabortion.com/docuseries/

For those suffering in the aftermath of abortion: Project Rachel

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 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 information about the Hippocratic Medicine: https://aaplog.org/why-should-you-care-about-the-hippocratic-oath/

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

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

To read the full text of the Dobbs v Jackson Supreme Court Decision:supremecourt/opinions/Dobbs.pdf

For science-based arguments in support of supernatural truths, view free videos such as "The Remarkable Evidence of a Transcendent Soul," and "Science, God, and Creation," available at www.magiscenter.com/videos

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 

For classic philosophical principles: Ten Universal Principles: A Basic Primer on Respect for Human Life, https://healingtheculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/TEN-UNIVERSAL-PRINCIPLES-TUP-prolife-flyer-2022.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/