In a largely factual speech, famed law professor Ronald Dworkin told a University audience yesterday that abortion must not be viewed as a one-sided issue -- by either side. Although the speech to over 150 students and faculty was entitled "The Sanctity of Life," Dworkin -- a professor of law at New York University and a university professor of jurisprudence at Oxford University -- did not advocate laws to restrict abortions. During his two-hour address at the University Museum, he instead focused on the moral and physical implications of abortions. He said that they unfortunately can be used to justify either side of the abortion issue. The law professor urged audience members, however, to be objective when evaulating the abortion issue, saying that there is legitimacy to both sides. He also warned members to be wary of states "protecting" their individual rights, when states are actually enforcing a moral decision on them. "Once we remove the idea that the state must protect individual interests. . . then the states' regulation may only be described. . .as trying to dictate opinions," he said. He also stressed that the abortion issue must address other concerns besides the destruction of a fetus, saying that the mothers' health and well-being must be taken into account. Dworkin acknowledged that he was not giving answers to the abortion question, saying that was not the intent of his speech. "I'm not. . . so ignorant as to say how we get from here to there," he added. Though most students said they liked the speech, many said they were frustrated by the lack of solutions posed by Dworkin, adding that they expected definitive answers and reasons from a prominent law professor. "Anyone who came here looking for a final answer. . . would be disappointed, but Dworkin perhaps gave us total new ways of forming the question," said Max Page, a graduate student in the College. History Professor Michael Katz, who also attended the speech, said the Dworkin left him with many unanswered questions, but gave him some motivation to solve them on his own. "He's left me with a lot to think about. . . there are questions I would like to pursue," said Katz.Comments powered by Disqus
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