An imaginative two-pronged approach to winning over young people

By Dave Andrusko

Russell Nieli

Russell Nieli

As we typically do with the last post of the day, I am going to make just a few comments and offer you the hyperlink  to “Bringing Marx into the Abortion Debate.” The piece, written by Russell Nieli, appears at The Public Discourse.

In a nutshell (as the summary of his argument reproduced at the top maintains), “Two points can best persuade young people about abortion: our need for laws that protect the weak and vulnerable and the deadening of conscience that often accompanies pro-choice sentiment.”

Most of us we will rarely, if ever, be in a debate setting, but Nieli’s explanation works perfectly well in everyday conversation. People—young or old—intuitively respond to the notion that it is wrong—WRONG–to exploit the powerless. Nieli and his debate partners used a number of illustrations—slaves, abused women, even endangered species—to help their audience move past the usual clichés about “choice.”

So where does Marx fit in? He no longer is popular even on college campuses, so, on first blush, it was an odd choice.

Nieli told the students that Marx  “understood better than most thinkers before or after him how people’s self-interest can warp their moral sense to the point that they are rendered incapable of discerning and acknowledging right from wrong.”

“Self-interest” in the abortion context doesn’t refer to anything economic. It refers to our frailties as human beings.

Knowing that we all have our breaking points in one (of many) reason why pro-lifers are not judgmental toward women who have aborted. We understand that often these women were under enormous pressure—up to and including coercion—and that (already panic-stricken) the allure of “solving the problem” with the “quick” answer of abortion blinds them to the moral gravity of the act they are about to commit.

Take five minutes and read Nieli’s fine piece. You’ll be glad you did.