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Critical Thinking Unit 2 Abortion

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Part of a set of free teaching resources called "Encouraging Critical Thinking Online" by Meriel Patrick of Oxford University, written for the Intute Virtual Training Suite <http: />

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Critical Thinking Unit 2 Abortion

  1. 1. Encouraging Critical Thinking Online Unit 2 Gauging and Examining Popular Opinion Abortion
  2. 2. Abortion - Overview • Usually refers to the deliberate termination of a pregnancy before the foetus is able to survive independently • Legal in Great Britain up to the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy, or later for urgent medical reasons
  3. 3. Abortion • Find and browse websites that address this issue • Note the range of views you encounter, and the key site(s) for each view • Note how prevalent each view is
  4. 4. Abortion – Key Views • Pro-life – abortion is equivalent to murder, and should never or almost never be permitted • Intermediate – abortion should be permitted in certain circumstances • Pro-choice – women should always have the right to choose to have an abortion
  5. 5. Abortion – Key Sites • The BBC Religion and Ethics section on abortion provides an overview of key issues • A PDF on the BMA website provides a medical perspective and outlines the legal position
  6. 6. Abortion – Key Sites • Pro-life interest groups: – Society for the Protection of Unborn Children – LIFE • Pro-choice interest groups: – Pro-Choice Forum – Abortion Rights
  7. 7. Abortion – Key Sites • Feminist perspectives: – Pro-choice: Abortion: Still a Feminist Issue – Pro-life: Women Deserve Better than Abortion (PDF)
  8. 8. Abortion – Key Sites • GravityTeen’s Quotes from the Pros section includes a highly selective collection of quotations from professionals involved with performing or organising abortions
  9. 9. Abortion – Key Sites • The Abortion is Murder website uses graphic images of aborted foetuses to make its point (Warning: some people may find these images distressing)
  10. 10. Abortion – Discussion Questions • Which views are most widespread? – How significant is this? • Are there any discernable patterns in who holds each view? – Among experts and lay people? – In the UK and elsewhere in the world? – Among religious and secular groups?
  11. 11. Abortion – Discussion Questions • How representative do you think the views you encountered are of wider society? – What might make people more or less likely to express their views publicly? – What might make them more or less likely to do so online?
  12. 12. Abortion – Examining the Sites • Look at some of the websites again, and consider: – How various views are expressed – What techniques sites use to promote their views – What you find persuasive – and why
  13. 13. Abortion – Discussion Questions • What techniques are used to promote each view? – Are arguments given? Do they work? – Is evidence presented? Is it convincing? – Are appeals to emotion or shock tactics used? Are these effective?
  14. 14. Abortion – Discussion Questions • Do any of the sites examined feature: – Evidence of bias or prejudice? – Ad hominem arguments? – Sweeping generalisations about opponents or opposing views? – Statements you know to be false? • How does this affect your reaction?
  15. 15. Abortion – Discussion Questions • What do you personally find persuasive? Why is this? • Was there anything you found off- putting, or that had the opposite effect from that intended by the author? • Did anything cause you to question views you’d held previously?
  16. 16. This slideshow is part of Encouraging Critical Thinking Online, a set of free teaching resources designed to develop students’ analytic abilities, using the Web as source material. For the full set, please visit Intute Training: http://www.intute.ac.uk/training/