Engaging individuals in learning the facts and clarifying their values about abortion.

Educating about Abortion has educator-friendly lesson plans, complete with worksheets and handouts. The lessons are designed to actively engage  individuals, to help them learn the facts, clarify their values, find resources, and make informed choices.

Over the last 20 years, Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey has developed teaching resources designed to help young people gain knowledge, clarify their values, and learn how to make decisions that will allow them to grow into responsible and sexually healthy adults.

Our first manual, New Methods for Puberty Education, addressed the need for a curriculum that helps young people understand their changing bodies and feelings. In 1986, Positive Imagesaddressed the need of young people to acquire knowledge about the methods of contraception, and to acquire the ability to communicate with their partner about values and concerns.  In 1989, Teaching Safer Sex challenged the popular T-cell/disease-oriented approach to HIV/AIDS education, by providing lessons on how to assess and avoid risk.  In 1993, Streetwise to Sex-Wise addressed the special educational needs of “at-risk” youth who had been abused, had a prior pregnancy, used drugs, etc.  In the late 1990′s, the nation was concerned about the role of older males in the pregnancies of adolescent girls and PPGNNJ responded with Unequal Partners:  Teaching about Power and Consent in Adult-Teen Relationships.

Educating About Abortion, like so many of the other manuals created by our talented educators, is intended to fill a void in the curricular arsenal of family life educators. While the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 79% of American parents favor including abortion in sexuality education classes, (1)  until now little, if anything, existed to assist teachers in presenting the topic of abortion in an objective manner. As a result, many educators “teach” about abortion through the debate format – often inviting speakers with opposing philosophies to make classroom presentations. While students can learn a lot about the existing controversies through debates, they can also be left with little accurate/factual information about abortion, fail to have an opportunity to examine issues in detail, or lack instruction about avoiding sexual intercourse or an unplanned pregnancy.

Educating About Abortion provides thought-provoking activities and gives accurate information in an attempt to empower students to examine their own beliefs and prepare themselves for making real-life decisions. The manual is built upon an examination of the most contemporary research in the field, includes input from educators, and has field-tested lessons geared to involving students in thinking about both issues and their own behaviors.

Educating About Abortion is not about being “Pro-Choice” or “Pro-Life.”  It is about providing teachers and students with the opportunity to understand the issues that revolve around abortion within the American experience. It is about allowing students to examine these issues in the context of their personal values and thus prepare them to make their own judgments and decisions.

Jeffrey Brand
Former President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey

Introduction
Acknowledgments
Objectives
How to Use This Manual
The Lessons
Special Resource For Pregnant Women:
“Unsure About Your Pregnancy? A Guide to Making the Right Decision for You”

THE LESSONS:

Examine carefully to select those most appropriate for your group.
ABORTION: A BASIC LESSON
If educators have only one session to educate about abortion, this is the lesson we recommend.
Educators who address the complex topic of abortion in a single lesson need to establish clear priorities.  This lesson addresses common misunderstandings and concerns, identifies key resources and enables participants to assess their own degree of risk.

CHANGING TIMES:  THE HISTORY OF ABORTION IN THE UNITED STATES
Participants gain perspective on contemporary issues regarding abortion by examining significant changes in medical, legal, and ethical approaches during the nation’s history.

PREGNANCY:  A TIMELINE
In this lesson participants examine the steps a woman takes if she has decided to have an abortion.  It presents a timeline illustrating the stages of fetal development, the times key decisions are made, and the types of abortion procedures.

PREVENTING ABORTION BY PREVENTING UNPLANNED PREGNANCY
This lesson provides an opportunity to think about how abortion can be prevented
by abstinence or by effective contraception, including emergency contraception.

UNPLANNED PREGNANCY:  MAKING A DECISION
This lesson emphasizes the necessity of immediately finding help and making a clear decision when a woman finds she has an unplanned pregnancy.  Participants examine the variety of resources helpful in making a decision regarding parenting, adoption, or abortion.

UNPLANNED PREGNANCY:  MAKING THE PARENT CONNECTION
This lesson helps young people begin a dialogue with their parents, guardians, or other trusted adults about unplanned pregnancy.  Participants conduct interviews in which they compare attitudes when the adults were young with attitudes today.

ABORTION:  TEACHING ALL SIDES WITHOUT TAKING SIDES
Participants explore different sides of the abortion issue by role-playing citizens of states with different laws regarding abortion and abortion services.  They examine opposing values and beliefs and reassess their own beliefs on this issue.

THINKING ABOUT ABORTION – AROUND THE WORLD
In this lesson participants examine the incidence of abortion in a variety of nations and assess the impact on women’s health when abortions are legal.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TIMING
Participants will examine the difference between emergency contraception, which prevents abortion, and Mifepristone, an early abortifacient. They will discuss the time sequence of options available to individuals who do not want to have a child at this time of life and recognize the importance of making timely decisions.

WEB-WISE: FINDING ACCURATE INFORMATION ABOUT ABORTION ON THE INTERNET
Participants will critically evaluate answers to common questions about abortion while investigating three websites.

Educating About Abortion

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