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What Happens When We Deny People Abortions?


The statement by Diana Greene Foster (2023) at the end of her speech that “Access to abortion is about control over one’s body, life and destiny” was very powerful. Foster presents a convincing and fact-based argument on the practical effects of restricting access to abortion at a time when the American debate over abortion rights is becoming more heated. Foster has dedicated her professional life to investigating the causes and consequences of unintended births. Her current position at the University of California, San Francisco, is professor of demography. She has a significant amount of credibility on this subject due to her considerable scholarly background. It is because Foster goes beyond the moral issue to give eye-opening evidence on how the prohibition of abortions may significantly affect women’s health, economics, relationships, and life goals that I have decided to evaluate this speech. After completing Foster’s lecture and examining her statistics, I concluded her arguments were compelling.


The information that Foster provides is meticulously researched and presented straightforwardly. The “Turnaway Study” that she conducted, in which she contrasted the lives of women who were granted abortions to those who were refused them, is authoritatively explained by her. The findings are far more credible due to the study’s scientifically competent approach of observing over a thousand women for five years. The numbers that Foster presents are shocking and contradict the frequent statements that are made about the effects of abortion. As an example, the research discovered that there were no variations in mental health between women who had abortions and those who did not have them. The reality of the matter is that Foster contends that the prohibition of abortions results in “higher anxiety, lower self-esteem, and lower life satisfaction.” The clarity that Foster explains complicated concepts such as “comparison group” and “statistically validated questions” lends significant support to the disclosures. The progression of her reasoning is seamless as she presents the research, discusses unexpected discoveries, and elucidates the ramifications of those findings for real-world situations.

The intensity of Foster’s material is matched by the assurance with which she delivers it. Because she talks slowly and carefully, she allows the audience to comprehend the significant findings of the investigations fully. She maintains eye contact, maintains a calm posture, and has deliberate motions, demonstrating her ease and engagement. When Foster reveals an unexpected finding from the study, he employs dramatic pauses, which proves to be very successful. Such small intervals emphasize the importance of certain numbers. Also, Foster varies her volume and pitch to underline specific motifs. Although she uses direct language, her speech is intelligent. She builds a compelling case supporting the provision of abortion services by achieving a middle ground between compassion and scientific objectivity.

Foster, a renowned scholar of demography, is also an authority on abortion and women’s reproductive health. Another way in which she establishes her authority is when telling about the unwanted pregnancies of the grandmother and grandfather. She does this by highlighting her association with the topic. Given this sensitivity, Foster is presented as an authority and a caring advocate for women. Secondly, the fact that she heavily uses scientific rigor in her argument demonstrates how facts are the basis of any ideology. Finally, Foster has a deep concern over the health and ability of women to control their bodies. Beyond competence, she demonstrates care, which enables the listener to trust her point of view.

Upon reflection, Foster’s speech was incredibly eye-opening for me. As a man, I have limited direct experience with abortion. Hearing the consequences of banning emphasized how access empowers women to determine the course of their lives. Foster helped me recognize abortion rights as fundamental to equality and economic mobility. Additionally, this speech showed me how impactful good data can be in refuting common political talking points not grounded in reality.

Regarding my public speaking skills, Foster effectively explained complex research to a general audience. In the future, I want to replicate her balance of authority and compassion when discussing charged issues. To build these communication abilities, I plan to volunteer to present some of my group’s research at conferences next semester.


Diana Greene Foster constructs an overwhelmingly compelling argument, arguing that access to abortion is essential for the well-being and equality of women. She does this by using careful facts and intelligent explanations. By putting hard facts into perspective with emotion and human experiences, Foster assists the audience in seeing that limiting reproductive rights is an injustice that has severe effects in real life. Through this speech, I understood the potential of research to break through rhetoric and uncover more profound realities. In the end, Foster makes it quite clear that when we refuse to allow women to have abortions, we are denying them authority over their futures.


Diana Greene Foster (2023): What happens when we deny people abortions? Link


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