The abortion issue won't be solved by the Supreme Court ruling. When it comes to abortion, almost everyone has a belief. I have categorized them into five camps. Among Gen Zers 71% think abortion is morally acceptable or even morally right, but over 70% support some limits. According to Guttmacher Institute, moms 29 or younger have 73% of all abortions. So, let's look at this issue through the Gen Zer's lens.
I'm not a Gen Zer. I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn Express to gain all kinds of Gen Z insight. Yet, I have studied Gen Z for both business and political reasons for the past five years. These young people are amazing in many ways.
They grew up with a deep connection to technology that is difficult for Boomers and Xers to fully understand. Gen Zers were always aware of technology from their first moments of being aware of anything. Millennials are fluent with technology, but Zers are literally integrated with it. To them the Boomers and Xers old-school methods are inefficient. Managers have been taught to communicate with their Gen Z employees through a variety of platforms such as Slack.
Gen Zers are similar to Millennials in that they desire to create meaning, they value formal education, and they desire their own personal experience. But they are more independent than Millennials. They are more entrepreneurial, more competitive and a little more driven by security.
Boomers and Xers had respectful relationships and even friends with people they disagreed with politically as they were growing up. Gen Zers observed political hostility from day one. Some social scientists claim that is why Zers are more intense about diversity acceptance, embracing what you love and rejecting what you don't.
Social scientists inform us that Gen Zers don't debate big issues. They point to social media as the desensitizer. Barna surveyed young Gen Zers to uncover some of their moral beliefs. Only 34% think lying is wrong. Yet, almost 90% think it is wrong to challenge another person's beliefs. They don't like the hostility that seems to come from confrontation. In fact, 66% think it is wrong to have a belief if that belief offends other people.
So, how do we engage with a Gen Zer and invite them to another point of view when it comes to the issue of life and abortion?
I don't know for sure. But I did ask some Gen Zers. And these fun, delightful, full-of-life Zers have had some success. They are in the 29% minority, but they know how their 71% peers think. They persuade with a winsome tone. These Zers have been effective in changing the mind of their contemporaries. Here is my summary of how they go about it.
To solicit legitimate engagement, I'm told, the case for any discussion on abortion must be in the context of authenticity, justice and control. Let's look at each.
Authenticity is partly explained with nuance. For example, the history of abortion is complex. Part of the Hippocratic Oath initially signed by Hippocrates in 400 B.C. condemns abortion. Yet Protestant Christians through the 1800s didn't think the baby was alive until "quickening." This is the time when the mom can feel the baby kick. They had a biblical argument for life—but not at conception. They interpreted the psalmist's statement as God forming in the womb the life and soul during the first part of the pregnancy—at quickening, it was alive. Humility and admission laid a foundation for conversation.
Second is the notion of justice. One young lady should not have more access to an abortion than another. So the poor young lady in the pro-life state is at a disadvantage to the rich young lady, who can fly across state lines and get an abortion past viability. On this issue, my Gen Z friends recommend starting with a question, which opens the door to think about equality and justice for the precious little one. When do you think life begins? Dead things don't grow. The embryo grows. So when did he or she start to be alive?
The final issue is control. No woman should be under the control of another. She should be able to make her own decisions and not be managed by any man. To this point our Gen Z friends counsel us to discuss this in the context of a human rights issue. At what point are the rights inherent to all human beings—regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or any other status— applicable to a baby?
I'm for life. And I believe we should protect innocent life. But I'm not going to win that debate without respecting and serving the Gen Zer where she is.
To your freedom!
Barry Farah is an entrepreneur, author and podcaster. He was founder and CEO of technology and business-to-business service companies with aggregated revenues over $1 billion. He currently runs Cascade Financial. He credits his business success to the principles articulated in his three books. Farah holds an MBA at The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, graduating Weidler Scholar and Logistics Scholar.
Farah currently serves as chairman of the board of Moms for America® and previously served as the chairman of the board on seven nonprofit organizations. Barry served as a volunteer senior pastor for seven years and ran for governor of Colorado in 2018. Private pilot and adventurer Farah's podcast, The Barry Farah Show, speaks to current issues in the context of freedom principles sourced in natural law and biblical truth.
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