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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Pro-Dialogue: A Civil Conversations Project Live Event with Frances Kissling and David Gushee (video)

when: Wed, Sep 26th, 2012 (3pm CST/4pm EST)
 Humphrey School of Public Affairs, U of Minnesota

Discuss with others and ask your questions here:

Civil Conversations Pro-DialogueToday Krista Tippett hosts the second of four live public events of The Civil Conversations Project (CCP). Krista’s guests at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs are Frances Kissling and David Gushee.

They belong to a constellation of reproductive choice and rights activists who are exploring real relationship with their political opposites. These encounters are scarcely imaginable against the backdrop of the absolute poles that frame better-publicized confrontation. David Gushee, who opposes abortion, has written this:

"Our legal stalemate about abortion is like a football game, with the two rival teams pushing each other back and forth across the 50-yard line and neither team able to win — especially if winning is defined by either the total banning of abortion on the one side or its unhindered legalization and funding as a routine health care practice on the other. The pro-life and pro-choice establishments appear committed to the continuation of this game of smash-mouth abortion football until the end of time. It is quite a spectacle, but the legal struggle is actually a distraction from the unresolved cultural and moral issues that have created it."

This civil conversation will start there — with what is really at stake — and break out of the confines and categories of the usual debates.

Please be part of this. Submit questions to our guests, and participate in our live video stream.


Frances Kissling on the Limits of Common Ground: A Sneak Preview

by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer

 Frances Kissling

Frances Kissling, Charles Camosy of Fordham University, Jennifer Miller of Bioethics International, and Peter Singer of Princeton University at the Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair Minded Words conference at Princeton University in October 2010. (photo: Ricardo Barros)

The audio above is an excerpt from our upcoming show with Frances Kissling, “Listening Beyond Life and Choice,” which we’re almost finished producing for a January 20th release. In the excerpt above, Kissling, a longtime voice in the public conversation about abortion and former president of Catholics for Choice, says she doesn’t believe there’s much promise in finding common ground with people whose views and ideology we fundamentally oppose: “the pressure of coming to agreement works against really understanding each other.”

Cracking open our deepest divisions requires a willingness to be courageous and alsoto be vulnerable:

"…when people who disagree with each other come together with a goal of gaining a better understanding of why the other believes what they do, good things come of that. … I have changed my views on some aspects of abortion over the last ten years based upon having a deeper understanding of the values and concerns of people who disagree with me. And I have an interest in trying to find a way that I can honor some of their values without giving up mine."