Taking an effective stand against abortion starts with young people. But how do we engage today’s youth about such a sensitive yet crucial issue?
Bryan Kemper, founder of the pro-life movement Stand True, shares his vision of how to involve youth where it touches their lives.
“Young people needed a movement that they could take ownership of; that’s originally what Rock for Life was, and what Stand True is now – it’s their movement. They are involved highly in all of the everyday projects that we do.”
Kids are more aware of the issue than some may think. Bryan says to give them some credit and meet them where they are at.
“They know what’s going on out there. I think being honest with them and having good, frank conversations that are appropriate is the way to reach them, and the way to get them excited about stuff, and then give them something to do – don’t just tell them to be against abortion, but give them something they can do to get involved with.”
Bryan points out how simple it can be to start a conversation with young people about abortion.
“Have you ever seen a little kid when they look at the fetal models? They know immediately – that’s a baby. I’ve always felt that it’s so amazing that my two-year-old can look at an ultrasound and say, ‘baby!’ and adults can’t figure that out.
“It’s that simple, basic approach – just show them the facts, and young people, they know that.”
Conversations about abortion always need to address personal lifestyle decisions. But many are afraid to mention the big one.
“When it comes down to talking about abstinence and chastity, so many people are afraid to use the word ‘sex’ – like they’re afraid that if they say that word that it’s going to corrupt them.”
“We need to be able to have a conversation with young people that teaches them that sex is a beautiful, wonderful thing in the way that it was given to us by God, and not just this ugly, taboo thing that we don’t want to tell you about until you’re twenty-five.
“I think that sometimes we’ve had that mentality of, ‘let’s just never talk about it and it’ll never happen.’ I’m sorry, that’s just not the truth. I think if we can talk about it in a healthy way and talk about the positive aspects of it, it’s something that does so much better with our young people.”
Bryan Kemper is founder of Rock for Life, Stand True, and Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity, as well as youth outreach director for Priests for Life. Bryan is the author ofTalking to young people about abortion
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