Talking with Conservative Friends and Family about Abortion

It’s common to feel frustrated, angry, and/or drained by conversations with people we care about who hold deeply conservative views on reproductive health and especially abortion. Especially when it’s close family or friends, the disconnection can be very painful. Often the differences involve religious beliefs, which can be particularly hard to negotiate. Often the sense of urgency and passion we feel is at odds with the reality that changing deeply held beliefs is an uncertain and often extremely slow process. In this interactive workshop, we will explore approaches and skills for having more productive conversations across ideological divides. We will review research on how liberals and conservatives construct morality differently, share experiences, and consider some new approaches. We will also examine different ways of defining success in these interactions. with the twin goals of reducing cultural stigma against abortion and maintaining (or maybe even improving) these potentially challenging relationships.

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