DIALOGUE OVER DEBATE: Invictus Fellow Joshua Yamashita Showcases the Effectiveness of Conversation 

Joshua Yamashita - 31 May 2024

As a student in the Students for Life of America (SFLA) Invictus Men’s Fellowship, Joshua Yamashita’s passion for pro-life apologetics helped him select a 2023-2024 school year project goal: Engage in 400 conversations about abortion.  


Because he attends Liberty University, one of the most pro-life universities in the country, he decided to conduct his conversations on the streets of Lynchburg, Virginia. This ensured that his results reflected the views of the city rather than a heavily conservative campus. While his project was targeted toward those in Lynchburg, he and his group did not stop there when educating the public on the atrocity of abortion. Read about his activism below!  

After the reversal of Roe v. Wade, many misconceptions arose regarding the pro-life movement. To combat the false assumptions and flawed stances many pro-abortion supporters hold, I dedicated my year of activism with SFLA to educating the public about the truth of abortion.  

I started by assisting Liberty University Students for Life with their apologetics training early in the school year. In the training, the club leadership and I tackled common pro-abortion arguments and taught how to convey the pro-life message convincingly and compassionately. Additionally, I hosted tabling displays throughout the year, such as “Abortion is never morally necessary: Change My Mind” and several SFLA displays on fetal development and chemical abortion. Finally, I had the privilege to expand into Lynchburg, approach strangers, and have hundreds of conversations about abortion. 

Based on the data I collected throughout the year, many Lynchburg citizens are pro-life. However, encountering someone who was pro-abortion was not uncommon. Many of my conversations with those who considered themselves to be “pro-choice” boiled down to three main topics.  

Bodily Autonomy Argument  

The famous slogan of the pro-abortion lobby, “My Body, My Choice,” was the most frequent point brought up in conversation. The main issue with that statement is that from the moment of conception, there are two unique human beings to be considered: the mother and the preborn child. Because the preborn are unique, living, and whole human beings from the moment of conception, the mother does not have a right to sacrifice her child on the altar of convenience.  

Incest and Rape Argument 

Exceptions made in cases of rape or incest were another common objection discussed each time I went into Lynchburg. During conversations on this topic, it was my primary priority to approach each situation with sensitivity. The brutal truth is that it is a grave disservice to all those involved for a victim of rape or incest to procure an abortion. Instead, they should be informed of the healing and life-affirming resources offered through pregnancy resource centers, which are located all across the nation.   

Men Can’t Have an Opinion Argument 

Finally, a well-overused argument:  

Men are not allowed an opinion on the matter because they “don’t possess a uterus.”  

To start deconstructing this argument, I would almost always reply with: “So when slavery was legal in the 1800s, would you say that only those who enslaved people could have an opinion on the matter? Or could everyone say slavery is objectively wrong?”  

The purpose of this response was to show that both slavery and abortion are objectively immoral because they strip human beings of their dignity.   

Throughout the year, these conversation approaches were the most effective in fostering a civil dialogue. This was made all possible by the resources and experience I gained through the Invictus Men’s Fellowship with SFLA. While in this program, I received mentorship and motivation from men in the pro-life movement. Being in an SFLA leadership program has opened doors and allowed me to influence my community in ways I never thought possible.  

Women deserve so much better than what abortion has to offer, and the public deserves so much better than the lies of the pro-abortion media.  

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