Why ProLife?: Discussion Questions
These study and discussion questions are intended for use by individuals or groups reading Randy's book Why Prolife?. A pdf version of this study guide (with space for writing answers) is available by clicking the download link at the top of the page.
- When was the first time you heard the prolife position? How did it change your thinking or your worldview?
- What statistic shocked you the most in this chapter? Why?
- Why do you think that many Christian men and women struggle with making a prolife choice? What might the circumstances be in their lives?
- How can we empathize with them in both truth and grace?
- What is your stance on abortion? Why do you have that stance? Take some time to think carefully through your answer.
- Why do you think the media has stereotyped prolife people? How does this affect the world’s view on prolife? How can we change that stereotype?
- Many men and women think that abortion is the “best choice” and the lesser of two evils. How do you determine what the “best choice” is in any situation? Why?
- How do we love women who are thinking about getting an abortion? How do we love women who have had an abortion? Think practically.
- What is the most common definition you’ve heard of related to when life begins? Do you agree/disagree? Why?
- How does this chapter help you redefine (or define more concretely) the definition of when life begins?
- How does your heart react to the story from a pro-abortion ethicist father? How does your mind react?
- Why do you think it’s easier for us to take the life of an unborn than the life of the born?
- After reading about the developmental stages of an unborn baby, would it be harder to decide to abort? Why or why not?
- How does SLED change your way of thinking? Has your conviction (prolife or prochoice) been strengthened or weakened?
- How have words shaped your view of abortion?
- What are other things that people can “de-personalize” to justify their actions? How and why do they do this?
- How does the knowledge of cells from aborted human babies being used for scientific research make you feel? What should our right response to this be?
- The media and scientists have used language to distance and de-humanize their actions. Are there ways we can bring things back to reality?
- Does the fact that even the doctors performing abortions know what they are really doing (killing babies) change anything for you? What is your reaction to this fact?
- Why is it important to understand that a baby is not a part of the mother’s body?
- If you have computer access, google “1999 Samuel Armas picture” and look at the pictures that come up. What is your reaction to these pictures? Does this story and the pictures affect your views on abortion?
- Randy says, “How ironic that the same woman who’s prosecuted and jailed for endangering her child is perfectly free to hire a doctor to abort that same child. In America today it’s illegal to harm your preborn child, but it’s perfectly legal to kill her.” What is your reaction to this statement? Take some time to consider the bizarre implications of this double standard.
- How have pictures been influential in your life? Think back to pictures of 9/11 or of starving kids in third world countries. Do these pictures change you in some way? Do they call you to action in some way?
- Take a few minutes now and view some 3D ultrasound images; www.prenatalpeek.com/3dultrasoundphotos/. (To see intrauterine videos of children at various levels of development, see www.ehd.org/.) How do these photos change you? How do these photos call you to action?
- If you can, go online at http://abortioninstruments.com/ and watch an abortion in action and see the remains of an aborted baby. If you can’t bear to look, ask yourself why? If you do view these, how does it change your opinion of abortion? What are you feeling right now?
- Why is it important that both sides of the abortion debate see these pictures?
- How would you define “meaningful life”? What is your basis for giving value to something?
- How is viability a poor gauge for when life is meaningful?
- What is your reaction to the facts about prenatal development?
- Professor Peter Singer says an individual’s human worth is based on his/her usefulness to others. How does this logic carry over to born children, the elderly, the disabled, the sick, etc.?
- After reading this, what is a good definition for meaningful life? Where should we get our basis for giving value to something?
- How does viewing pregnancy as an illness or disease change our culture’s view on abortion? What are further implications of this view?
- Do you think abortion should have a requirement of informed consent? Why or why not?
- 46% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue is from taxpayers. What are the implications of the government paying for abortions? How do you feel about this?
- Does the story about a Planned Parenthood manager agreeing to provide abortions for under-aged kidnapped girls change your perspective of Planned Parenthood?
- How has abortion moved from “the ultimate exploitation of women” to “a woman’s right” in our country?
- Do the viewpoints of Margaret Sanger remind you of any other leader in the history of our world? What are the effects of these viewpoints?
- What are the implications for men since abortion is considered a women’s rights issue? What does abortion teach men?
- Why do you think sex selection abortion is so prevalent in our world, even in America?
- What do you think of the statement, “There can be no equal rights for all women until there are equal rights for unborn women”?
- What are some laws that you’re thankful for that restrict personal freedoms in order to protect others? What would the result be if these laws were changed in favor of maintaining personal freedoms?
- Why do you think people don’t want to label the issue “pro-abortion”? What does the label “pro-abortion” mean? How does it make them feel?
- Why do people feel so differently about killing a baby after birth than before? What is their thought process? What do you think about this?
- In what ways are slavery and abortion similar? In what ways is the holocaust similar to abortion?
- How is the argument that women have the “right to privacy” about abortion a weak argument? What other “right to privacy” arguments fall short? Have you heard this argument used before? How?
- How has our culture skewed and tainted our view of pregnancy, especially pregnancy outside of marriage? What are the implications? What should our view of pregnancy always be, despite the circumstances surrounding it? How can we influence our culture in this way?
- What kind of mixed messages do men hear about their responsibility as a father and the convenience of abortion? How does abortion “bring out the worst in men”?
- What do you think about the statement, “if it (abortion) was so right, why is it so difficult”? Have you known women who have struggled years after their abortion? How? Why?
- Why do you think abortion affects so many women and men psychologically? Why is this not discussed or women not informed about this before abortions happen? What effect does this have on our society and in our families?
- Have you ever heard of the many possible physical complications of an abortion? The statistic that a woman who has an abortion increases her risk of breast cancer by a minimum of 50 percent and as much as 300 percent is astounding. Why do you think these risks aren’t spoken of? How could knowledge of these risks change people’s views on abortion?
- Why do you think a woman who had an abortion is four times more likely to die in the next year than a woman who carried to full term?
- Before abortion was legalized, many people blamed their problems on the fact that they didn’t have access to abortions, instead of seeing abortion for what it really was. What kinds of problems does abortion cause, legal or not?
- “From the child’s point of view there is no such thing as ‘a safe, legal abortion’. It is always deadly. (pg. 81)” How does the legalization of abortion affect the unborn child? Has the number of abortions increased or decreased since it was legalized? Does this matter? How? Why?
- How do you feel about the women’s survey responses at the end of this chapter?
- If 1% of all abortions are performed to save the mother’s life, what does that do to the argument that some abortions are justifiable?
- How is the story of Randy’s friends who chose to have surgery resulting in the death of their unborn child different from abortion?
- To be prolife means being prolife for both the child and the mother. What does this mean in hard circumstances where the mother’s life is at risk (remember these are rare occurrences)? How do we see this situation ethically?
- Is being prochoice both for the child and the mother? How?
- How common is pregnancy from rape? Why do prochoice advocates use this example so much?
- What do you think about Norma McCorvey, “Roe”, becoming an outspoken prolife advocate? Why is this important?
- Is the nature of a child who is a product of rape any different than the nature of a child who is the product of a loving marriage? How? Why is this important?
- How can adoption be a better option for the woman than abortion?
- What do the violence of rape and the violence of abortion have in common?
- How does abortion compound rape trauma?
- How does changing the definition of conception change what “the pill” does?
- How does changing the definition of a contraceptive change many people’s view of what “the pill” does?
- What does “the pill” actually do?
- How does “the pill” cause abortions?
- “Since we are uncertain about how many abortions it (the pill) causes, how should we act in light of our uncertainty? (pg. 95)”
- How are intentions different than results in regards to “the pill”? Why is it important to know the difference? Do the intentions of a woman affect the outcome of an abortion?
- How does “the morning after pill” work? Does it cause abortions?
- How important is the belief that God creates people at the point of conception?
- Does a disability change the nature and value of a person? What gives value to a person? Why is this important?
- Where could unreliable tests and doctors recommending “terminating the pregnancy” lead?
- Why do people feel better about abortion than they do about killing children with handicaps? Does knowing the child make a difference to them? Why? Does it make a difference to God?
- What should Christians and churches do to help protect the sanctity of human life?
- How does abortion magnify grief?
- How could abortion lead our society back into the eugenics debate?
- “The quality of a society is largely defined by how it treats its weakest members. (pg. 104)” In light of this, how is our society defined?
- How can there be unwanted pregnancies but not unwanted children?
- How would you finish this sentence? “Every child a wanted child, so…”
- Have you ever considered abortion to be a form of child abuse? Why or why not?
- How is abortion to prevent child abuse an illogical conclusion?
- Why has child abuse gone up since abortion has been legalized?
- How has abortion changed our view of children?
- Is the attitude that results in abortion the same attitude that results in child abuse?
- What do you think about the professor who suggested that newborns be given a 28 day “trial period” before the infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others? How does this make you feel? Why?
- How is the slogan “Against abortion? Don’t have one.” illogical when it comes to abortion, rape, or murder?
- Why can’t someone be personally opposed to abortion but still be prochoice?
- Why do women often feel like they have no choice but abortion?
- Why is the choice to put their baby up for adoption rarely discussed? Does this play into the fact that adoption is seldom chosen? What are other reasons why adoption is not chosen?
- Would adoption be a good choice? Why or why not?
- How can we gently help women feeling the weight of their situation understand that the question isn’t, “How can I give my baby up for adoption?” but “How could I kill my baby by abortion?” Can you think of some practical ways?
- Why do you think the choice to give up a baby for adoption is considered negative? What can we do to help change that?
- Do you know anyone who has had an abortion? Or maybe you have had one yourself. If so, what kinds of struggles have they/you had since their/your abortion? What kind of feelings do they/you struggle with most?
- How do people tend to deal with guilt? Is this a healthy way of dealing with guilt? Why or why not?
- What is the “good news”? How does this make you feel? Read John 3:16, Ephesians 1:7, and 1 John 4:10. (The “good news” and the “bad news” is true for all of us, whether we’ve had an abortion or not. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23.)
- What is the “bad news”? Besides abortion, what are some other sins? Read Romans 3:10-12, 3:23, 6:23, Ephesians 2:1, 1 John 1:8. If we think about it, most of us already know the bad news. There is a reason we feel guilt about abortion, because it’s wrong. But DON’T stop at the bad news, God didn’t.
- How does Jesus deal with the “bad news”? How did Jesus pay for our sins? Romans 6:23, 5:8, 1 Peter 2:24, and Hebrews 9:28.
- What does God call us to do in response to this? Read Romans 10:9-19, 13, and 1 John 1:9.
- You are forgiven. What does it mean to be forgiven? What is the one way guilt can be dealt with once and for all? Read Hebrews 8:12.
- What is grace? What do we have to do in order to receive grace? Read Ephesians 2:8-9.
- What does our forgiveness and salvation mean for eternity? Read John 3:15-18, 3:36, 5:24, 6:47, 17:3, 1 John 5:11-13
- “God doesn’t want you to go through life punishing yourself for your abortion or for any other wrongs you have done. (pg. 122)” Christ has already been punished for your sins. How can we not dwell on past sins? Read Philippians 3:13, 14; 4:8, Romans 12:1, 2. What are some practical ways to do this? Read Hebrews 10:22.
- Do you have any bitterness in your life? How can you make the right choice to forgive others? How much have you been forgiven for? Does this help you to want to forgive others?
- If you’ve had an abortion, how can sharing your pain with other believers help? Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Who is the church for, saints or sinners? Read Galatians 6:2, James 5:16, and Matthew 9:12-13.
- If you’ve had an abortion, how can sharing your story save other children’s lives?
- How should we respond to others who’ve had an abortion in the past? How does God view them and respond to them?
- Whether you’ve had an abortion or not, how can we care for and support those who’ve had an abortion?
- As believers, what kind of hope do we have to offer those who are guilt-ridden and need to be free? Read Romans 5:8, 10, Psalm 62:5, Ephesians 1:18, and Galatians 5:1.
- What are some reasons for talking about abortion in our churches? Read Acts 20:27.
- Instead of distraction from the great commission, how can prolife work further the great commission? Read Matthew 28:16-20.
- Why shouldn’t we as Christians just preach the gospel and stay out of everything else? Where could this lead?
- What is the connection between the gospel/evangelism and social concern/personal intervention for the needy? Read James 1:27 and Matthew 25:31-46.
- Biblically, why is it important to stand up for the needy?
- In regards to abortion, how can you be full of grace and truth? Read John 1:14.
- What is God calling you to do in response to His word and this book? How are you going to make a difference? Read Proverbs 24:11, 12.
Chelsea Weber works at Eternal Perspective Ministries as Randy Alcorn's executive assistant. She is currently pursuing her MA in Biblical and Theological Studies at Western Seminary.