CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Why Anti-Abortion? Why Pro-Abortion?

Social Studies, English Language Arts
1 to 2 lessons
To understand how personal experience and belief can affect views on controversial issues
Students will identify facts and opinions in the arguments surrounding the abortion debate.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Write the terms "pro-abortion" and "anti-abortion" on the board or chart paper. Ask: Why do some people believe a woman has the right to an abortion? Write the responses under pro-abortion. Then ask: Why do some people believe that a fetus should be protected under the law? Write the responses under anti-abortion. Have students review the list and identify which entries are personal opinion or belief and which are fact.

Outline the Opportunity

Allow the students to spend time browsing the topic Dr. Henry Morgentaler: Fighting Canada's Abortion Laws on the CBC Digital Archives website, reviewing as many clips as possible. As they browse, students will select a representative on one side of the abortion debate. Then students will review the site again, writing down in point form why their representative fights so strongly for his or her beliefs.

Revisit and Reflect

On the board or chart paper, write "opinion/belief" on one side of a T-chart and "fact" on the other. Have students present their points to the class. After each point, have the class tell you where on the chart to list it. After several presentations, discuss the T-chart with the class. Ask: Why does the abortion issue attract such strong defenders? Can an argument be made for or against abortion using logic?


Students can select an issue of importance to them and write a "fact paper," in which they try to convince readers using only facts, not opinions or beliefs.

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