“If my legacy when I die is that thousands of pro-lifers are more loving to pro-choicers, that would be good enough.”
As president and founder of the Equal Rights Institute (ERI), Josh Brahm, 36, is widely considered one of the top voices in the modern pro-life movement. His influence lies in a different area than most advocates — not in crisis pregnancy centers, politics or local advocacy groups.
Instead, as the nation’s leader in pro-life apologetics, Brahm is really, really good at talking to people.
“The heart and soul of you or me is about the relational side,” says Brahm, a North Carolina resident. “What I personally care about the most is helping more [pro-life] people be more loving, as opposed to how smart our arguments are.”
Brahm first began a National Teens for Life group at 18, then got hired at 21 by Georgia Right to Life. His work there often required speaking. It soon became clear that Brahm was adept at breaking down pro-life arguments and tactics into easy-to-understand, effective conversations with abortion supporters.
“Being friends with pro-choice people for a really long time has impacted the way I think about how pro-life people ought to behave,” he says. “It helped me understand pro-choice culture better than I ever had before.”
That understanding has paved the way for Brahm to speak to more than 23,000 people in six countries and 22 states. Alongside his speeches, the father of three uses social media and various online platforms to help people be more persuasive when communicating with abortion supporters. As ERI’s website explains, “That means ditching faulty rhetoric and tactics and embracing arguments that hold up under philosophical scrutiny.”
Brahm’s methods are decidedly unique: he treats pro-life communication like a science. He systematically deduces which sorts of conversations and styles “work” when talking with pro-choice people. ERI videos frequently show trained pro-life advocates respectfully and politely dialoging with everyone from college students to pedestrians. Often, in just a few minutes, the pro-choice people walk away with a better understanding of the pro-life position — or even as new “converts.”
“If my legacy when I die is that thousands of pro-lifers are more loving to pro-choicers, that would be good enough,” he says.
Brahm will be a key speaker at Oregon Right to Life’s (ORTL) 2020 Launch student leadership retreat for ages 16-21. The event is being reworked into a virtual training event in August.“ORTL is one of my favorite all-time right to life groups,” he says. “This is one of the best pro-life trainings you can go to.”