If you’re tuned in to what what leaders in the Pro-Life Movement say, you will often hear the statement “make abortion unthinkable.”
For reasons I couldn’t figure out until recently, that statement never sat well with me.
I’ve never thought “make abortion unthinkable” was a realistic goal.
After discussing this with a colleague, I think I figured out what was bothering me.
I was approaching the statement from the perspective of the Pro-Life Business Industry (PLBI), which I define as all of the pro-life pregnancy centers in aggregate that offer women life-giving alternatives to abortion, plus any and all organizations that support those centers.
The PLBI competes against the abortion industry for the same clients: women seeking an abortion because they are experiencing profound fear due to an unexpected pregnancy.
That last part, “…women seeking an abortion because they are experiencing profound fear due to an unexpected pregnancy…” is what I haven’t been able to square with the statement “make abortion unthinkable.”
From a woman’s perspective, the heart of the problem is that abortion is a problem of the heart (feelings), not of the head (thinking).
So from her perspective, abortion is definitely not “unthinkable.”
The question is whether or not a woman will act on her feelings, the most profound of which is fear.
So the desire to choose abortion, or choose life, is a movement of the heart at the individual level of a woman experiencing an unexpected pregnancy.
Therefore, in my view, for those working in or investing in the PLBI, the objective is not to make abortion unthinkable, because that isn’t possible for each individual woman facing an unexpected pregnancy, but to make abortion undesirable.
And I believe the best way to make abortion undesirable is by making choosing life more desirable than choosing abortion.
And to do that we have to win the marketing battle!
Fortunately, we already have a success blueprint for how to do exactly that as I detail in the case study about ThriVe Women’s Express Healthcare in chapter 12 of my book, “Your Pro-Life Bottom Line.” You can get the book by clicking on this link.
So if I’m right that abortion can’t be made unthinkable for each individual woman experiencing the fear of an unexpected pregnancy, then can abortion be made unthinkable in any sense at all?
This is where the discussion with my colleague helped clarify things for me.
She brought up the example of America’s history with chattel slavery.
Once chattel slavery was abolished by law and in practice, over time and right up to the present day, in the hearts and minds of Americans chattel slavery has become “unthinkable.”
I think you would agree with that, but at the same time, if we’re honest about the brokenness of humans, chattel slavery being unthinkable doesn’t mean there aren’t individual Americans who would be happy to see legal slavery reinstated.
There almost certainly are such depraved individuals, unfortunately.
So I think this means “thinkable” or “unthinkable” describes how we members of a larger community view an issue in general as a collective.
If a very large majority of individuals in a community stand strongly against something, then it becomes “unthinkable” in the sense that the community would never stand for it.
From that perspective, of course it’s possible that abortion can become unthinkable sometime in the future.
And the sooner the better.