Friday, April 07, 2006

Abortion Rhetoric

Remember that the main purpose of this unit is not to elicit people's personal or political opinions about abortion (although those are important), but instead to pay attention to the way various sides in the abortion debate construct their arguments, and frame their metaphysics of life.

For next Thursday, write your response papers on one of the following questions:

1. Identify one or more similarities between contemporary pro-life rhetoric and the rhetoric of the Abolitionist (anti-slavery) movement of the 19th century.

2. Following Habermas, who are the affected participants in the abortion debate? How can the debate be framed to reflect the views of all involved?

3. Trace the rhetorical construction of "privacy" in Roe v. Wade and subsequent court decisions.

4. What would be a morally consistent pro-life rhetoric?

All of these responses are going to require considerable outside research and the citation of sources--not merely your own speculation and opinion.

Finally, because some people in the class seem interested in this issue, here are some links to pro-life feminism resources:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding question topic number 4; "What is a morally consistent pro-life rhetoric?", I say this:

1. No arbitrary separation between human and non-human. For example, the status quo makes an assumption that the fully viable, developed fetus inside the womb is subject to abortion, while the nearly stillborn, deformed baby MOSTLY outside the birth canal is considered a human being. This logic makes little legal, and even less biological/medical sense. I don't have an alternative, but I would consider something like "Life begins at conception" or "A fetus becomes human when its heart begins to beat/brain waves start to emerge." That would be an honest way to face the issue of the definition of life.

2. Also, by asserting that life is the paramount value (since it is on par with the mother's), believers ought to stick to this ideology at all times, not merely when it is convenient.
Take for example, the death penalty. The people in the pro-life movement ought to be vehemently against the taking of life- by anyone, least of all government. Sadly, that is currently not the case and this inconsistency paints pro-life believers as hypocrites and morally inconsistent.

But that's just my own perspective.

-Tony C. Yang

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Btw, this is a SUPERB article on abortion and is akin to the South Dakota law, except it occurs right now in the status quo, "Vagina Inspectors" and all. An extremely provocative article about El Salvador's abortion laws that the faint of heart should definitely avoid:

-Tony C. Yang

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tony, I read the article that you posted at the end of your blog and i just wanted to say thanks. It gave me a lot of insite to the way the government works in different countries. One of the major issues that I saw in that article is the client confidentiality with the doctors. If the doctor suspects the female has had an abortion, they are required to contact the police or face charges themselves.
Where is that going to end. Are we going to be reported for anything we do when we visit a doctor. The confidentiality may as well be thrown out the window when it comes to doctors if we aren't going to be able to protect the client from the start. Where will it end?

12:55 PM  

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