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9.1: Planning

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Key Ideas

  • The IUD prevents implantation by changing the lining of the uterus or interfering with the fertilized egg. Currently, the IUD carries a risk of infection and commonly causes bleeding.
  • Abortion, either forced or by miscarriage, interrupts pregnancy before the fetus can survive outside of the uterus.
  • Abortion brings up legal and moral issues, and may cause emotional and psychological distress.

This section looks at a third type of contraception: those methods that interrupt implantation or stop the development of the fertilized egg. The IUD is the first method examined, followed by RU 486, the morning after pill. Abortion interrupts pregnancy before the fetus can survive outside of the uterus. Natural abortion is called a miscarriage. Intentional abortion arouses very emotional responses. The moral and legal aspects are addressed in this section. Facts regarding abortions in this country are presented, as are the two major points of view regarding abortion. The section ends with an activity in which the students support their own views on abortion.



\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} distinguish between contraception and abortion.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} clarify their personal views on abortion.

\begin{align*}\checkmark\end{align*} listen respectfully to the views of others.


abortion, infanticide, intrauterine device (IUD), “morning after” pill (RU486), miscarriage, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), pro-choice, pro-life

Student Materials

Activity 8-1: What Are the Issues?

  • Activity Report

Teacher Materials

Activity 8-1: What Are the Issues?

  • None required if discussion is open to whole class
  • One copy of Activity Report per group if students are divided into groups

Advance Preparation

See Activity 8-1 in the Student Edition.

Activity 8-1: What Are the Issues?

  • The abortion issue can elicit emotional responses. Decide if you will handle the discussion as a whole class, or by dividing the class into groups. If you divide the class into smaller groups, consider the groupings carefully.
  • If needed, define the term “moral issues.”

Interdisciplinary Connections

Language Arts Debate and discussion groups help students develop communication skills and can lead to essay or journal writing.

Social Studies Abortion is a topic that often makes headlines and is part of current events.

Background Information

Methods of abortion fall in three categories. The first relies on chemicals (such as RU486) to dislodge the implanted embryo; the second relies on mechanical removal of the embryo (such as vacuum aspiration); the third works by inducing labor (such as by injections).

From a purely medical perspective, abortion is a simple procedure especially when done early. So the key problem is not medical but social, ethical, moral, and/or legal.

As a practical matter, the sooner the procedure is performed, the better the outcome, and the risks for the mother are lessened.

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