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Talking About Abortion and Reproductive Rights
Talking About Abortion and Reproductive Rights

Talking About Abortion and Reproductive Rights

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Time & Location

May 21, 2024, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT


About the event

Why is this important: Few topics divide a room more than the question of the rights and access to have an abortion. Issues of individual freedom, bodily autonomy, religious belief, moral principles, and socio-economic forces intersect to create an intense sharing of ideas that often devolves into yelling, insults, and violence. Understanding the key issues and preparing how a school, college, university, or workplace will address these conflicts beforehand is critical.

Program overview: This program will draw from the book, How to Engage in Difficult Conversations on Identity, Race, and Politics in Higher Education, to better prepare teachers, faculty, administrators, and human resources to engage in these difficult conversations more effectively. On January 22, 1973, the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade made abortion access the law of the land, highlighting a women’s right to choose and making it a matter of the right to privacy, particularly during the first trimester. In 2022, nearly 100 new state laws were enacted, most following the Supreme Court decision in Texas and the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June of 2022. The presenters will offer a review of key points in the debate to help better prepare faculty, staff, administrators, and human resources for the discussions coming in future years. The presenters will explore key areas of debate from both the anti-abortion and pro-choice position. These will be: 1) when life/personhood begins, 2) government funding for abortion care, 3) late term abortions, 4) bodily autonomy, 5) mental health impact of abortions, and 6) reducing abortion rates.

Group exercises, case examples and sample discussion questions will be provided to further the conversation. Some examples of these are provided below.

REFLECTIVE EXERCISE: Develop an electronic or paper handout and invite students to answer the following questions: 1. When is the first time you can remember learning that someone you know had an abortion? 2. Where did most of the influence of your initial impressions/understanding of abortion come from (e.g., family, friends, television, books, news, church)? 3. What do you think influences your current views on abortion? 4. How have your views toward abortion changed or evolved throughout your life? 5. Do you experience conflict between your views on abortion and the views of people you care about?

EXPLORATION QUESTION: What are the underlying root causes of the abortion debate (historical, social, economic)? Do you think it is fair that people who cannot have abortions want to control the bodies of people who can?

CASE: Mike is a biology faculty member at a state university. Following the leaked Supreme Court majority opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade, Mike saw the impact on his students and colleagues. He wants to show up as an ally, but isn’t sure of his place, what or how much space to take up. On the one hand, he feels he should just be present, on the other hand, he wonders if he should use his own privilege to raise the issue and do some of the labor for his female colleagues and students. What do you think is the role of an ally in conversations about reproductive rights? Have you had an experience like Mike’s, whether specific to reproductive rights or not? What was it about and how did you navigate this tension? How does the topic of reproductive rights impact everyone?

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand basic terminology and have a general understanding of the abortion debate from both sides.
  • Understand the central sides of the debate in order to better facilitate a discussion.
  • Review the historical under-pinning’s of this debate and how to best address such a heated issues in the schools, college/universities, and workplaces.

Program includes:

  • Online access to the live 90-minute program.
  • A recorded version[1] of the program on along with test questions and a compliance report for the administrator of a department, college, or university.
  • Three interactive sample exercises to encourage discussion in school, college, and workplace settings.
  • A summary document outlining some ways to be aware of your personal beliefs in this area while hosting a forum for discussion and/or listening to a point of view you do not agree with.
  • A detailed handout outlining key terms and phrases related to abortion including reproductive rights, abortion, bodily autonomy, sex and gender minorities, and reproductive justice.
  • Discussion questions for group discussion to continue after the live program.

* Access for one year after the date of the live program. Additional year(s) access available for 20% purchase price.


  • Individual

    For group pricing or to purchase the full series, contact




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