HOST NICK EICHER: Next, the fight for life. Overturning last month’s Supreme Court ruling Roe vs. Wade sparked quite a backlash: it sparked outcries on social media, fueled political campaigns and, predictably, sent angry protesters to town squares across the country.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: WORLD sent a correspondent to one of these protests to better understand the claims commonly made by pro-abortion protesters. Over the next few months, we will wrestle with a handful of these arguments and provide answers. This is WORLD correspondent Caleb Bailey.
AUDIO: Hey hey, ho ho, the patriarchy has to go…
CALEB BAILEY, REPORTER: Most Saturday nights in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, it’s not uncommon to see a protester or two. But tonight, they are 30.
LEVENTHAL: Just recently, like yesterday morning, that decision was reversed, which means it’s now on a state-by-state basis, which means there are trigger states.
This protester is referring to the recent Dobbs v. Jackson of the United States Supreme Court which overturned Roe v. Wade.
LEVENTHAL: So the rules that in the rules and laws that they formed in the 1950s and 1960s, even the 1920s and 1930s, are now back in effect as soon as the decision was reversed, so that every State can decide what its rules are regarding abortion. and on women’s health care and contraceptives.
AUDIO: My body my choice…
Signs read “Drop the Supreme Court”. and “Keep your politics out of my body.” Drawings of scissors, female body parts and bloodstains surround vivid words. Most are willing, even willing, to talk.
Fewer, however, are eager to listen. Randy Alcorn is an author and life advocate.
ALCORN: People don’t have a deep incapacity anymore, they seem to really listen to what other people are saying. And so you end up with “dialogues of the deaf”, which is not a dialogue at all, I mean, nobody really hears…everyone formulates their next answer.
At tonight’s protest, most of the arguments were familiar: “A woman deserves choice.” “The foster care system is a mess.” “What if she had been raped?
Alcorn’s Book Prolife or Prochoice: review of 15 Pro Choice claims addresses common arguments. And each of them depends on when life and personality begin.
ALCORN: I actually believe that the majority of pro-choice people are not in favor of killing children. I don’t believe that in their hearts, in their minds, and in their consciences, they really want to kill babies.
At the protest, a young woman named Taylor Cooper stands quietly to the side. His panel lists states that have already passed laws protecting babies from abortion, but make exceptions for rare cases such as rape or risk to the mother’s life. She tries to show that abortion is already heavily regulated in some places, so more pro-life laws are not needed.
I asked her what she thought pro-lifers didn’t understand.
COOPER: I think people just have a misconception or a different understanding of what they think is a viable life or a baby.
It’s a common answer. Personality is at the center of the whole debate. And that’s where Randy Alcorn likes to start every conversation on the issue with people who identify as – quote – “pro-choice”.
ALCORN: Pro-choice is such a blind term… So if I want to break into your car and take away your stereo, that’s fine (because) you believe in my right to choose that. Well no. Well why not. …because you’re hurting someone else… So if I can show you that abortion hurts a human being, would you no longer be pro-choice of abortion?
He says that each of us has access to the same empirical data. But we are often selective in the data we adopt based on our biases. Undeniable realities are a good starting point for meaningful conversations.
ALCORN: The new person burrows into the wall of the uterus for protection and nourishment. Its sex can be determined by scientific means. Human traits are discernible. The heart is forming and the eyes are beginning to develop. The heart pumps blood throughout the body. The unborn baby has budding arms and legs. She has a brain and her size has multiplied 10,000 times. His mouth, ears and nose are taking shape. The unborn child’s brain waves can be recorded and his heartbeat, which started three weeks earlier, can be detected by an ultrasound stethoscope. His skeleton is formed and his brain controls the movement of muscles and organs…every child who is surgically aborted. Everything I just said is already true.
If the first step in a conversation is an open ear, the second step would seem to be finding common ground. Do you really understand your counterpart’s objectives? Or is it all based on assumptions fed by those who agree with us?
ALCORN: Also, I think, branding yourself right off the bat. So that we feel like we’re not really talking to a rational human being. If we only call them names, I feel like we tend to lose our audience.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Caleb Bailey in Asheville, North Carolina.
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