NECAC Debate: Brockton High School, October, 1988: Definitions, Statements and Questions
John C. Rankin
In my files, I have a thank you note from twelve students in the Contemporary Issues Class at Brockton (MA) High School, dated November 4, 1988. But I have no details on whom I debated, and in truth, I do not remember any further details. But I have the hand written outline I used for my presentation, and here it is:
- Open mind to investigating truth — the asking of hard questions.
- The ethics of choice/boundaries of freedom (RCAR [Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights] critique).
- Male chauvinism of abortion v. feminist “ethics of nurture.”
- Post-abortion syndrome.
- 1988 ballot question and how it addressed the unique weakness of Roe. v. Wade.
- Anti-choice and undemocratic blockage of Attorney General, SJC [Supreme Judicial Court], Planned Parenthood, et al. [Boston Chapter, National Organization for Women (NOW); Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (CLUM) [the last three of whom filed amici curiae against us in court]].
- Future recourse.
- In biological terms, when does an individual human life begin?
- Can anything good be said about human abortion?
- Is our ballot question fair? If so, how can it be opposed unless one is anti-choice and undemocratic?
Concluding quote from Paul Simon in The Boxer:
I know a father who had a son, he longed to tell him all the reasons for the things he had done/He came a long way just to explain, he kissed his boy as he lay sleeping, he turned around and headed home again/Slip-sliding away … You know, the nearer our destination, the more we’re slip-sliding away.