The Challenges of Articulating Human Dignity to Teens
Question: In light of the most recent legislations concerning the unborn and infanticide, what materials, books, resources would you recommend for use in forming teens? Looking for the best that there is currently. Thank you.
Answer: The formation of the youth is an urgent need. Parents, teachers, and other formators need as much support as possible. Abortion is such a widespread problem not only for those who have lost their lives but also for the men and women who are affected by it. Therefore, along with an education is needed a formation of the human person on how to provide friendship and counseling for those involved. The USCCB, in addition to a wealth of resources, also has a nice document entitled, “How to Talk to a Friend Who’s Had an Abortion.”
I would say probably the most interesting book out right now for forming teens is Leila Miller and Trent Horn’s new book Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Moral Questions. The book not only addresses Abortion, but also Reproductive Technologies, Contraception, Modesty, Pornography, Transgender Identity and other hot button issues that parents must be prepared to discuss intelligently with their children. Each chapter has two sections: “Advice for Big Kids” and “Advice for Little Kids.”
Online resources I recommend are Live Action (take a look at the list of videos), Chastity Project (lots of resources on Abortion), and Emily Wilson Ministries. She’s got videos on life issues, chastity, and other related topics.
Films are another powerful way to form teens. I suggest watching together and discussing:
HUSH (A documentary by a pro-choice woman on the dangers of abortion)
Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer
Who Was the Real Margaret Sanger? (designed for teenagers on the racist origins of Planned Parenthood)
Unprotected: A Pope, The Pill, and the Perils of Sexual Chaos
The best way to form teens outside of a good relationship and rapport with you is to form them in a supportive pro-life community where they can stay educated, befriend like-minded peers, and be an activist. I would suggest Students for Life-High School, Youth For Life, or Justice For All. If this is too big a time commitment, consider inviting them to pray a rosary in front of an abortion clinic, volunteering with Save the Storks, or at a local crisis pregnancy center or pro-life non-profits such as Maggie’s Place.
Tackling Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body might be the most effective long-term solution to forming teens about abortion because it puts the problem of abortion and other matters of human dignity in light of understanding the totality of the human person. For this I highly recommend Theology of the Body in One Hour by Jason Evert and also Theology of the Body for Teens.
Lastly, (and to my surprise) I find that teens really like Ben Shapiro and Prager University’s 5 minute educational videos. Shapiro and Prager tackle many subjects including abortion that teens are interested in.
Nota bene: If you or anyone you know is in a crisis pregnancy, has had an abortion (or has taken the abortion pill) or is an abortion worker and needs help, support, or healing, please do not hesitate to reach out by utilizing these resources.