Abortion Lyceum: Post-Debate Analysis

Students in Mr. Terhaar's Civics class led a debate on abortion on Friday, September 6, 2019.

Kaitlyn Walls

Students in Mr. Terhaar's Civics class led a debate on abortion on Friday, September 6, 2019.

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On Friday, Mr. Terhaar’s 3rd-hour Civics students debated as Pro-Life or Pro-Choice on the hot-button issue, abortion. 

Each student shared an opening statement with research findings for support. If one side felt as though the other was utilizing false information, they may raise a red flag to recognize the falsity of their statement to Mr. Terhaar and the audience.

Pro-Choice

The main arguments of the Pro-Choice side focused on the economic factors that tie into a woman’s decision to have an abortion. For example, many choose to have an abortion because they cannot afford to support a child, let alone themselves. Also, in the long run, abortion is much less expensive (about $500), according to a Pro-Choice student, compared to child-birth (about $30,000), not to mention costs during the pregnancy. 

Pro-Life

The main arguments of the Pro-Life side included statements such as “it’s immoral to get rid of a fetus because it should be considered a human life at conception” and “there is emotional trauma associated with aborting a fetus, not just with carrying out a pregnancy.” They focused on the moral aspect of abortion, with less concrete evidence to support their claims. 

The Audience

Audience members raised issues that weren’t addressed from either side. It made the Lyceum more entertaining and involved rather than an uninteresting lecture.

One such question was “is it more traumatic to give away a baby for adoption or have an abortion?” There wasn’t a clear answer to this because both sides had evidence that supported how emotional trauma coincides with either adoption or abortion. 

Another question from the audience addressed the stigma of unplanned pregnancies, “What do you think about women being disowned for kicked out on the street for [being pregnant]?”The Pro-Life side answered clearly with an option of churches who can accept those who are kicked out, but a Pro-Choice student refuted by pointing out how many churches refuse to accept those who became pregnant out of wedlock. 

Both sides and the audience then discussed who should be held responsible and how when pregnancy occurred. 

Results

After much back and forth between each side, the final results were 24.1% in favor of Pro-Life and 75.9% in favor of Pro-Choice. This made sense because the the Pro-Choice side had more factual and concrete evidence to support their claims and rebuttals. Compared to the Pro-life side which I felt were primarily using their opinions to support their claims, which were illogical and unclear sometimes. Also, during the commentary section from the audience, many times Pro-Life was caught off-guard by the audience’s questions while Pro-Choice had some evidence prepared. 

Overall, the debate was civilized and entertaining to see others’ perspectives on this controversial issue. 

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