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

William Newnam wnewnam
Tue Apr 11 10:45:08 CDT 2006

I would just like to make a couple of quick comments about all of this as an old person:

1.  I have seen three or four debate topics that included abortion.  Sometimes they were troubling, but generally, the debates were extremely educational for all parties.

2.  As many others have noted this was debated on the privacy topic and the vast majority of teams overturning Roe, argued that overturning Roe would better protect women's rights and interests.  One of the best reasons for overturning Roe was written by Lawrence Tribe who argued that ensconcing Roe as a privacy right instead of equal protection was major flaw in the decision.  His book on this topic was a very powerful statement for better protection of women's rights without Roe.

3.  In one of the few debates I saw where a team argued that Roe should be overturned, a woman debating for Wake Forest gave one of the finest speeches that I have ever heard in debate combining passion, well-researched argument, and astounding credibility into a powerful presentation that, frankly, belies many of the criticisms leveled against contemporary practice.  

4.  The issue of Roe affecting personal beliefs and feelings are not unique to Roe (even if they are more widely felt).  Many topics could affect people personally.  The Native Americans topic, the china topic and others could all affect some of us deeply and personally.  I have certainly witnessed many debates that touched upon things that affected me personally, especially military topics.  I have seen many debates where the personal experiences of the students did impact them in the debate including military topics, some foreign policy topics, the Title 7 topics, even auto-safety, and so on.  The fear that we might debate a topic that could have affect someone personally is not unique to Roe.  If we used the "it might affect someone personally" standard to evaluate a topic, it would chill debate altogether.

I respect the concerns of those who might not want to debate Roe.  How a topic is worded is important to this discussion.  But, ultimately, Roe is an extremely important issue and debate does educate us.  We should not be chilled because the issue is personal.  I think we should embrace it and appreciate the value of open discussion and debate.

bill n
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