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Teaching about Abortion to Conservative Students

The following discussion of how to teach about abortion in a
conservative classroom took place on WMST-L in February 2002.  Also
of interest may be an earlier discussion, Teaching about Abortion,
that occurred on WMST-L in 1993.  For additional WMST-L files now
available on the Web, see the WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 17:59:19 -0600
From: "Kathleen (Kate) Waits" <kwaits @ UTULSA.EDU>
Subject: Making abortion contextual to conservative,
I'm teaching Intro to Women's Studies for the first time.  We have not
yet done reproductive choice issues.  However, in their writings to me
(not yet expressed out loud in cloass), a number of my students have
expressed rigid, even rabid, anti-choice views.

Many of our students are conservative and fundamentalist, and the course
fulfills a distribution requirement, thus explaining the observed
phenomenon.  I should add, though, that a number of these anti-choice
students respond positively to other feminist ideas, if not to the
feminist label.  Many of them are thinking, exploring people on other
issues.  But when it comes to abortion, their stance is simple and
rigid, and is stated as:  "A fetus is a person.  Killing a person is
murder.  I'm against abortion in all circumstances."  There are also a
number of pro-choice students in the class, some of them STRONGLY
identified as pro-choice.

I have no dilusions about changing the minds of the fundamentalist
students.  But it really bothers me that they've made up their minds
without any real knowledge about what abortion is REALLY about - about
the REAL stories of women and girls who obtain abortions.  I will make
sure they know that abortion is very common in this country - that over
40% of American women will have at least one abortion in their
lifetimes. [See Alan Guttmacher Institute, "Facts in Brief, Induced
Abortion," Feb. 2002,
http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html ]  I hope they'll
see that we're not talking about some small, vague group of "those
women," getting abortions but about their classmates, mothers,
grandmothers, etc.  [I'll also be sure they know that that many
fundamentalist and Catholic women get abortions.]

I would be interested in what techniques/guest speakers etc. have worked
for people teaching a similar group of students.  I've considered having
a counselor from the local abortion provider, or perhaps from the local
Planned Parenthood (which does not itself provide abortions but makes
referrals).  Another thought would be a local (male) minister who's
pro-choice, to talk about how he sees God differently in all this.

If I do any of these things, should I then also have an anti-choice
person come?  Is it otherwise viewed as "too biased"?

I look forward to responses.  Those of you in more progressive places
have NO IDEA how easy you have it.  At the same time, I genuinely enjoy
the challenge associated with not "preaching to the choir."

Kate Waits
U. of Tulsa College of Law


Kathleen (Kate) Waits
Coordinator, Women's Studies Program
University of Tulsa

Associate Professor
University of Tulsa College of Law
3120 East 4th Place
Tulsa, Oklahoma  74104-2499

E-mail: kwaits  @  utulsa.edu

Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 20:29:26 -0500
From: Ilana Nash <inash @ BGNET.BGSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Making abortion contextual to conservative,

I know your position because I, too, am at a university in an overwhelmingly
conservative, fundamentalist community.  The first two times I taught Intro
to WS I shied away from abortion altogether.  After that, I did teach it.

I didn't bring in guest speakers -- instead, I structured this segment as a
lecture, with room for comments, about the philosophical positions and the
logics behind the pro-choice stance, information they'd never heard. I began
by asking my students to *tell me* how they'd been educated about abortion
so far.  The overwhelming majority had received specific anti-choice
instruction from their high schools.  I was able to use the uniformity of
their anti-choice education to justify my giving them a pro-choice
education.  This allowed the students to understand that I had no obligation
at all to include the other side "out of fairness."

I found it was useful to tell them up front that I respect religion, and
that I had no interest in converting them to Satan's doctrine. ;-)  I framed
this as "let me tell you about a logic you've never heard," instead of "let
me persuade you that abortion is all right."  Given their prior anti-choice
educations, they would have no way of knowing why a woman ever _would_ have
an abortion.  Only someone crazy, mean, or sick, would do such a thing
(according to the ideology they've been taught).  So:  I linked the support
of choice to all the other concepts they had already accepted weeks earlier.
You see, I craftily structured my syllabus for just this purpose:  I laid
groundwork that covered the cultural pressure upon women not to be
"selfish," and to define motherhood as as a necessary goal; we had also
dismantled the imperatives of heterosexuality and the false notion that
reproduction is the only valid reason to have sex.  Once you've covered
that, students are less likely to voice fast rebuttals to pro-choice
arguments.  They *had* to acknowledge that if they accepted Prinicples A, B,
and C, then abortion is no longer a "crazy" or "sick" option.

I gave them some facts about how miserable pregnancy is (painful, expensive,
and it hi-jacks your life), and that a desire for the baby is the ONLY thing
that makes pregnancy worthwhile.  (No desire = pure torture). Do we want
state-sanctioned torture? This was news -- they had only heard the
Hallmark-card version of pregnancy, which their own mothers tended to
support.  I also told them about the difference between abstractions vs.
concrete effects -- that sentimentalizing a fetus is, by definition, an
abstraction, but that when women die from abortions, the ravaged families
they leave behind never recover, and the repercussions can continue for
generations.  (I used a personal example:  because my great-grandmother died
from an illegal abortion, her child -- my grandmother -- had a hellish,
abusive, transient childhood, which in turn did serious damage to her
maternal abilities with my mother and me).

I operated from the position that abortion is not murder, but that there's
no point in pretending that it isn't killing. So we had a conversation about
"killing" vs. "murder," and we deconstructed "killing." I asked them to tell
me all the ways that our culture sanctions killing in certain circumstances,
to demonstrate how arbitrary our moral categories are.

Then,  I compared getting an abortion to fighting in the Revolutionary War
of 1776.  (I chose this battle to play upon their right-wing patriotism and
their unquestioning acceptance of the "birth of the US" as a noble and
gorgeous thing.) Both the Revolutionary War and abortion are efforts on
behalf of oppressed individuals to refuse someone else's power over their
bodies, identities, welfare, and wallets.  "Why," I asked, "do we call
'heroes' the soldiers who kill in battle to protect their property and their
freedom.... yet we call 'villains' the women who kill fetuses for the same
reason?"   This shocked them -- and in some cases, it shocked them into
*agreement* with me!

There was definitely tension in the room, but overall, we as a class
survived the 2-day lecture-and-comments with our camaraderie intact.  I know
I didn't change most of their minds, but since I had explicitly said this
wasn't my goal, I wasn't disappointed. My goal was to teach them why
feminists believe choice should be legal, and I succeeded in that.  I *did*
tell them it was possible to be anti-abortion and yet still pro-choice, and
based on some comments I got, I think that distinction made sense to many of
them.  So perhaps those students will vote pro-choice in the future, or at
least not fight against choice.

Maybe I'm aiming too low, but with this student-body, I felt that was the
most I could hope for. So I was happy with the results.  FYI, in talking w/
many of my feminist colleagues on my campus, I found that very few of them
teach a segment on abortion.  The climate is so hostile that the prospect
frightens them (which is how I felt at first, too).  That's why I used a
more nailed-down style (lecture + comments) rather than full dialogue. Maybe
this makes me a chicken... but I figure, any pro-choice education is better
than none.

Good luck to you, Kate.  You're fighting a good fight.

Ilana Nash
inash  @  bgnet.bgsu.edu
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 21:19:52 -0500
From: silver_ak @ MERCER.EDU
Subject: Re: Making abortion contextual to conservative,
I, too, teach at a very conservative university (connected to the
Georgia Baptist Convention), and most students are anti-choice.  I too
shied away from addressing abortion in my classes, but decided to do
so for similar reasons as Ilana did.  My students had received
tremendously biased information about abortion in their churches,
public and private schools, etc. I explain to my students that I am
not trying to "convert" them to being pro-choice, but that I want them
to know the arguments so that they can make their own decisions. I
don't bring in anti-choice arguments b/c my students already know them
all very well and I want to make them aware of a different
perspective, one which had been demonized.  When I teach sections on
abortion rights, I do some of the same things as Ilana also mentioned.

1) I present a brief lecture on the history of reproductive/abortion
rights.  Most students do not realize that women have always had
abortions; they believe that women did not have abortions pre-Roe vs.
Wade. I'd recommend the essay collection *Abortion Wars.*

2) I focus on abortion as a health issue (risks of illegal abortion).

3) I emphasize that pro-choice does not mean that a woman would
personally choose to have an abortion.

4) I discuss the class issues involved, i.e. that poor women and women
of color historically have been much mroe likely to die of illegal
abortions, have less access to reliable birth control, etc. (There is
a good essay in Abortion Wars by Dorothy Roberts on this topic).

5) I don't get into the "abortion is murder" debate except to state
that there is no consensus morally, theologically, or biologically
about when "life" begins (or if it can be said to begin).  I leave
this up to students, as these discussions can not be resolved and tend
to be, in my opinion, futile.

6) I discussed abortion last time after students had read Atwood's
*The Handmaid's Tale"; this worked very well, as they then were well
prepared to discuss the connections b/w sexuality and

I had to force myself to discuss abortion with my students, and I'm
very glad that I  do, though it is often exhausting.  I am always
surprised by how many of my WGS students do identify as pro-choice and
are incredibly grateful to be introduced to the arguments.  I have not
found, also, that being vocally pro-choice has impaired my
relationships with my anti-choice students.  In this political
climate, more than ever, I think pro-choice women have a
responsibility to get the arguments out there rather than being
complacent and ignoring the issue.

Anya Silver

Dr. Anya Krugovoy Silver
Assistant Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies
Director of Women's and Gender Studies
Mercer University
1400 Coleman Ave.               "Tell me, what is it you plan to do
Macon, GA 31207-0001            with your one wild and precious life?"
                                        --Mary Oliver
silver_ak  @  mercer.edu
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 16:34:10 +1100
From: Heather Merle Benbow <benbow @ MYRIAD.ITS.UNIMELB.EDU.AU>
Subject: teaching abortion
I would like to recommend Catharine MacKinnon's chapter on abortion in _
Feminism Unmodified_: 'Privacy v. Equality: Beyond Roe v. Wade' (Harvard
UP 1987). It's a short and very readable essay.

She makes well some of the points Ilana was talking about like, why
shouldn't women be allowed to make life and death decisions? What she also
does well here is to insist on viewing a pregnancy in its full context,
rather than treating a fetus as if it was something a woman 'just happened
upon'. This means asking why women become pregnant against their wills
(and this is where the men appear!).

In Germaine Greer's _The Whole Woman_ (Doubleday 1999) there is also a
great, pithy chapter on abortion in which she is very critical of the
pro-choice position as too narrow. She might be described as what Ilana
was saying is an anti-abortion but pro-choice feminist.

Surely anything which gets students out of the good/evil mindset is a good
thing - as Ilana wrote, we can't very feasibly argue that abortion is a
wonderful, life-affirming feminist practice - this is just not
convincing. We have to examine it warts and all. Maybe your conservative
students can respect that. Good luck!

Heather Benbow
benbow  @  unimelb.edu.au
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 08:46:19 -0500
From: Betsy Eudey <BEUDEY @ GW.USCS.EDU>
Subject: Re: teaching abortion
I think an excellent resource for teaching about abortion is the video
"From Danger to Dignity" (available through Women Make Movies as well as
through interlibrary loan from many sources).  The video addresses the
legal and communal work to legalize abortion, grass-roots work to assist
women who sought abortions, race and class biases to access, and
physical and mental health issues associated with abortion.  While the
video includes stories of Jane and other groups about whom most of us
are familiar, a really positive addition is the extensive coverage of
groups of clergy (from a wide variety of denominations) who helped women
find abortion providers pre-Roe.   Seeing that over 1,000 religious
leaders were involved in the movement to provide abortion access
requires the viewer to acknowledge that pro-choice viewpoints and
religion can be compatible - an eye-opener for most students.

I think this video tells is valuable because it tells so much about
life pre-Roe, but also because it provides great illustrations of
grass-roots activism and the interplay of sex, race, class, politics,
health, religion, and social consciousness.   I have found that few of
my students (of any age) are aware of the breadth and depth of women's
collective action, and this video clearly demonstrates the opportunities
and challenges that come from such work.  At a time when Roe is under
serious attack, it's also a good place to start conversations about what
would happen if abortion again became illegal.

Betsy Eudey, PhD
Director, Center for Women's Studies and Programs
Horace C. Smith Bldg, Room 101
800 University Way,  Spartanburg, SC 29303
beudey  @  gw.uscs.edu      www.uscs.edu/~women
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 08:28:30 -0600
From: JoAnn Castagna <joann-castagna @ UIOWA.EDU>
Subject: Re: teaching about the abortion controversy
I think that students teaching themselves about positions other than
their own can be a very powerful tool--instead of the instructor
providing the arguments, why not give students an assignment: to
create two different (maybe limited to 3-5 pages each) position
papers, one arguing for abortion rights, one arguing against, with
success on the assignment based on how complete is the discussion in
both papers.  You could require that each paper have a certain number
of sources/resources attached, too, so that you know students have
done some search into the positions that are not their own.  I think
such an assignment helps every student to begin to understand the
position of the "other side," as well as a better grounding in their
own position (which may or may not be my own).  If you have a class
website, you can post the 4-5 most complete papers on each position so
that students can see the range of arguments that are made.  And, if
you offer students the opportunity to turn in drafts, you can also
point out, before they finish, aspects of their positions that are not
well argued.  Such an assignment can also be reassuring to students
who wonder if their grade will be affected by not agreeing with the
instructor....  JoAnn Castagna joann-castagna  @  uiowa.edu
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 08:40:38 -0600
From: Janet Allured <jallured @ LIGHTWIRE.NET>
Subject: Re: contextualizing abortion
Well, Kathleen, if it makes you feel any better, I, too, know what it's like
to teach in a religiously conservative area.  I like the ideas you've
already floated about how to get the anti-choice students thinking (guest
speakers, etc.)  You might also have them read about the
history of abortion law and practice -- there's a lot of good, scholarly
work on that subject, starting with James Mohr's _Abortion in America_ and
more recently Leslie Reagan (?)_ When Abortion Was A Crime_, an
excellent look at what happened in America when abortion was criminalized in
the late 19th century.

An source that I find invaluable in responding to the religious argument
that "the fetus is a person, therefore abortion is murder," is the Religious
Coalition for Reproductive Choice, www.rcrc.org , which includes essays by
clergy and religious scholars of many different
religious denominations who argue, among other things, that the Bible is
clear that a fetus is not a person.  (The U.S. Constitution, of course, says
the same thing; you might have them read the 14th amendment and then Roe v.

Also see Catholics for a Free Choice, an organization of feminist Catholics,
which points out that the church's teaching on abortion are of recent origin
and cannot be considered infallible.  The site covers the history of the
church's shifting doctrines on abortion:

Good luck.

Janet Allured, Ph.D.
Director, Women's Studies
McNeese State University
Lake Charles, LA 70609
jallured  @  lightwire.net
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 08:22:59 -0800
From: Jessica Nathanson <janathanson @ YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Making abortion contextual to conservative,
I think it's important to break down the rhetoric on both sides, and so I
would recommend Naomi Wolf's essay on abortion and choice:  "Our Bodies,
Our Souls: Rethinking Pro-Choice Rhetoric," The New Republic, Oct. 16,
1995 v213 n16 (26-32).  I think it may also appear in her new book,
_Misconceptions_.  I like this essay because it problematizes both
pro-life and pro-choice positions, from a pro-choice perspective.  I think
it would offer conservative, pro-life students a different, more complex
understanding of what pro-choice means, and it would spur pro-choice
students to move beyond the rhetoric and to develop a deeper discussion in
pro-choice circles.
Jessica Nathanson
Jessica Nathanson
Doctoral Candidate, American Studies
Concentration in Women's Studies
State University of New York at Buffalo
janathanson  @  yahoo.com
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 10:54:10 -0500
From: Gaile Pohlhaus <gaile.pohlhaus @ VILLANOVA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Making abortion contextual to conservative,fundamentalist
I would like to add another resource to this discussion: Feminists for Life
( http://www.feministsforlife.org/ ).  There are some valid arguments against
abortion and I am not sure that students are aware of these.  On the other
hand, any person who believes in free-will cannot be anti-choice; it would
be a contradiction of terms.

I teach in a Catholic University and we discuss abortion in our WS classes
in order to present both sides of the argument while not condemning anyone
who is considering an abortion or who has had an abortion.  I, myself, am
opposed to capital punishment, inhumane treatment of human beings, and hope
that some  day abortions will be very few and far between (yet still
legal.)  Most of the faculty in general, as well as administrators, feel and
think this way.  Many of our staff do not.

The discussion of this issue also gives an opportunity to show that
discussion rather than debate is a rewarding type of activity.

gaile.pohlhaus  @  villanova.edu
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 13:27:01 -0500
From: Jeannie Ludlow <jludlow @ BGNET.BGSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Making abortion contextual to conservative,
Hi everyone,

I teach at the same university that Ilana Nash teaches, and as usual,
our experiences point to the rich diversity of teaching in Women's

I also work at an abortion clinic as a peer counselor/patient
advocate.  One of the things I do on campus is guest speak at other
people's classes about abortion.  My approach is anything but "safe"
or easy.  What I find, though, is that students respond to me and to
my abortion work with curiosity.  Even the most insistent pro-choice
people are aware that abortion is not an "easy" issue, that it is
complex and emotionally fraught.  When I tell them that it is for
"us" (providers and pro-choice feminists/activists) as well, most
students seem willing to hear me out and ask thoughtful questions.

I've only once, in several years of doing these guest lectures, had a
student attempt to engage me in an argument about "murder."

In my guest sessions, I begin by asking students to list all the
arguments they know of for each "side" (yes, we begin with the
dichotomy, although of course we have to break that down eventually).
I put these on the board and we talk about them.  I allow people to
ask questions about any of these arguments, and I present my
understandings of these with as much even-handedness as I can.

Then, I give the students a short description of my work at the
clinic and tell them why I do the work I do.  I talk to them about
the kinds of reasons for choosing abortion that we hear at our
clinic.  We go through some of the emotional concerns that some women
bring to their abortion decision and we talk about the fiction that
women who have abortions are just taking an "easy way out."

I also talk to them about the abortion procedure.  One of the things
I do at the clinic is take the patients through an abortion procedure
step-by-step, showing the instruments and doing a little bit of
education about the repro system at the same time.  I do an
abbreviated version of this talk with students.  I do find that
students usually need to have a lot more info about bodies--I take
overheads with pictures from Our Bodies Ourselves.

I also have had the privilege to work with a Dr. who did late-term (D
& X--what the media erroneously call "partial birth" procedures)
abortions.  I answer the students' questions about this procedure and
about the reason it is so controversial.  Again, I am never negative
with a student or her question.  I try to answer as even-handedly as
I can.  But I am also very honest about my own reasons for working at
the clinic.

Then, I talk with the students about pregnancy prevention.  I take in
a diaphragm, some good pics of the new IUDs, info about pills and
shots, the "Reality" female condom, vaginal films and foams and
suppositories.  And I give each student a (male) condom.  We open
them, play around with them, put them on our fists to feel what it is
to wear them, etc.  Many of my students have never touched a condom.
This worries me.

I have had much good feedback about this session.  Students remember
me for weeks to come (they say hi in the grocery store, the library,
etc.), and students come to me for more info (and sometimes for
options counseling when they learn they are pregnant).  From my talks
in others' and my own classes, my abortion clinic has gained several
good volunteers and a few employees.

Anyone who has good info about abortion, women's health and sex
ed--and an open, positive attitude--could do what I do.  I do
understand that not every venue is an appropriate one for this kind
of approach, but I do teach at the "conservative" place that Ilana
described in her post, and I am able to do it here.

Just another perspective,

"[R]estrictive pedagogy comes from the belief that we are teaching
solely the subject
matter, rather than the actual reality that we are teaching live human beings."
        --Jyl Lynn Felman, *Never a Dull Moment: Teaching and the Art
of Performance*

Dr. Jeannie Ludlow
jludlow  @  bgnet.bgsu.edu                          *Spring, 2002, office hours*
Director of Undergraduate Program                       MWF 2:30-3:20 pm
American Culture Studies                                T 9 am-noon,
1:30-4:30 pm
107 East Hall
Bowling Green State U
Bowling Green OH 43403
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 14:48:12 -0600
From: "Turell, Susan" <turell @ CL.UH.EDU>
Subject: Re: Making abortion contextual to conservative,
I sometimes bring up other reproductive control issues, like the policies in
China.  Once the anti-choice students state how they don't like those forms
of control, we can then have a more reasoned discussion about who should
control reproductive decisions. When do we want others/government in our
decisions or not?  Also, issues of religious freedom sometimes help make the
decision more fruitful.

Susan Turell
University of Houston Clear Lake
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 10:32:25 -0800
From: Laurie Shrage <ljshrage @ CSUPOMONA.EDU>
Subject: teaching abortion
In philosophy classes, many of us use Judith Thomson's 1971 article "A
Defense of Abortion," in which she introduced her "violinist" example to
illustrate that, even if the fetus is a person, a woman has a right to avoid
giving aid beyond a certain level to someone in critical need of that aid.
Students opposed to abortion often try to show that Thomson's violinist case
isn't at all like pregnancy, or that it only applies to cases of pregnancy
due to rape. But Thomson has other examples that respond to these points.
However, Thomson does not defend the right to be a "bad Samaritan" or the
right to refuse to offer help in any situation, but only the right to be no
more than a minimally decent Samaritan. Like others have mentioned, I had
stopped teaching the abortion issue for awhile, because I found it difficult
to get my students to critically evaluate their own views.  For the last 3
years though, I've been writing a book on the abortion debate (shameless
plug: Social Responsibility and Abortion), and so I've been trying again to
teach this topic.  My book explores what minimally decent Samaritanism might
mean in the case of pregnancy.  Surveys show that most people approve some
abortions (e.g., to protect a woman's life or health, in cases of rape,
before 12 weeks, etc.).  So I present the issues to my students not in terms
of whether they are for/against, but rather under what conditions do they
approve of an abortion.  I've had no students voice or try to defend the
position that it's never okay, and few take the position that it's always
okay.  Typically, the majority of the class will oppose 3rd trimester
abortions that serve no therapeutic purpose and approve 1st trimester
abortions for a variety of reasons.  This limits discussion to 2nd trimester
abortions.  I then talk about Roe (which permits nontherapeutic abortion up
to six months) and possible alternatives to Roe, (e.g., most countries that
permit abortion allow only therapeutic abortions after roughly the first
trimester).  I then pose a question about whether the abortion issue would
be less divisive if we had policies that restricted abortion in the 2nd
trimester somewhat more, and generally this keeps our class discussion
focused and productive, and students often try to develop more nuanced
positions, neither rigidly "pro-choice" or "pro-life" in every case.

Laurie Shrage
 Professor, Philosophy Department
 California State Polytechnic University
 Pomona, CA 91768
 ljshrage  @  csupomona.edu
 Co-Editor, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 14:05:42 -0500
From: Joan Callahan <buddy @ POP.UKY.EDU>
Subject: Re: teaching abortion
Well, since we're doing shameless plugs (I follow my colleague, Laurie
Shrage on this), people might be interested in a paper I have that
concentrates on giving a full and careful hearing to the so-called pro-life
argument, in which the personhood of the fetus is the moral
centerpiece.  That is, this paper shows "what's wrong with this argument."

The first version of the paper appeared in COMMONWEAL in the
mid-eighties.  An updated version has been reprinted in several places,
including the following:

"The Fetus and Fundamental Rights." Revised version, in The Ethics of
Abortion: The Continuing Debate, 2nd ed., edited by Robert Baird and
Stuart Rosenbaum. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1994. (Also the 1st ed., New
York: Prometheus, 1989.)

Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 09:02:22 -0500
From: Irene Goldman-Price <icg2 @ PSU.EDU>
Subject: teaching about abortion
Hello all--
         One simple thing I do when teaching abortion is to state very
clearly at the very beginning that abortion is something that people of
good conscience and good will can disagree about.  This seems to ease the
tension and give the students room to try out opinions that they might
otherwise feel unwilling to admit to.  I also say that most people, in a
perfect world, would like to welcome babies.  Our task as a class is to
discover if we think that  abortion is ever warranted and, if so, who
should be allowed to make that decision.  I also ask them to think about,
if they believe there should not be abortions, is there any other way to
limit the need for abortions besides just banning them.  That gives us a
chance to talk about giving subsidies to every mother to support a new baby
and pay for health care, ending domestic violence so women aren't afraid to
bring new life into the world, etc. etc.
         By approaching the subject this way students are led to think
about women's lives and to explore possibilities without becoming polarized.
         Hope this helps.
         Irene Goldman-Price

Irene C. Goldman-Price
Penn State Hazleton
76 University Drive
Hazleton, PA 18202
icg2  @  psu.edu

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