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Whose Choice?: The Debate Over Women’s Health


The John R. Park Debate Society (the University of Utah Forensics Team) is pleased to host Representative Carol Spackman Moss, Gayle Ruzicka of The Eagle Forum, Heather Stringfellow of Planned Parenthood and others in a public debate on the controversial question of women’s access to contraception and/or abortion.

What: “Whose Choice?: The Debate Over Women’s Health” presented by the John R. Park Debate Society

Who: Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, Gayle Ruzicka of The Eagle Forum, Heather Stringfellow of PlannedParenthood, and others

When: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Where: Social Work Auditorium, University of Utah Campus

Guests in this debate recently participated in legislative discussions over House Bill 461 (HB461), which requires a 72 hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion and that the woman receive information on termination procedures, gestational stages of the fetus and alternative options to abortion.

Sponsor of the bill Representative Steve Eliason (R) explains, “An abortion cannot be undone… Why would we not want to afford a woman facing a life-changing decision 72 hours to consider ramifications that could last a lifetime?” HB461 was signed by Governor Gary Herbert in March 2012 and makes Utah the first state in the United States with a 72-hour waiting period.

Debate participant and Utah State Representative Carol Spackman-Moss (D) has represented House District 37 since 2001 and was the only House member to speak against HB461. She argued, “I think this is another example of government intrusion into the private, difficult decisions that adults have to make.”

Planned Parenthood and The Eagle Forum both weighed in on opposing sides of the HB461 debate. Planned Parenthood strongly opposed the legislation and supports increased contraception and abortion access for women. The Eagle Forum strongly supported the legislation and advocates for “pro-family” policies that include decreased access to abortion.

In addition to the public debate, the University of Utah Forensics Team will be conducting a demonstration debate on the resolution, “Resolved: The State of Utah should significantly increase women’s access to contraception and/or abortion.” 

The event is free and open to the public. For streaming video of the event, click here or here (Please note, the first 3 minutes of audio and video were corrupted. The video begins with the debate in progress).

For additional information, please contact Michael Middleton

Last Updated: 8/21/17