Perhaps because the stakes are so high, some pro-choice and pro-life advocates are willing to lie, manipulate facts, and ridicule their opponents to ensure that public policy is consistent with the position that they are certain is the right one. This session aims to assist pro-choice and pro-life advocates in curbing the tendency to caricature one another's positions and to assist them in fostering the ability to listen to one another respectfully. There are, of course, many pro-choice and pro-life advocates who are not interested in seeking mutual respect; nevertheless, a substantial number of people are concerned with moving away from the often mean-spirited, manipulative, and dishonest debate that marks efforts by pro-choice and pro-life advocates to win the political day.
This session agrees with those who believe that we need to change the nature of the debate itself, so that each side has a more respectful understanding of the position of the opponent. Toward that end, six areas of the ongoing debate will be examined. Under each issue, a brief description will be given of the position or actions of, first, pro-choice and, then, pro-life advocates. These are followed by suggestions under "Common ground response." Remember that the common ground responses are not seeking compromise; no one is being asked to give up a firmly held point of view. The common ground responses seek to facilitate understanding between pro-choice and pro-life advocates.