By Ryan Eyrich, Student for Life of America’s Southeast Regional Coordinator
I recently had the opportunity to help the Rock for Life team as it travelled through the Southeast with the Vans Warped Tour. During my time with the team, I was able to dialogue with many people who held different beliefs on abortion than I do. It was amazing to see the difference in beliefs at what is normally considered a very liberal concert venue.
As expected, we encountered some extreme pro-choice individuals who scoffed at our tent, yelled at us, and walked away. On the other side, we also encountered a lot of pro-life people who gave us words of encouragement as they passed by our tent. What I did not expect, however, was running into so many pro-choice people who just wanted to have an open conversation on abortion. Many of these people had never heard the reasoning behind the pro-life position and wanted to know why we believed that the preborn have rights.
These conversations brought out the best of both sides.
The Rock for Life team and I were able to share why we believe that abortion is not the answer for women in need and the people we were talking to were able to share with us why they believed that women should have the right to have abortion. These conversations were enlightening to everyone, and would not have been able to happen if either party (us or the pro-choicers) weren’t looking to have an open and honest discussion on abortion. Not only did these conversations enlighten both sides to the reasoning behind each opinion, but they also uncovered the common ground between both the pro-choice and the pro-life positions.
After talking for a while, it was clear that we all wanted the same thing: to help women in need—we just differed in what we believed was the best way to help. Once we established that both pro-lifers and pro-choicers wanted to help women, the Rock for Life team and I were able to explain how adoption was a better option for pregnant women and how Rock for Life is dedicated to helping pregnant women. Although most of the pro-choicers we talked were not swayed from their opinions on abortions, they left with a new understanding and appreciation for what we were doing at Rock for Life.
These conversations at the Warped Tour showed me just how important it is for the pro-life movement to work to educate pro-choice people on why we oppose abortion. And to listen to the other side.
In order to persuade people to join the pro-life movement, we must first be able to explain to them how abortion not only kills the life of the preborn child but that it also causes more harm to women than good. If we can establish that we all want to help women in need, then we can start to have deeper conversations that will be conversions rather than just discussions. After all, it is easier to talk with people if you both want to same goal.
Ryan Eyrich was able to tour with our team for for five Vans Warped Tour dates in his region: Atlanta, St. Petersburg, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Charlotte. If you are in his region and would like to start a pro-life group on your college campus, public or private high school campus or homeschooling community click here to contact him.