July 13, 2018
shared with you that she was pregnant and hadn't ruled out having an abortion,
would you know how to respond? Although the first instinct may be to convince
her that abortion ends a baby's life, hearing facts is not the first thing she
needs. Research shows that many women in a pregnancy crisis think, "This is the
end of my life as I know it." To face the challenges before her, your friend
needs to know you care about her for her own sake and she is not alone.
listening to your friend will help build trust and facilitate openness.
Eventually, when she knows you truly care about her and she trusts you, you can
share the truth in love. You can share facts about abortion, her own intrinsic
worth, and the practical help and support available so she can choose life for
herself and her baby.
four steps of the L.O.V.E. Approach™*: Listen and Learn, Open Options, Vision
and Value, and Extend and Empower.
L Listen and Learn
prioritize listening over speaking. You don't have to worry about whether you
may say something "wrong," and you don't need to have all the answers. Start by
listening to her story.
about her feelings, thoughts, values, beliefs, and wants. Do not interrupt,
except to ask her to expound, when appropriate. Ask open-ended questions, and
confirm what you think you are hearing.
O Open Options
story is fully shared, it is your turn to provide factual information, always
in a loving and caring way. You might share about the reality of abortion and
the wounds that typically result. As they relate to her life, you might share
experiences about having a baby, adoption, and marriage. It's most helpful to
keep the focus on her.
V Vision and Value
vision in her for a healthier life (a vision she may never have had, or that
may have dimmed). Help her value herself differently. She is a special
creation, worthy of love. Reassure her there is always hope and she is not
alone. She can make positive, life-giving choices. She can do it.
E Extend and Empower
practical help and support. Her local pregnancy help center (heartbeatinternational.org/worldwide-directory)
can offer consultation, lists of community resources, and ultrasound services.
Consider keeping such lists of resources in your car, purse, or wallet. Help
her plan next steps.
Approach™ is a way to bring Christ's love at a crucial life-saving and
life-defining moment. We are created to walk with and support one another. May
we not hesitate to reach out in love.
This issue of Life Issues Forum has
been adapted and shortened from the 2017-2018 USCCB Respect Life Program
brochure by the same name: www.usccb.org/l-o-v-e.
L.O.V.E. Approach™ is trademarked by Heartbeat International, Inc. and may not
be adapted or modified. The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is used in "What to Do When a
Friend Is Considering Abortion" with permission from Heartbeat International,