A dozen or so people, diverse in age, ethnicity, and political leanings, have agreed to be part of a year-long experiment in civil discourse.
Each month, we bring you a conversation with members of the group. Our aim: to observe whether the tone and quality of the conversation changes as they get to know one another over the course of the year.
On this edition, we tackle what is probably one of the most passionately-debated issues in modern-day American politics: abortion rights advocacy vs. abortion rights opposition.
TNT? We'll see. Our participants have been practicing for four months now – this is Round Five.
NPR reported on a recent law passed by the state of Georgia. The so-called “Fetal Heartbeat” bill bans abortions in the state as soon as heartbeat activity is detectable. That’s typically about six weeks into a pregnancy — before many women know they're pregnant, according to NPR.
An Alabama law, signed by Governor Kay Ivey earlier this month, is stricter. It makes performing any abortion a crime unless a woman's life is threatened or there is a lethal fetal anomaly. The restrictive state laws are raising the likelihood that the U.S. Supreme Court will re-consider the right to abortion. The landmark case establishing that right, Roe V. Wade, came before the Supreme Court in 1973.
But before we get to our group members’ positions, let’s explore the reason behind the discussion. One of our participants told us that after mentioning the topic to several friends, they told her she might want to opt out. She said she’s not hearing that it’s a valuable or appropriate topic for the group. Are her friends right?
With us today:
Carl – retired from the military and New Hanover County Public Schools, Joe – a hypnotherapist in Brunswick County and Kathyrn’s husband, Kathryn – a nurse and Joe’s wife, Lee – an actor, director, and writer, and Lydia – artist and mom to a toddler.