Friday, February 22, 2008

Interesting lessons - Abortion in Japan vs North America

Yes, that is right. Today, i taught a lesson to the grade 11 students on Abortion in Japan and the USA. They are studying the differences in sexual issues between the two countries.

The most fascinating part of this was the research i had to do to prepare for the lesson. It has been very thought evoking and my views have been challenged. The most challenging thing was presenting an lesson that includes both sides of the arguments in the USA.

In Japan, abortion is legal and the law is the same throughout the country. Whereas in the United States of America, abortion is legal but the states vary on when a pregnant woman can have an abortion. Australia is the same as the USA. It varies in each state and territory in Australia.

The students were surprised to find out that 40% of 14 yr old girls in the USA will have an abortion before they turn 20 yrs old. I was surprised as well. But the most interesting part of the lesson was learning that Japan also has a high rate of abortion. However, this is not for the same reasons as in the USA. Japanese women generally dont use birth control (pill). Using the pill for family planning is not common in Japan at all. Students were surprised that many teenage girls have access and use the contraceptive pill in the USA.

Other differences include that the Japanese opposition to legal abortion is not based on religion like it is in the USA. From what i have read, there is not a direct quote that you can find in the Shinto and Buddhist religions, to oppose abortion, like there is in the bible (Thou shall no kill).

I hope that the students came away from the lesson with enough pro and con information to make up their own minds about legal abortion in the USA. The final task the students had to undertake was to write if they thought abortion should be legal or illegal. And there were more students who thought it should be illegal than legal. They included two reasons and the majority said illegal because it was killing a baby. Interestingly, only boys said that it should be legal. They said that women should have the right to choose about their body. I did not read a single girl's answer that said abortion should be legal. One can only wonder how this would differ in a western country????

The differences continues.........

No comments: