Jill Stanek recently noted the Rocky Mountain Collegian’s coverage of our recent outreach event (and the protesters it drew). Here’s my comment:
Although the paper reported only 6 protesters, there were actually more throughout the day. I estimate the number was more like 30. The folks who were a committed presence all day probably numbered 15.The more important number, I think, is the number of pro-choice advocates — I estimate around 500 — from the campus who made their viewpoint known on our free speech board, poll tables, on our open mic, and/or engaged in dialogue with our team of more than 65 volunteers and staff.The point here is not to say that the “counter-protest” numbered that many, but to say that “protesters” are not a good gauge of who on a campus is willing to argue for the pro-choice view and dialogue and even rethink their position.When pro-life advocates purposefully seek to engage those who disagree — one of the purposes of Justice For All’s “Abortion: From Debate to Dialogue” training program — pro-choice students come out of the woodwork. They’re more than ready to engage us.My question is this: do we as pro-lifers want to talk to pro-choice advocates? If so, we should start with what JFA considers to be the three essential skills: asking questions with an open heart, listening to understand, and finding common ground whenever possible. When we do, we find that many pro-choice advocates listen in return and allow us to offer a compelling case for the pro-life view…one that causes them to rethink their position.
Well said, Steve.
Great post Steve.
It's really unfortunate that a strawman was made of the pro-choice students on campus, and then your comment was buried under a flamewar on the forum.