Teach-In to Explore Issues of Abortion and Choice

Posted: February 3, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

“Talking About Abortion, Talking About Choice” is the title for an open-minded educational discussion taking place in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall today, with panels, presentations, and conversations.

The teach-in will include two sessions, one from 12:10 to 1:15 p.m., and another from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Various student and community organizations will also set up information tables at the event.

Anita Taylor, professor of communication and women’s studies, hopes the event will encourage expression of a wide range of viewpoints. She says the idea for the teach-in grew after the campus visit of the Genocide Awareness Project last semester. The project, a traveling photo-mural exhibit comparing historically recognized forms of genocide to abortion, created some controversy on campus as students, faculty, and staff expressed their viewpoints. Taylor hopes the teach-in will continue the dialogue, and she encourages faculty to bring their students to the presentations.

“We are planning for a lot of open-mike time,” she says. “The idea of a teach-in comes from those of us who lived through the ’60s on campuses where we would have them on subjects like war, free speech, civil rights, etc.”

The first session will include a presentation on language by Taylor; a presentation on “defining genocide” by Lenore Weitzman, Robinson Professor of Sociology and Law; and an analysis of lynching as an analogy for abortion by Wallace Warfield, associate professor in the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. The second session, moderated by Paula Gilbert, professor of French, will include a presentation on “Media Literacy in ‘Reading’ Visual Images” by Timothy Gibson, assistant professor of communication; a generational panel discussion; and an open mike. All presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

The teach-in is sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, the Women’s Studies Research and Resource Center, and the Women’s Coalition. All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to stop by and participate. “This is an event at which we hope to have all kinds of people with all kinds of positions about abortion and choice,” Taylor says.

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