[eDebate] ???Overturning Roe v Wade????

Beth Skinner beth.skinner
Mon Apr 10 12:15:36 CDT 2006

I'm not going to address the topic selection process issues, just the
inclusion of Roe v Wade in the list of potential topics.

1. Running away doesn't solve anything.  This is an important social issue
in and out of debates.  Choosing not to participate is voluntarily giving up
your voice in discussions.  This choice cedes the battlefield to the very
people you don't want to have prevail.

2. You don't have to advocate things you don't believe.  Unless the whole
topic is Roe v Wade (and not any other abortion cases which seems unlikely
to me) then you can choose a case that restricts abortion to overrule if
thats what you like.  Or you can overrule Roe and replace it with something
else.  Or you can critique the resolution.

3. Abortion is not only an issue for women.  Every pregnancy has two
contributors.  Guys whose girls wrestle with the abortion option are often
effected just as personally.  Don't essentialize this issue as purely
relevant to women.  Don't essentialize all women as belonging on only one
side of this issue.

4. Is your argument that people shouldn't have to debate about things that
matter to them personally?  That seems to run against the grain of a lot of
progressive developments in debate recently.  Is it really your argument
that its better to argue about fiscal policy than social issues involving
racism or sexism?

If don't want this topic then don't vote for it but I hope those who
consider the issue will take a deeper look at the arguments than just "Oh,
I'm pro-choice so I can't debate this."

Beth Skinner
Towson Debate

On 4/10/06, nrichter at umsis.miami.edu <nrichter at umsis.miami.edu> wrote:
> I completely agree with Nicole. My initial reaction was the same. Debating
> Roe
> v. Wade is horrifying! If the arguments about policy education and
> training are
> correct, I will not be a part of training future policymakers and
> lobbyists to
> form more persuasive arguments for overturning this ruling. If debate
> influences public discussion on the issue, I will not risk increasing the
> likelihood of the decision being overruled. I would also leave the
> activity
> because the potential impact of this topic on the current political
> climate is
> too risky. This topic creates a specific barrier to debate that only womyn
> have
> to deal with. Womyn should not be forced into a position where they have
> to
> debate or judge something they have or potentially could have a real
> personal
> stake in. I don't think this community would ever consider debating the
> pros
> and cons of Brown v. Board of Education because it would obviously be
> racist,
> but one of the strongest civil rights decisions for womyn is fine to
> debate
> because it is a "current event." It is very revealing of our community
> that we
> will finally debate a "womyn's issue" so long as it is done through a
> completely conservative approach that advocates taking rights away. With
> the
> already low number of womyn competing, coaching, and judging in this
> activity,
> (just look at Neil's most recent post), how could people possibly consider
> this
> topic? The complete oversight of the potential damaging effects this will
> have
> on female participation in debate reaffirms an overlooked truth: this
> community
> is sexist, and only a small portion of the community seems to give a damn!
> Oh, and by the way, there is not a single womyn on the new topic
> committee. Why
> is that?
> Quoting Nicole <nicole.colston at gmail.com>:
> > Okay, I thought this was a silly rumor until the recent Ballot postings
> > by
> > mancuso.  It was hard to avoid profanity in writing this e-mail and I
> > definitely have not planned my formal and large-scale attack on this
> > idea but . . .
> >
> > The Question:
> > I wanted to know if anyone else thought that including "abortion"- ie
> > overturning Roe vs. Wade- as part of the courts topic was a REALLY AWFUL
> > AND
> >
> > #?#**%5$$%#$#!#%%#%*(&^^%%#%$%^^!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> >
> > For the Topic Committee:
> > I hope this is not someone's idea of including of women's issues in the
> > topic.  Please consider addressing women's concerns from a different
> > issue
> > perspective, for ex. pornography or employment practices, or just not
> > at
> > all!!!!
> >
> > For the Community:
> > I will WITHDRAW my squad's participation in NDT/CEDA debate without
> > hesitation next year if Roe vs. Wade is included on the ballot.  I am
> > sick
> > over the extent in which this "activity" has no respect for women and
> > fear
> > the effects on female participation if Roe v Wade is included.
> >
> > Thoughts on the topic process:
> > 1) I do not think we should vote on a topic area that does not have a
> > topic
> > paper.  How could I anticipate something as foul as this?
> > 2) I feel politically neutralized as a professional in this community,
> > as a
> > woman, and as a small squad coach by the way this process occurs.  I do
> > not
> > support the elitist back-room and ignorant politics that dictate the
> > process.  Where, when, and by who are these decisions being made?  Why
> > aren't the "Minutes" from topic meetings posted on edebate?  Was there
> > a
> > topic meeting at CEDA?  Why aren't students involved?  Why aren't
> > experts in
> > issue areas involved?
> > 3) I would like the thank and encourage those who seem to be a moving to
> > a
> > more open! and researched! topic process.  I know that we have
> > committed,
> > intelligent, and caring people in this community, it is just hard to
> > see
> > sometimes.
> > 4) Let's make the change now, this year.  I hope to be in Kansas City
> > and
> > would like to invite anyone who is financially strapped to contact me
> > about
> > sharing rides/rooms/resources.  Maybe the topic hosts could identify
> > cheaper
> > camping areas, train/bus options, affordable food options.
> > 5) I think we should webcast the meetings.  Everyone should be able to
> > watch
> > and IM ideas/responses to the meeting.
> >
> > Sending my love for debate- Nicole
> >
> > --
> > Take a visible stand for peace!
> >
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