One Minute

Note: I spoke at the SFLA conference in Washington DC today. During my presentation, I mentioned a situation in which I had to make my case for the unborn in just one minute. A student requested a transcript, so here’s a description of the precipitating event…and the sound bite.

Years ago, I had a conversation with a pro-choice activist at Colorado State University. After she repeatedly talked over my questions, assuming she knew what I thought, I said, “You haven’t even given me a chance to make my case. Can I have even one minute to tell you why I am pro-life?” I got what I asked for. In fact, a crowd had formed and her friend set her watch and instructed me to begin. I was being timed.

Would you know what to say if you were in my shoes? Every day you have similar opportunities even if they are not as contentious as my campus debate. You can make a great impact if you think about what you might say beforehand. In my case, I had about three seconds to decide which tools I would include as I began my response. Then I said essentially this:

If the unborn is growing, it must be alive. And if it has human parents, it must be human. And living humans, or human beings like you and I, are valuable aren’t they? From conception, all that’s added to the unborn is a proper environment and adequate nutrition. But those are the same things all of us need. And not only that. There’s one quality all of us have equally that demands equal treatment: we all have a human nature. Racism and sexism are wrong because they pick out external differences and ignore the underlying similarity between men and women, blacks and whites. And my concern is for your rights as a woman, that you can vindicate them against the will of the majority, but you can only vindicate your rights if you base them on your human nature. But the unborn also has that same human nature, so shouldn’t we protect him from discrimination just like we protect minorities and women?

A pdf of this post is available here.

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One comment

  1. Great stuff Steve!Your time in the trenches of direct face to face debate are really coming through – and though I thought it would be interesting to have a video camera available to cover reactions, your sense of respecting others immediately came to mind, so the editing wouldn’t be condescending. (However – I can imagine the reactions are pretty funny!)Thanks for sharing.

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