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'Emotion is utterly certain': why the pro-life case can't be won on facts | August 3, 2017 | MercatorNet |

'Emotion is utterly certain': why the pro-life case can't be won on facts

| August 3, 2017 | MercatorNet |

‘Emotion is utterly certain’: why the pro-life case can’t be won on facts

Why have shocking videos about the sale of fetal body parts not changed public opinion?
Mike Schouten | Aug 3 2017 | comment 2 

Two years have passed since the first video released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). These videos, which feature interviews with various Planned Parenthood employees, were meant to incite public outrage about the goings-on at Planned Parenthood and slow down or stop the abortion machine. A recent article by Joe Carter looks at how those videos, despite the quantity and content of them, failed to significantly shift the abortion debate.
While the videos were filmed, released, and directed at the United States, there are some valuable lessons in there for Canadians too. How did videos showing people talking casually about dismembering babies, dropping eyeballs, and selling fetal body parts for profit fail to convince people to take action?
It’s not that people don’t care. We saw in the recent case of Charlie Gard just how much people can care. And what they care about, in both cases, is choice. The public got up in arms when it appeared the parents did not have control over choices relating to Charlie’s care. Whether they cared about Charlie himself is another question. Similarly, in the abortion debate, the discussion is focused firmly on parental (in this case maternal) rights. The language is one of choice and control, and it seems we’ve sometimes forgotten the subject: a child whose life hangs in the balance.
The resolute grip on personal choice frames many of our cultural debates. When it comes to the Planned Parenthood videos released by CMP, we shouldn’t have expected a public who seems immune to the injustice of abortion to have cared particularly much about what happens to the remains of those unwanted children.
Facts are not what ultimately changes people’s minds. In this social media world, it is easy to share things, but it is just as easy for others to ignore those things. Abortion, legal or not, still comes down to a question of the heart and, often, to personal experience.
In discussing the case of Charlie Gard, Professor Uta Frith from the University College London pointed out the need for a balance between science and emotion. When it comes to hot button issues like whether to remove your child from life support after birth or whether to cut off their life support before birth, emotion always wins over reason. Emotion, Frith said, “is utterly certain.” It follows, then, that “[r]easoned evidence needs champions to engage the hearts of people.”
What we need are not more facts or exposé videos. We need one-on-one conversations, small group discussion, school presentations, and any other form of personal interaction and engagement.
Within the pro-life movement, we need collaboration and mutual support. The job of the pro-life movement is simply to exist and never, ever give up. One person at a time, one heart at a time, progress will be made.
Mike Schouten is the director of Canadian pro-life group We Need a Law. Republished with permission.


August 3, 2017

If today's newsletter has a theme, it might be "culture begins at home". John Robson returns to the popular film Dunkirk, more in sorrow than anger.
Why don't Gen Xers and Gen Yers know about this impressive feat of courage and resilience? It's easy to blame teachers besotted with fashionable trends in history, but isn't the real reason that parents don't pass on their history at the dinner table? We need to talk to children about the traditions which give us pride, he argues. 

Michael Cook 

In Australia, men still prefer mothers to stay at home
By Jenni Henderson
New household stats show that men are also more conservative about family structure.
Read the full article
Dunkirk: tell your children and your children’s children
By John Robson
Parents should feel responsible for passing on our history
Read the full article
Guide to the classics: Homer’s Iliad
By Chris Mackie
Alexander the Great slept with a dagger and a copy of the Iliad under his pillow
Read the full article
The ‘democracy of the dead’: why we should respect tradition
By Chiara Bertoglio
There is a reason that Athens survived and Sparta did not.
Read the full article
‘Emotion is utterly certain’: why the pro-life case can’t be won on facts
By Mike Schouten
Why have shocking videos about the sale of fetal body parts not changed public opinion?
Read the full article
Silicon Valley’s creepy obsession with longevity
By Heather Zeiger
How about US$8000 blood transfusions from teenagers?
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More victims of the two-child policy
By Marcus Roberts
A woman and four children
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Canada opens the door to the abortion pill
By Johanne Brownrigg
And everybody has to pay for this assault on human dignity.
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The long shadow of parental divorce
By Nicole M. King
Harm limitation approaches to divorce face a stiff challenge from present suicide link.
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