“Ask a Priest: How Can I Help My Boyfriend See That Abortion Is Always Wrong?”

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Q: My boyfriend and I were discussing abortion. He thinks abortion is OK in the early stages of pregnancy. I tried to help him understand that abortion ends a life when it is performed at any stage in a pregnancy, but he still sees it as a decision that should be made by the mother. I love him very much, and I would like to continue to help him to see that life begins at conception. What are some things that I can do to help him understand this? -M.D.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It is a sign of love that you trying to help him understand the nature of abortion and the value of human life at every stage. There are a few things you might consider doing.

First, pray for him. Pray that he sees the light. This is such a fundamental issue, and it is important that you are both on the same page.

Second, search the Internet for help. A search on “pro-life resources” will lead you to lots of sites. You will have to use your prudence about what to show to your friend. A key is to help him understand what abortion is: the taking of an innocent human life.

Third, you might want to look for ways to get him involved in the pro-life movement. Perhaps you and he could volunteer together to help a crisis-pregnancy center with something practical (delivering donations of baby clothes, etc.). The more contact he has with pro-life people (we hope!), the more he sees the issue from a human perspective. The activities would perhaps more easily engage his heart. It would also be a way for you to show your pro-life beliefs.

A separate issue is your own relationship with your boyfriend. Many young people are a work in progress when it comes to the moral life. Here you want to see him as someone who needs to be nudged in the right direction. If he senses your loving concern, that could go a long way to opening his heart.

You might want to see how he reacts over time. If his beliefs change, you will have done a great act of mercy. If he sticks to his pro-abortion stance, then you will have to decide what that will mean for a long-term relationship.

(For related reading you could refer him to John Paul II’s encyclical “The Gospel of Life”. You might also point him to the story of Sarah Smith, whose own mother tried to abort her. If he has a penchant for things philosophical, he might like Peter Kreeft’s The Unaborted Socrates. It is written in the form of a dialogue and might be helpful for you two to read it out loud together and discuss it.)

In the meantime look for little ways you can live your pro-life convictions fully. Your conversations, your acts of charity, your witness of faith in general can make a difference.

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