L656 Fall 2018 Enduring Battles of the Culture Wars: Abortion and Gay Rights
Tuesdays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 18–Sept. 25
Instructor: David Heymsfeld
Since the 1970s, America has been consumed by debates over basic social and cultural values. This class will cover two of the most enduring issues of the culture wars: abortion and gay rights. The high-water mark of abortion rights was the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, establishing a constitutional right to an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. Since then there have been continuing efforts to limit abortion rights by lawsuits, legislation, and regulation by state and federal governments, as well as private actions to persuade or intimidate women seeking abortions and providers of abortion services. On gay rights, the course will cover victories and setbacks in the 60-year struggle, reaching a high-water mark in Supreme Court decisions granting constitutional protection for gay marriages, followed by efforts to limit gay rights in the Supreme Court, in the Trump administration, and in some states.
David Heymsfeld, an OLLI member, was a congressional professional staffer for 35 years. He has taught several OLLI courses on history and is a volunteer guide for the Newseum.