Grade 11, 12 Abortion

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Subject: Issues In Government                                   

Grade: 11 and 12

Unit: Abortion                                                    

Pacing: 2nd MP After Thanksgiving Recess (2 weeks)

Essential Question(s):

1.  How have people and organizations limited and opened access to abortion in the United States?

2.  In what ways are Connecticut abortion policies similar and different other states?

3.  How is the Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 the cornerstone of all current abortion legislation?

4.  Should Connecticut enact a parental consent law for teens seeking an abortion?

Big Idea(s):

1.  Many Supreme Court decisions and activist organizations have paved the way for abortion rights and restrictions.

2.  Connecticut citizens often experience greater freedoms in regards to abortion than citizens of other states.

3. Roe v. Wade is the landmark precedent used by the Supreme Court in all subsequent cases dealing with abortion.

4. Research based student opinion

CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards)

1.8.5  Assess the role of lobbying and citizen petitioning in shaping legislation.

1.8.1  Describe examples of laws that have been modified to meet the changing needs of society.

1.2.2  Compare and contrast the experiences of Connecticut citizens with other citizens throughout American history.

1.1.2  Trace the evolving nature of citizens rights

1.1.6  Compare and contrast various American beliefs, values and political ideologies

1.1.12    Evaluate the role and impact of the individual on historical events

2.1.1  Find relevant information to answer a history/social studies question

2.4.1  Use relevant evidence to prepare a formal oral argument to defend a point of view.

2.5.2  Create multipurpose visuals (maps, pictographs) to present information.

“Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know)

Skills(Able to Do)




Roe v. Wade. 1973

The Supreme Court

9th Amendment

14th Amendment

Reproductive freedom





Assess the role of people and organizations whose cases shaped current abortion legislation.


Describe specific recent state and national laws that were a result of changes in our culture


Through independent research compare and contrast abortion restrictions in Connecticut vs. other states










Common Formative Pre- Assessment (Followed by Data Team Analysis):

* see attached

“Dipsticks” (Informal Progress Monitoring Checks):

Common Formative Post- Assessment (Followed by Data Team Analysis):

* see attached

Instructional Planning

Suggested Resources/Materials:

Article “A Stunning Approval”  (1973 Time article after Roe decision)

Article “The Abortion War Get Technical”,  Dec 15, 2008 Newsweek

Opposing Viewpoints: Parental Consent Laws

Editorial “Teens in crisis not in need of new obstacle”, Ellen Goodman

Research online sites

Article “Abortions Hardest Cases”

Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:

Map activity (create map detailing different restrictions in various states)

Debates (whole class or mini group discussions) on specific restrictions

Values Line activity

Rally posters

Photo essay

Persuasive essay on parental consent laws in CT

Vocabulary/Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections

Griswold v CT, 1965

Roe v. Wade 1973

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services 1989

Planned Parenthood v. Casey 1992

Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health 1990

Partial birth abortion




Planned Parenthood

Judicial bypass

Informed consent

Waiting period

Parental notification and consent

Rebecca Bell

RU 486

Teen pregnancy

Life endangerment


Interview  representatives from Planned Parenthood and Birthright on their work

Create new CT law on abortion with modern considerations (RU-486, etc)

Bioethics and biology coursework