Lukas Nakos speaks about how his pro-life stand at a law lecture at university won over his class.
I was studying a Bachelor of Business Science degree, majoring in Law and Economics, at the University of Cape Town. At the same time, I attended His People Christian Church, which held services at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.
Abortion discussed in law lecture
In my 3rd year of study, in a Jurisprudence (Philosophy of Law) Class, we were told that we would be discussing the ethics around the abortion debate. This raised some interesting ideas in my head, as to how the lecturer would address this, and what the opinion of the class was in this regard.
The first lecture on this subject consisted of basically the last 10 minutes of a lecture
devoted to another subject. In these last 10 minutes, the topic was introduced, and I was given the impression, by asking a question or two, that this was not a topic that would be discussed, but that we the students would listen to the ‘facts’ of the matter, as presented by the ‘well informed, educated and impartial’; lecturer, and any religious or other un-supported comments were not welcome in her class.
So I decided that afternoon, to get some support for my otherwise religious and unsupported convictions that abortion cannot be a correct ethically right standpoint.
Researching the issue
I approached the staff of the His People Institute, who referred me to a book entitled, “Ethics for a Brave New World.”; This book thoroughly addressed the topic of abortion from a Biblical Christian Perspective, as well as certain tough questions, including those of rape, incest, and deformities of birth and other birth defects. It dealt too with case studies, psychological statistics, and the ‘hard facts’ and results of abortion worldwide.
After reading 90 pages, I felt I had a reasonable understanding of the subject from this perspective, and so, having underlined various sections in my photocopy of the relevant chapters, I entered class the next day, ready for the lecture, like none before!
Challenging incorrect statements
I found my first opportunity to contribute to the lecture after 2 minutes, when the lecturer said categorically that there was no proof of any negative effects of abortion. I raised my hand, and with a smirk, the lecturer asked “Yes Mr Nakos?” The class laughed at the fact that I had so quickly questioned her, having also gathered her attitude towards debate the previous day. I merely quoted 2 case studies done in China, with figures and dates, and said that this was the basis for my disagreement, and sat down. The lecturer was stunned, as she could not argue with intellectually researched figures and studies. She had also clearly not prepared herself to intellectually defend her standpoint, as she thought that she could easily intimidate us with the view that she thought would be prevalent in our class ‘the pro-choice view’.
Anyway, she continued with the lecture, somewhat more cautiously, but gave me my next opportunity, as she denied the ‘rights of the foetus’, as something not yet alive. I put up my hand, and given the opportunity, clearly and calmly related the position of life starting at conception, and backed it up with several quotes from contemporary scientists and doctors.
Class backs pro-life stand
This was the end of the lecture as we knew it. The class started applauding, and people all over the place stood up to agree with me. I was amazed to see how many people held the same view as I did, but yet had not said anything until their view was reasonably and clearly defended.
The lecturer decided that actually she had to think further on this point, and asked me if I had any further contribution to share with the class.
I made a number of strategic comments from the material that I had prepared, all which hit home well, and then summarised the importance of having such an issue, and all other such issues, adequately addressed from both the humanistic and the theistic view-point. Both the lecturer and the class agreed, and thereafter many students approached me for more information on the subject, and asking where did I attend church, and where had I learnt these things.
It turned out that the topic was left out of the exam at the year-end, and no further mention was made of it to our class. I found this a unique opportunity, however, to speak into the lives of many students, as a result of the way in which I had addressed the lecturer, with respect, and in a prepared and thought out way.
I believe that our Christian principles are the true ones to hold, and therefore the most reasonable principles to hold. This does not excuse us as Christians, however, from finding out exactly what it is that we should believe on each particular subject before speaking out on it, and why it is that this is a reasonable position to hold. Also the key to doing this is the manner in which we present our opinion, speaking the truth in love.
I pray that this encourages you all to make the most of every opportunity to speak up for the truth, in which we believe.
Are you prepared to defend the right to life?
The students and lecturers in your classes are people who influence the pro-life struggle. Some may as future lawyers, judges, writers, politicians or activists influence decisions on the issue. You can influence the struggle and save babies lives by influencing them. To do so effectively, learn from Lukas example:
• Read on the issue.
• Pray beforehand.
• Bring key facts to the lecture you can quote in argument.
• Ask questions to challenge the pro-choice/pro-abortion view.
• Be polite and respectful to your lecturer.
• Be bold and set an example for others – many others will be encouraged to support your view.
You can also distribute pro-life literature to your class beforehand so others can join the debate.