A Debate on Abortion

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  1. Abortion is a contentious issue on which opinions are divided amongst people.
  1. Some of you will prepare arguments to support, and others to oppose abortion. It does not matter whether you are actually in favour of or against it. The purpose of this exercise is that you consider the arguments of both parts.

Some common arguments for and against abortion

By Klaus Hoffmeier
  • Mothers have the right to choose whether to terminate their pregnancy or not.
  • Women have the right to decide when it is the time to have a baby.
  • The unborn child is fully human from the moment of conception.
  • Women will abort anyway, but those who have no money will have to resort to unhealthy and unsafe medical services.
  • Every woman has the right to decide what to do with her body.
  • Some parents would kick an adolescent girl out of their house if they knew she was pregnant.
  • Abortion is not a question of choice, but a question of morality.
  • A foetus lacks both a brain and a central nervous system.
  • Abortion is acceptable in the case of rape.
  • Couples have the right to plan parenthood.
  • An embryo is not a human being.
  • Society is using abortion as a contraception method.
  • An abortion is one of the hardest things a woman can possibly do.
  • Abortion has always existed.
  • People should use methods to avoid pregnancy.
  • The right to life is the most basic and important right we have as human beings.

Debate

  • Each team chooses one person to present their arguments.
  • After an initial presentation, the teams reconvene to draft rebuttal arguments.
  • These have to be presented by a different person.

Debriefing the debate

  1. What was your experience with this exercise? How did it feel to argue against positions you were committed to? What new ways of thinking about the issue opened up? Did you come to new understandings? Did you change your positions on this issue at all?

Writing an Argumentative Essay about Abortion

Now that you have considered pros and cons from a new perspective it is time for an argumentative essay.

First Paragraph in an Argumentative Essay

  • Set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next, the author should
  • Why is the topic is important?
  • why should readers care about the issue?
  • Lastly, present the thesis statement. How do YOU see things?

Body Paragraphs in an Argumentative Essay

  • Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea.
  • Each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.
  • Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with examples.
  • It is also important to explain how and why these examples support the thesis statement.

Differing points of view should be considered

  • Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.