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    An Observation and Analysis of the Abortion Panel Debate

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    On Wednesday, September 20th, I attended a panel in which Ashalul Aden and Shannon Baker shared their opinions on abortions. Though the panel was formatted as a debate, both Ashalul and Shannon made it clear that the object of their discussion was not to figure out who had the ‘right’ opinion. Rather, both women felt that the purpose of their discussion was to be educated in hopes of understanding why the other person held her opinion.

    The discussion began with opening statements in which Ashalul and Shannon stated a modified thesis statement and offered evidence and further explanations as to why they felt that way. In Ashalul’s statement, she clearly explained that she believe abortion should only be permitted if the child is at a point in development in which they are not viable.

    Ashalul also made many good points about how the right of a woman to do as she wants with her own body should not be placed in the hands of others [the government]. One statement that struck me, as well as other members of the audience, was when she commented on what pro-life really means. To Ashalul, pro-life means that you are against anything that unjustly kills or decreases the quality of other persons life. She drew on example such as racial profiling, police violence, and uneven distribution of financial resources.

    When watching Ashalul make her statement, I noted the physical things she was doing that drew to the audience. One thing in particular that never faltered was the passion clearly expressed in her voice. Her voice fluctuated to accent specific key concepts in her speech. This vocal fluctuation was reinforced by her body movement. She used every part of her upper body to convey her point by using wide hand gestures when her voice indicated a deep passion for the specific idea she was talking about. I noticed that when Ashalul made physical movements, she inserted her own energy into the audience who responded with snaps or by leaning forward as deeply entranced by her words.

    After Ashalul’s statement, Shannon started her own by questioning what it truly means to be human. During this, she made connections to the Paidea, overarching question “What does it mean to be human?” In doing this, Shannon established a relationship with the audience in which she was one of their equals. One of Shannon’s main points was about the inability to determine when exactly the fetus becomes “alive” the inability to know if the fetus is “conscious of life.”

    Similarly to Ashalul, Shannon also used her voice and motions to convey a deep passion for the subject. However, there was one thing in particular that I feel affected Shannon’s ability to convey her opinion and that is language. While Ashalul used language found in the common vernacular of college students, Shannon drew on many philosophical concepts and in her attempt to explain these concepts, used confusing language that the audience seemed to grow bored of trying to follow.

    When applying what I saw at this discussion to my own teaching, it is clear to me that conveying your own passion for the subject is extremely important. If you are not passionate about your subject, you will never be able to insert your passion into others just as Shannon did with their hand motions and vocal fluctuations. I also see that it is important to use language that will help me connect with my students. Just as Shannon made her statement on Paidea and Ashalul drew on common vernacular, the use of language is an important part of conveying information to your students.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    An Observation and Analysis of the Abortion Panel Debate. (2022, Dec 14). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/an-observation-and-analysis-of-the-abortion-panel-debate/

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