Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on June 24, 2019 and last updated on May 25, 2023

Abortion, although a controversial and sensitive topic, can serve as a valuable discussion point for ESL students seeking to enhance their language skills. Engaging in thoughtful conversations about abortion allows students to develop critical thinking, persuasive argumentation, and vocabulary related to ethics, human rights and social issues.

Exploring this complex subject encourages students to express their opinions, respect diverse viewpoints and develop the ability to support their arguments effectively. By discussing abortion, ESL students not only improve their language proficiency but also gain a deeper understanding of cultural, societal and ethical perspectives.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabulary where possible when discussing the different conversation questions. Remember to approach these questions and debates with respect, sensitivity and an open mind, as they can elicit strong emotions and differing viewpoints.

About Abortion

Throughout history, the legality of abortion has fluctuated between periods of acceptance and prohibition. The current status of abortion depends on the country in which one resides, as it can either be legal or illegal.

Debates on this topic revolve around opposing viewpoints. Some contend that abortion should be illegal, regardless of the stage of pregnancy, while others argue that until the baby is born, it remains a part of the woman’s body, thereby granting her the right to choose its fate.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • abortion (noun)
  • abort (verb)
  • fetus (noun)
  • pregnancy (noun)
  • pregnant (adjective)
  • right (noun)
  • give birth (phrase)
  • born (verb)
  • legality (noun)

Conversation Questions About Abortion

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  • How does the legality and accessibility of abortion vary in different countries?
  • Is abortion legal where you live?
  • Has the law on abortion changed recently where you live?
  • What arguments are there in favour of abortion being legal?
  • What arguments are there against abortion being legal?
  • Do you think abortion should abortion be legal?
  • What are some reasons why someone might consider having an abortion?
  • Should teenagers have the right to get an abortion without parental consent?
  • How does the cultural and social context influence views on abortion?
  • Should the government provide financial assistance for people seeking abortions?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.