29 Jun 5 Reasons to Engage in Conversation With Someone Who is Pro-Choice
Engaging in conversation with someone who is pro-choice can be difficult, especially when both parties have strongly opposing views. I have been there. But it is essential to have these conversations and to dialogue with dignity while doing it. You never know who you will talk to in one to these conversation and you never know what impact that might bring to them. You could make a difference in someone’s life. Due to the importance of engaging with those who don’t agree with us, here are some reasons to step into the discomfort that these conversations can bring.
1. Opportunity to learn different perspectives–Practice Empathy.
I have frequent conversations with one of my good friends and we often talk about our different views. Ultimately, we try to find common ground and to understand one another’s perspective.
Having difficult conversations helps us to hear, first-hand, what different perspectives someone who is pro-choice may hold. We get to hear what other people think and understand the perspective of the person we are talking to.
Despite the fact that my friend and I don’t agree on much, talking with her has really helped me grow in empathy because I must openly listen and meet her where she is. It is especially helpful when approaching new ideas and arguments because having these conversations allows more practice in conversing with someone who has a different opinion. Having these conversations with her also grows my confidence.
2. Solidify your own views.
Talking with someone who is pro-choice solidifies your views because it forces you to learn how to clearly communicate your position and dialogue in a cohesive manner. You are forced to learn how to to effectively communicate your own perspective.
A conversation I had freshmen year with two friends really sparked my desire to learn more about the topic of abortion. We had a two-hour conversation about all sorts of frequently debated pro-life and pro-choice topics.
This conversation caused me to think more seriously about my views on abortion and was a springboard to my pro-life involvement.
3. Opens opportunities for new research.
During this internship, my fellow summer intern, Carina, and I have to go out on the “streets” asking strangers every day about their views on abortion. This project is extremely hard, but it has helped me better my skills in talking to individuals who may be pro-choice.
One day, I talked to Tiffany. She talked a lot about birth control – a topic that I have not looked into much. Since I knew very little about birth control, I was not able to refute her. Nevertheless, this conversation sparked my interest in learning more about birth control and to better develop my understanding.
Sometimes, engaging with someone who disagrees with you can open up areas that you haven’t learned enough about yet. That is okay. At the end of the day, it is an amazing opportunity to look into what is brought up and then research it for yourself.
I know first-hand that it is humbling to realize that you need to research a new topic, but ultimately, this will help you to be more competent and educated in the future.
4. Understand your arguments in order to teach others.
My past roommate is on the fence about being pro-life or pro-choice. She is personally pro-life but wouldn’t want to put her views on others, which is a common reason why people are pro-choice.
Loyola Students for Life, the student group with which I serve as Vice President, had 4 expert speakers come to our meetings this past semester. I invited everyone I knew. My roommate always had a hard time making the meetings, so at the end of the day I would recap what we learned at the meeting and it would turn into authentic, intellectual conversations. Not only did I learn a ton of information from the speakers we had, I also got the chance to teach this to my roommate and, in turn, making sure I understood it for myself.
5. Own your identity as a pro-life leader.
Recently, I unexpectedly met Julie who would impact my journey forever. Soon after meeting this Julie for the first time, she shared with me that was pregnant.
Julie is about my age and pregnant. I can only imagine what she is experiencing.
We talked for hours covering everything, including her pro-choice views, and my pro-life views. Despite our differences, we were able to find where we agree, where we differ, and learn about each other.
This encounter was extremely inspiring to me and reminded me why I am here and involved in this work. I am here because I AM a pro-life leader. I want to grow and be the leader who is not afraid to see and make change. I want to grow and be the leader who can help anyone in any kind of crisis. Julie pulled the leader out of me.
Julie needs me to be a friend and someone she can rely on and trust. I have been able to be there for her through the tools SFLI has taught me. I used these tools to share resources with Julie.
I want to make a difference in someone’s life, positively and impactfully. This internship is that opportunity to positively impact someone’s life. This work is important, not only for me, but for my new friend, Julie. I now have the skills and resources to help her when she needs someone to talk to, hang out with, go to doctor’s appointments with, and just be a friend. Despite our difference in views, I have continued to keep in contact with her and have committed to journey with her in this unplanned situation because that’s what being pro-life is about.