The science behind the pro-life position is airtight. All the evidence is on our side. But when it comes to lovingly communicating the truth about abortion to friends, relatives, acquaintances and even strangers? That is an art form, and Stephanie Gray seeks in her little book Love Unleashes Life: Abortion and the Art of Communicating Truth.
At less than 130 pages, it is a quick read jam packed with information and strategies for articulating the pro-life position in a winsome way. Gray has an impressive resume and over 10 years of experience doing just that. Having been interviewed on multiple news channels, publicly debated dozens of pro-choice advocates, and spent countless hours on college campuses engaging in conversation with students, Gray brings a seasoned, confident voice to the pro-life conversation.
What to Expect from Love Unleashes Life
Gray begins her book with two short chapters about communication as an art form. She emphasizes the importance of both asking questions and telling stories. According to her, questions are much more powerful than simply offering information. They show respect to the other person as they prove you are truly listening and trying to understand their position. Stories are powerful because they can frame complex ideas in ways that easy to understand and apply. As Gray puts it, “Stories have a way of captivating us, of engaging our imagination.” Gray believes that asking good questions and sharing thought-provoking stories are the two main tools of having an effective conversation about abortion (or any controversial topic).
The bulk of the book are chapters 3 and 4, respectively titled Communicating to the Head and Communicating to the Heart.
Communicating the Pro-life Position with Logic
Chapter 3 focuses on the logical part of the debate, mostly written as a conversation between a pro-life advocate and a pro-choice one. It includes topics such as human rights, the question “What is the unborn?”, biology, personhood, and bodily rights. The amount of information in the chapter, and the way the author moves so quickly from one point to the next, may seem daunting to some readers, especially if they have never had a similar conversation about abortion.
Gray’s intent is not to dive into all the nuances of the arguments, but to show how many different arguments there are to defend the pro-life position and how they may play out in a conversation. The points presented in the chapter are important for any pro-life advocate to know. And, and like any art form, the only way to build understanding of those arguments and grow in your ability to communicate is to actually have conversations, something that Gray strongly encourages at the end of her book.
Communicating the Pro-life Position with Love
Chapter 4 (Communicating to the Heart) may be the highlight of the book. Here, Gray takes the focus from the powerful pro-life arguments to the humanity of the person to whom you’re talking. She points out that people often have painful experiences in their past that make them unwilling or even unable to accept the truth of the pro-life position. “People need to know that when we say we are pro-life, we are also saying that we are pro-their lives.” When someone is caught up on one particular situation they believe should justify an abortion, more often than not, they either know someone who has experienced that situation or have been a victim of it themselves. The goal is not to prove them wrong. It is to show compassion and love.
Chapter 4 is filled with stories of these types of conversations Gray has experienced. Times in which she went from the logical arguments presented in chapter 3 to kind, personal questions that got to the heart of what the person was really saying. Often, the result was someone opening up and sharing traumatic experiences that they or loved ones had suffered. Gray admits that she doesn’t know what these people think of abortion, but when she realized the hurt behind their words, her goal became to show them the love and compassion that they may never have experienced before. As she puts it, “The pro-lifer’s task of being a voice for the pre-born also involves ministering compassion, love, and grace to the born.”
Every Person Has Value
In our understandable zeal to defend and protect the pre-born, pro-lifers may often forget the importance of loving the person standing right in front of them. Even the most passionate pro-choice advocate has just as much value as an unborn child. They have wounds and hurts that may be getting in the way of their ability to accept the truth. They may be lonely, angry, depressed, or feel unseen and unheard. As human beings they deserve dignity, respect, a loving conversation that shares the truth, and (most importantly) a listening ear that can discern what is going on behind what they are saying.
Communicating the truth in love to such a person is indeed an art. And Gray’s little book Love Unleashes Life is a great tool to continue the process of learning that art.
Here are six of the best pro-life books for you to check out!