The Instigator
SuburbiaSurvivor
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
ScarletGhost4396
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

Abortion In General Should Be Illegal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
SuburbiaSurvivor
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,180 times Debate No: 20046
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

SuburbiaSurvivor

Pro

This round is for acceptance and definitions.

Human Being:

"A member of any of the races of Homo sapiens; person; man, woman, or child."-Collins English Dictionary

Member:

"An individual belonging to a group such as a society or team"-Google

Child:

"A young human being below the age of full physical development or below the legal age of majority."-Google

Being:

"Living, being alive"-Google

Abortion:

"The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy."-Google
Does my opponet accept these definitions?

(This is my first debate. After reading various debates on here, this format looks acceptable)
ScarletGhost4396

Con

I accept the debate and all the definitions, except for the following:


Child: a person of either sex between the time of birth and adolescence;


I look forward to my opponent's arguments.

Debate Round No. 1
SuburbiaSurvivor

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting! Here's to a lively first debate (for me) on DDO.

Since my opponent and I disagree on the definition of "child". I ask that we both refrain from using the word. In it's place, I shall be using the word "unborn" to refer to embryos, zygotes, fetuses, and the like.

I. Murder and Rights.

Murder is defined as "The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another."-Google

I want to point out the word "unlawful". First of all, we base our laws on that which we consider to be right. In most cases, we define what we consider to be right based on what we consider to be moral. However, immoral laws can exist, thus looking to the law for the authority on morality is a fallacy. If immoral laws exist, we must remedy them.

However, I do want to point out what I consider to be a discrepancy in U.S. law:


The United States Declaration Of Independence states that:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (emphasis added)

Thus we see that all human beings, under the USDOI, have the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. No law nor fellow human being can directly impose on these rights, unless that human being breaks the law, thus forfeiting their rights.

Since the unborn neither directly infringe on their mother's right to life, liberty, nor the pursuit of happiness, we find that the unborn are guilty of no crime, and are therefore protected by our DOI, as well as our Constitution and Bill Of Rights, since both are joined to the DOI. Yet abortion remains legal in America. I consider this to be a contradiction.

I think my opponent will agree with me on this. Though the real heart of the abortion debate seems to be the definition of "person hood" which is essentially what the law protects. More on this later.

II. The Unborn are Human Beings.

Since human beings are members of the race of Homo Sapiens and are living, we can logically ascertain that the unborn are human beings. The word "being" means existence, and in the case of organic beings, it means "living". Since we know the unborn are clearly alive (if they were not, they would never be capable of growing into fully developed human beings) and that they are human (their DNA is human, if they were not human, they would be incapable of growing into a human. Rather they would grow into another organic being, such as a duck or naked mole rat), thus the only logical conclusion is that the unborn are clearly human beings.

I have a feeling my opponent will raise no objection to this.

III. Defining Person hood by a single defining characteristic is illogical.

The only substantial objection to protecting the rights of the unborn I have ever heard is whether or not the unborn are truly persons. Some claim that no human being is a person until they have a developed consciousness. Others claim that no human being is a person until they are fully independent of their mother's body. There are other arguments still, but I will only address them if my opponent presents them.

The problem with defining person hood by a particular characteristic is that it is illogical. For example, it is like defining the sun by it's ability to shine, a dog by it's ability to bark, or a car by it's ability to drive. The problem is that it concludes that during the night, the sun is not a sun, that a dog is not a dog when it can't bark, and that a car isn't a car when it cannot drive. This is what I consider to be the greatest flaw in defining person hood by a particular characteristic.

However, if this method of defining person hood were logical, it is not being properly applied to by our government

A. Defining Person hood by consciousness.

If a person is defined by their ability to exhibit a consciousness, then those who are in a coma (medicated, or trauma induced), anyone who is asleep, the mentally handicapped, and all infants would be non-persons. If this were true, then it would be morally and lawfully acceptable to kill any of these human beings.

B. Defining Person hood by independence of the mother's body.

If this were the definition of person hood, then no adolescent child reliant on it's mother for milk, shelter, and love, could be considered a person. Infants are reliant not only on their mothers for food, but for touch, as this newsletter by Ben E. Benjamin, Ph. D, shows:

a) http://www.benbenjamin.com...

However, we know that born human beings are protected by law, and that it is immoral to kill a breastfeeding humanbeing,thus logically dependence on the mother's body can not be relied upon to define person hood.

IV. Making Abortion Illegal Decreases Abortion and Maternal Mortality Rates.

The best example of an abortion-free country is the Republic Of Ireland. Abortion is illegal in Ireland except if the pregnancy endangers the women's health.

In Ireland, not only has the number of women traveling out of country to get an abortion decreased from 5.9 thousand in 2005 to 4.4 thousand 2010, but the number of Irish women women getting abortions in United Kingdom has decreased from 7.5 women per thousand in 2001 to 4.4 per thousand.

a) http://www.hse.ie...

In addition, Ireland's Maternal Mortality Rate is one of the world's lowest at 6 deaths per 100,000. This is lower even then America's Maternal Mortality rate which is 8 deaths per 100,000.

b) http://www.nationmaster.com...

V. Rape And Incest.

First of all, only about 0.2% of all forcible rapes actually result in a pregnancy. The reasons for this are that often rapists either don't finish, the victim is either too young or too old to be impregnated, or the most common reason: the stress caused to the woman prevents a pregnancy. All of this is clearly outlined by John C. Willke, M.D. here:

a) http://www.christianliferesources.com...

(While I tend to shy away from citing clearly Christian sources, the author is a Doctor of Medicine, so I consider him qualified and a trustworthy source)

Anyway, even for cases of rape, we must ask ourselves, do two wrongs make a right? A human being conceived of rape is innocent on all accounts. Punishing the child for the crimes of the father is illogical and immoral.

In addition, there are accounts in which women who had been raped reported that while having healed emotionally from their rape experience, they had yet to heal from their abortion experience. These accounts and statistics regarding sexually assaulted women who wish to discourage abortion can be found at the following sites:

a) Victims and Victors (Acorn Books, 2000)
b) http://www.abortiontv.com...
c) http://www.fletcherarmstrongblog.com...
d) http://www.pregnantpause.org...
e) http://afterabortion.org...
f) http://www.abort73.com...

VI. Abortion In Self Defense.

It doesn't make sense to force a woman to carry a pregnancy that will kill her and her child. This is why I think abortion is justifiable if in the case of a legitimately life-threatening medical condition.

I look forward to hearing my opponents counter-arguments! Merry Christmas, everyone.
ScarletGhost4396

Con

Rebuttal 1: This debate inherently requires the analysis of what encompasses a child considering that my opponent's definition includes a child as one of the requisites of being a human being in his original definition, as implied by his provision of both the definitions of being man, woman, or child and being a member of the species Homo sapiens as being the characteristics of what is a human being. When it comes to the definition level, the judges should definately look at my definition over his when it comes to the definition of "child" considering that his definition is questionable at best, directly coming from a search engine whereas my definition comes from Mosby's Medical Dictionary, an actual, accredited dictionary with a basis in biology.
Rebuttal 2: The main problem with my opponent's first point is that the Declaration of Independence not a document utilized for law in any way, shape, or form. The Declaration of Independence was just a letter listing the grievances of the people in colonial America during the rule of King George II during the age of taxation without representation. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are not joined to the Declaration of Independence; the Constitution is an indepedent document listing out the foundational rules and rights of the American nation, and when it comes to that level, the Constitution does protect abortions according to the Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade (1973), where Supreme Court ruled that abortions were protected by the Ninth Amendment.
Rebuttal 3: This is where the definition of human beings comes into play. My opponent makes the direct distinction of man, woman, or child as a requisite for being a human being, as implied by his definition, and as I have explained, we must look toward my definition of "child" considering that it is much more credible than my opponent's, as I've explained in Rebuttal 1. My definition of child places the distinction as such after birth, thus meaning that a human being, under my opponent's idea of a human being, can only exist after birth. Thus, fetuses are not humans according to our definitions. My opponent also makes a sort of contradiction in his case when he says if they're not human, they won't develop INTO a human, which implies that during a stage where an unborn is not developed, it is developing in order to turn into a human being.
Rebuttal 4: My opponent basically states that it is illogical to base humanity on a single characteristic, and this does make sense considering that speciation in biology has many defining factors and such. However, when it comes to granting rights, there is a single defining factor, and this is adherence to social contract. The government provides protections while the people provide adherence to laws and sacrifice of total freedom. In order to acquire these protection is to be a member of this contract, which would include being a member of society, a condition that fetuses do not have.
Rebuttal 5: What my opponent has done is created a correlation without causation. He implies the illegalization of abortion was the cause of drops in abortion rates, but he doesn't explain how. There are many piece of counterevidence for this idea, including the statistics of illegal abortions rising in Brazil shortly after legislation outlawing abortions were passed and even here in the United States when illegal abortions increase when there is stricter legislation against abortion. Illegal abortions are incredibly dangerous and can cause an increase in abortion rates, and because there is so much couterevidence to prove my opponent's idea wrong, it's showing that his piece of evidence about Ireland is nothing more than a correlation without causation. He doesn't take into account lurking variables, one of them being Ireland's heavily strong adherence to Catholicism and how it affects their life decisions.
Rebuttal 6: Even if it is one woman who gets pregnant from rape and wishes to get an abortion, we must consider this scenario considering that it forces our weighing of ethics and morality to a great extent. My opponent talks about how in cases of rape, women show to heal and whatnot, but a woman has a right also to deny getting an abortion if this is what she wishes anyway. My opponent talks about how two wrongs don't make a right, but is it really equally just to force a woman who had no responsibility in conceiving the child to have the responsibility to create it in her body? This doesn't seem to be just either.
Rebuttal 7: My opponent contradicts himself here considering that the resolution asks us about abortions in general being illegal, meaning that abortion in self-defense would be included. For my opponent to attempt to justify any abortion is contradictory to his position, only strengthening my argument.
Debate Round No. 2
SuburbiaSurvivor

Pro

I thank my opponent for replying!

First of all, I would like to point out that my opponent has given no argument for why abortion should remain legal. I am new to this site, but I do believe it is the duty of both sides to provide arguments supporting their case. I will assume that Con will give an argument supporting abortion in the next round.

Rebuttals To The Rebuttals:
1.
First off, the point in offering definitions was to find common ground on which to debate. Since we both disagreed on the definition of child, I asked that we both refrain from using the word, so that we could focus more on the heart of the abortion debate and not on semantics.

Secondly, if this debate were about what "encompasses" a child, or more specifically, what the word "child" encompasses. Then my opponent has made no rebuttal. The word "child" has multiple definitions that both include the unborn and exclude the unborn. In fact, there are two definitions given by the very dictionary Con cites:

"1. a person of either sex between the time of birth and adolescence.
2.
an unborn or recently born human being; fetus; neonate; infant."-Mosby's Medical Dictionary

a) (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...)


Thus Con must give a logical argument supporting why the first definition of the word "child" supersedes the second definition of the word "child". He has thus far given no such argument.

Rebuttal 2. Con has given a good argument against the (second) main point of my first claim. I will not continue debating it. However, he completely avoids my primary main point that the law should not be looked to for the authority on morality, and that if immoral laws exist, they should be remedied.

Rebuttal 3. My opponent relies too heavily on one definition of the word "child". He has not yet given a logical reason for why that particular definition of the word "child" supersedes all others.

"Thus, fetuses are not humans according to our definitions."

This sentence ignores the fact that A) I don't agree with his definition of child, or human being. And B) I specifically requested that we avoid using the word child in our arguments as to avoid an argument about semantics.

"We must look toward my definition of "child" considering that it is much more credible than my opponent's"

The second definition of the word "child" coming from the very source Con cited, supports my definition of "child". Cons argument is void.

Rebuttal 5: "However, when it comes to granting rights, there is a single defining factor, and this is adherence to social contract."

I congratulate my opponent for presenting an argument for abortion that I have not yet heard. However, Con claims there is a single defining factor. How does Con know there is but a single defining factor? On what grounds does Con make this claim? Is Con making an argument based on current law? Or the current process by which laws are created? Does this not ignore that the law should not be looked to for the authority on morality?

I urge the judges to consider these questions, and Con to give an answer.

"The government provides protections while the people provide adherence to laws and sacrifice of total freedom. In order to acquire these protection is to be a member of this contract, which would include being a member of society, a condition that fetuses do not have.
"

Con's argument is far too ambiguous. Is he saying that no human being should be granted rights unless they can adhere to current law? What does he define "adhering to current law" to be? Also, does he imply that a fetus is not a member of society? In what way? I urge Con to clarify.

Rebuttal 5.
While Con makes a good point that I have not explained how the illegalization of abortion resulted in a drop of abortion rates, and I intend to remedy this in a bit, Con not only fails to cite sources for the evidence to support his rebuttal, but also makes a correlation without causation in regards to the statistics. For example:

"Illegal abortions are incredibly dangerous and can cause an increase in abortion rates"

First of all:

"Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physician. In 1957 there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind…Second, and even more important, the conference [on abortion sponsored by Planned Parenthood] estimated that 90 percent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians…Whatever trouble arises usually arises from self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 percent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of non-medical abortionist…So remember…abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians."-Dr. Mary S. Calderone, a former director of Planned Parenthood, written in 1960.

a)

Secondly, Con has not explained how making abortion illegal can cause an increase in abortion rates. In Con's words: "Correlation without causation".

Making Abortion Illegal Decreases Abortion (The Correlation):

Ireland made abortion illegal. When it became illegal, people heard about it on the news. After becoming pregnant, many Irish women probably contemplated getting an abortion, but because they didn't want to go to jail, or get fined, they did not get an abortion. At first, there were the few that still wanted to get an abortion, so they left the country. However, after a while the country began to accept the abortion laws and the women stopped having unprotected intercourse, or stopped having intercourse completely except for with men they intended to have children with.
Though simplistic, I hold to this correlation. (Lol)

Rebuttal 6: In what way is it not just to force a women to carry a pregnancy to term? Let us examine this scenario. Yes, it is horrific that a woman has gotten pregnant by means of rape. And yes, it is sad that she is going to experience suffering for the 9 months that she carries her child. But we must ask ourselves these questions:

Is the child guilty of any crimes? The answer is no.
What is morally superior? The relative nine months of the mother's life consumed by her pregnancy? Or the entire lifetime of the unborn child? Can the law truly call itself just if it favors the comfort of one person over the life of another?

Rebuttal 7: My opponent once again relies too heavily on semantics. I meant "general" in this definition of the word: "6. Being usually the case; true or applicable in most instances but not all"-The American Heritage Dictionary.
ScarletGhost4396

Con

ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
SuburbiaSurvivor

Pro

I extend all arguments.
ScarletGhost4396

Con

ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
SuburbiaSurvivor

Pro

Con has forfeited a second time. He has also given no opening argument, no logical reason why his definition of "child" is superior to mine, no clear logical reason why an unborn human being is not a person, and no other reason for why abortion should remain legal.

My argument in a nutshell:

A. The Unborn Are Human Beings.

B. There Is No Logical Distinction Between Human Beings And Persons.

C. All Persons Should Be Protected.

D. Abortion and Maternal Mortality Rates Decrease In Countries Were Abortion Is Illegal.

E. Children Of Rape Should Still Be Protected.

F. Abortion In (Legitimate) Self-Defense Is Permissable.

I rest my case. If Con wishes to have a rematch, I'm all for it. Vote Pro.
ScarletGhost4396

Con

ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 4 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
Not gonna lie. I'm a little dissappointed in Scarlet's forfeits.
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 4 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
Lol, the first rebuttal 5 was supposed to be rebuttal 4. There goes my grammar points...
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 4 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
@InVinoVeritas

That is true. Though I intend to bring up an argument against more then just semantics. Essentially the root of the abortion debate is semantics in the first place, though. So it's really unavoidable.

@ScarletGhost4396

Thank you for accepting this debate! This is my first, though I expect no mercy. I'll be replying ideally later on tonight. Tomorrow at the latest.

To all, if you have any tips on formatting arguments, fallacies to avoid, etc. Feel free to let me know. I'm essentially new to this. Most of my first debates took place on Youtube.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
This seems like a setup for a debate of semantics, as most abortion debates are.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
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Vote Placed by PeacefulChaos 4 years ago
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Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Vote Placed by lovelife 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I believe for the most part pro used better sources in terms of being consistent to his point, and providing information. The few sources con used did go against his claims. Con also forfeited the debate after three rounds, giving the conduct points to pro. I think in terms of the rounds that con was present that he made better points giving the argument points to him. Neither side had much difference in terms of spelling and grammar, it was easy to read, etc making that point neutral.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: 3 out of 5 rounds forfeited is a full forfeit.
Vote Placed by cameronl35 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF