Often, the holidays are far pleasanter in the abstract than they are in the particulars. Warm intentions to celebrate family with good food, generous attitudes and grateful hearts often give way to heated religious or political debates at one extreme or stiff politeness at the other. It’s tempting to develop a strategy to avoid awkward confrontations — and, on some level, leftover rules of etiquette do compel us to avoid controversial topics when we’re talking to those with whom we don’t have a particularly regular relationship — but, on Thanksgiving, as on any other day, it’s worth it to firmly but graciously defend first principles … especially when opponents of those principles come to the dinner table prepared to muddy the water, obscure the issue and cast you as the intolerant extremist.

And, according to LifeNews.com, the New York affiliate of Planned Parenthood has passed out tips to help abortion advocates do just that:

As is expected, the tips Planned Parenthood of New York City gives its supporters involve covering up promotion of abortion with terms like “reproductive health” and focusing on women’s rights. …

“The holidays are upon us! Going home or getting together with relatives for the holidays is always a stressful time, but if your family members are the type who regularly protest outside the local Planned Parenthood, you know that this holiday is going to be a doozy,” PPNYC complains. “Luckily, we have some tips for surviving those awkward conversations. So read on, and bring some diplomacy and understanding to the table along with that pumpkin pie.”

Planned Parenthood also encourages people to push abortions of disabled unborn children on their Thanksgiving guests, by telling them, “We can try to imagine the heartbreak of a family when they get the news that a test has shown there is something wrong with their baby.”

The tips include “Avoid bumper speak talk” and “Remember the big picture” and abortion activists are told, “Debating when life begins or whether or not abortion is federally funded may get you nowhere. Instead focus on your shared values and the big picture—for instance, talk about how you believe everyone should be able to afford to go to the doctor, or how the decision about when and whether to become a parent is a personal one.”

As LifeNews’ Steven Ertelt summarizes, “Anything to ignore the unborn baby.”

If a PPNYC-prepped pro-choicer wants to talk abortion with me today, I’ll be glad to keep it positive and personal, too: Among all the blessings I’m counting this Thanksgiving, I’m first and foremost just so glad and grateful that my parents weren’t more concerned with reproductive health or women’s rights than they were with welcoming me into the world with open arms. And that’s exactly what I wish for every unborn baby — a warm welcome, whether into the home of the biological parent or into the home of an eager adoptive parent. We do have choices — both before and after pregnancy. Abortion need not be one of them.