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Conference aims for thoughtful dialogue on abortion issue


March 15, 2010

Arizona State University’s West campus commemorates Women’s History Month with a special all-day conference event, “Seeking Convergence in the Abortion Controversy.”  This event is open to the public and will take place March 22, in the University Center Building’s La Sala Ballroom.

Daytime lectures will be presented by faculty members in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, followed by an evening panel of presentations and discussion featuring community experts.

The schedule of daytime sessions is:

10 a.m.:  Alejandra Elenes, Women’s Studies: “La Virgen de Guadalupe, ‘pro-life’ movements, and reproductive rights;”

11 a.m.:  Bertha Alvarez Manninen, Philosophy, “The pro-life pro-choicer: Battling the false dichotomy;”

Noon:  Maureen Sander-Staudt, Philosophy, “The comparative moral status of human unborn in abortion, stem cell research and the homicide of pregnant women;”

1 p.m.:  Monica Casper, Sociology, “Abortion, infant mortality, and the broader domain of women’s health.”

The evening panel discussion will begin at 6 p.m. and feature guest speakers representing various points of view on the topic. Allan Sawyer is a doctor of obstetrics, gynecology and infertility; he will talk on “Perinatal Hospice and Implications for Abortion.”  Tracy Weitz, from the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, will address “Disparities in Access to Abortion Care.” Steve Tracy is a professor of theology and ethics at Phoenix Seminary and will speak on “Abortion, the Marginalized, and the Vulnerable.”  Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, will discuss “Prevention: the real alternative to abortion.”

After each of the panel members shares a short presentation, questions will be addressed as the panelists engage in dialogue with each other.

“Seeking Convergence in the Abortion Controversy” is sponsored by the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies in ASU’s New College. Support is provided by the Arizona Humanities Council.  For more information, call (602) 543-4444.