Social studies was never my favorite class, yet I have lingering images from past social studies classes even today as I get closer and closer to the age of sixty.
First, let me share evidence that shows how much I loathe this subject. Government was a required high school course back in the eighties when I graduated from good, old Wylie E. Groves in Birmingham, Michigan. I knew I didn’t like history, so I was sure to take this course pass or fail. Next, is the Teacher Education course titled Social Studies for Elementary Grades that I took pass or fail in college, and I’m in awe of the P on my transcripts from Michigan State University as this so easily could have been an F. Somehow I pulled it out that winter term.
The second strong image from my past is eighth grade social studies with Mr. Bird. There was so much role playing during this class. Once, I took the part of Ronald Reagan during a legislative simulation. We even took one whole week off of class and had a grade level convention. What stands out about social studies with Mr. Bird, though, are the debate lessons. Students were paired in twos, and I was on a team with a good friend, Chantal. Thank goodness. She was much more social than me being the oldest among her three siblings and arguing was easy for her. She also knew how to tell a good story. What surprised me most about the debates was our particular topic: abortion. The year was 1978, five years after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe vs. Wade.
What eats away at me is how abortion is still such a hot topic. I truly feel we’re going back in time with this issue. In 1978 I was fine with being on the side of abortion. My unsophisticated brain felt an abortion was just killing a bunch of cells like when you skinned your knee. It’s certainly more complicated than that, but I remain prochoice to this day. In a free society, no one should be told what to do with their body except that person or if that person’s action would affect the health of the public. You get where I’m coming from? Vaccine mandates are okay because they’re needed to keep society safe. On the other hand, ending a pregnancy that is unwanted or harmful to the mother does not involve the public. This is a decision among those responsible for the child and their medical provider.
I have no idea what the future will bring, and abortion is so devisive today. But I do know precedence and women’s health and her choices matter. Currently, We have the freedom to choose what route to take when fertilization occurs and our country is lucky to have this knowledge and a plethora of safe options that meet the needs of a diverse population.