Abortion Role Play
Scenario #1: Potential Pregnancy
You're walking to class with your good friend, and she shares her concern that she thinks she could be pregnant. "I forgot to take my birth control a few weeks ago before hanging out with my boyfriend, and now my period is a few days late... I'm probably just worrying over nothing, but what if I'm pregnant?"
How can you respond?
1) Gather more information.
You: Wow! Are you worried enough to take a pregnancy test?
Friend: I don't know, I feel like that would make me crazy. But if I am pregnant, I really don't know what I'd do...
2) Validate her feelings and gently show support.
You: I'd feel the same way! It's not crazy to want to know. I'm here for you. Why don't we get frozen yogurt after school and go together to the crisis pregnancy center nearby for a free test? That could give you some peace of mind, plus they have all kinds of resources.
Friend: Hmm, I'll think about it. Thanks for offering!
Scenario #2: Facing Fatherhood
Scenario #3: Sharing a Service Project Idea
It's lunchtime 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?"
How can you respond?
1) Listen for her emotions.
You: You sound unsure it's a good cause.
Peer: Isn't that one of those anti-abortion places? I hear they mislead women.
You: It's a center that helps mothers in tough situations make life-affirming choices instead of abortion. It sounds like you're concerned that the center isn't honest.
Peer: That's what I heard.
2) Find common ground, then ask if you can share.
You: It's important to have as much information as possible before making serious decisions. And it's important to be honest with mothers in a crisis. I think we agree on that.
You: Do you want to hear why I'm interested in helping the center?
You: Studies show that 60% of the women who have had abortions admit that they would have chosen life if just one person had encouraged them.1 The staff at the Center give accurate information about options and offer all kinds of help from housing to diapers. A mom unsure what to do gets support there from people who want what's best for her and her child.
Peer: But why would you encourage someone to ruin their life by having a kid when they're not ready? That seems dumb, not to mention unfair.
You: I get it, if you're in school and get pregnant, that's definitely going to completely change your life, and it sounds like you think abortion is an easy solution for the mother.
Peer: A lot easier than having a baby and raising a kid!
3) Validate the difficulty, AND share the difficulty of abortion.
You: Once you're pregnant, a major change in your life has happened - it will never be the same as it was before. The question is what course of action is best moving forward. I've heard the testimonies of mothers who aborted their babies. Many suffer damage to their bodies as well as deep depression. I want to spare mothers the emotional pain of knowing they made a decision that killed their child.
Peer: Yeah, that would be hard. What a mess! Maybe I'll help you. Let me think about it.
1 Reardon D C, Rafferty K A, Longbons T (May 11, 2023) The Effects of Abortion Decision Rightness and Decision Type on Women’s Satisfaction and Mental Health. Cureus 15(5): e38882. doi:10.7759/cureus.38882
Scenario #4: Distraught Dad
You're at your part-time job at a hardware store. A newlywed co-worker arrives and looks distraught. There is a lull in customers so you have a little time to talk.
How can you respond?
1) Show that you hear his emotions.
You: Hey, Tom, are you ok? You look a little down today.
Co-worker: My wife is pregnant but the baby is sick. He has something serious, and might not even make it to his due date. My wife's doctor recommends an abortion and has scheduled one for next week.
You: Woah, that's really heavy. No wonder you look so sad today.
Co-worker: I'm a wreck. Sure am glad the store is slow. We were so excited for this baby... we never expected news like this. And if the doctor is advising abortion, well, we'll just have to follow his advice.
2) Validate while gathering more information.
You: First, a baby is great news, healthy or not. Congratulations. And I'm really sorry there's a diagnosis for such a short life. Of course you want advice from the doctor, but abortion? Didn't he give you other courses of action?
You: I'm glad you're uneasy and sad about the scheduled abortion. You're a Dad, but your baby is sick and you want to protect him. What about life-giving decisions? You have a short yet very special time to spend with your baby, even if he doesn't make it to term.
Co-worker: I don't know, my wife is pretty set on following the doctor's plan. What can I do?
You: Even though you're the father you feel helpless.
Co-worker: Yeah, my wife is sad and confused. She trusts the doctors.
3) Ask if he is open to advice, and if so, encourage with truth and a resource.
You: I have a few thoughts on that, do you mind if I share?
You: Did you know that there are doctors who specialize in helping couples take good care of babies with terminal illnesses? You're not the only ones who have been through this. You can protect and love your baby.
Co-worker: Really? But what if my wife goes forward with the abortion?
You: You are the dad. You can try everything you can to protect and love your baby, and you can share these hope-filled resources with your wife. Here, we can find a doctor near our zip code at the Standing with You website. And let's pray.
3) Say thank you and validate again.
You: Thank you for telling me about your baby and letting me help. Bearing something like this alone is really hard.