Speaking the Truth: Ani’s Oral Report

By Chuck Colson

Whenever I start despairing over defeats in the culture war, I hear a story like this one and it renews my hope. Ani Seromik is a high school senior in the Midwest and she’s a Christian. A few months ago Ani’s teacher assigned the class an oral report: It could be about anything regarding health care.

Ani decided to talk about abortion, but that didn’t sit well with her teacher—who told Ani she’d have to get approval from the school’s Health Education Committee. “Fine,” Ani said, “Who do I see to get on the agenda?”

Taken aback by Ani’s bold reply, the teacher suggested she talk about teen pregnancy instead and mention that abortion is an option that many teens choose. Ani says, “I told her I wanted to do my presentation on abortion, and that I would present it very objectively, because in my opinion the facts about abortion speak for themselves. “Nobody,” she added, “needs someone to [explain] that there is something morally wrong about abortion once they hear the facts.”

Ani’s teacher was very upset and over the next few weeks she made several more attempts to change Ani’s mind. Ani’s parents—concerned that the conflict might hurt her final grade—urged her to choose another topic.

Ani prayed about it, then told her parents she was going to stick to her guns. So she spoke with her school’s principal, who told the teacher that Ani’s topic was fine. Unbelievably, the teacher still didn’t give up. She told Ani to get her research materials from Planned Parenthood. Instead, Ani went to local prolife sources and borrowed models of fetuses at different stages of development. On the day of the talk, Ani described abortion procedures from RU-486 through partial birth abortion. She described the stages of development during each abortion procedure, and she talked about post-abortion stress and the abortion/breast cancer link.

When she finished, Ani asked if there were any questions. “I expected people to try to argue with me,” she said, “because there were a few very vocal prochoice girls in the class.” But no one had any questions. “I had covered all the points that people normally try to argue, from the humanity of the unborn child, to issues of overpopulation and the well-being of the mother so thoroughly that nobody could argue with me.” In fact, several classmates thanked her later because they had no idea what abortion was all about.

“I’m glad I fought to do this presentation,” Ani concluded, “not only because [my classmates] were able to hear the truth, but because hopefully it will encourage students who come after me to stand up for what is right.”

What a terrific story! And Ani is correct: Properly presented, science is our friend. It’s the secularists who have the most to fear from what science reveals—whether it’s the humanity of the unborn child or the evidence that points toward a divine Creator. The facts, as Ani noted, always point toward moral truth.

Ani’s story is a reminder that we can stand up for the truth without hitting people over the head with our Bibles. Sometimes—as Ani puts it—all we need is the courage to stand up for what’s right. (Originally presented on “BreakPoint with Chuck Colson,” 7/16/2001, Copyright (c) 2001 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission.)