The Instigator
schoolglutton
Pro (for)
Winning
57 Points
The Contender
frank_gore_is_da_best
Con (against)
Losing
34 Points

Abortion Is Morally Permissible in Most Cases for which It Occurs

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,640 times Debate No: 301
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (28)

 

schoolglutton

Pro

Claim:
Abortion Is Morally Permissible in Most Cases for which It Occurs

Argument:
Over 98% of abortion cases happen prior to the 21st week of pregnancy(1). Over 59% of abortion cases happen prior to the 9th week of pregnancy(1). My argument will rest on maintaining that abortion is morally permissible at least up to nine weeks into the pregnancy.

1. http://www.guttmacher.org...
frank_gore_is_da_best

Con

Hello schoolglutton. I have gladly accepted your challenge, and would like to share my point of view on abortion.

First of all, whether the abortion happens within the first 21 weeks or not, killing a baby is killing a baby, regardless of when it is done.

Next, one statistic really encourages me to not agree with abortion. 20% of abortions obtained in the U.S. are from teenagers. 1.2% of abortions obtained in the U.S. are from kids under 15. I'm sorry, most of those girls made the choice to have sex. Plus, the last time I checked, having sex under the age of 18 was illegal. If a girl disobeys the law by having sex before 18, she should not be allowed to have an abortion. The parents in these kids lives also need to step up to the plate and monitor not only what their kids are doing, but who they are hanging out with.

Next, I have researched the topic and found that 93% of abortions are for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted.) If you do not wish to keep the baby you are going to have, you could put it up for adoption or send it to a foster home. The baby deserves a chance to live, doesn't it. Just because the girl had unprotected sex for her pleasure, and ended up getting pregnant, that does not mean the baby should pay the price of death for her wants or dis-wants for that matter.

Now, there are a few exceptions in which I think abortion should be allowed. First, if a woman is raped, she should be able to obtain an abortion. Honestly, who would want to look a baby and be reminded of the monster that raped her. Second, if a woman or the baby could die from death, I think an abortion should be allowed. If the mother is okay with dying for her child, then that is fine, but if she wants an abortion, i certainly think she should be granted one. Finally, if the baby is going to face serious mental or physical defects, an abortion should be allowed. No one would want their baby to suffer. If a baby has serious physical or mental defects, most of the time, the baby will die at an early age in life anyway.

Other than the exceptions i gave, i disagree with abortion. Here is the website where i got some of my info from.
http://www.abortionno.org...
Debate Round No. 1
schoolglutton

Pro

~~~My Main Argument~~~

My main argument is that the relative moral weight of the life of a fetus is less than the moral weight of the mother's right to her own body. I'm assigning right to life moral weight here as the ability to intelligently perceive and appreciate environment. Thus, I'm concluding it is morally permissible for the mother to choose to terminate the fetus in order to exercise her right to her own body. The next paragraph will go into how this intelligence can be roughly defined.

Structural development in the cerebral cortex is both measurably acquired and morally relevant. This development in humans allows for voluntary action, and intelligent learning in a way that is morally relevant. This brain development is what makes our lives meaningful in the way we observe the world around us. While there is activity in the cerebral cortex early on, in the last two months it becomes developed enough to arguably become meaningful (1a). The subcortical auditory system is developed enough and in sync with relevant parts of the brain in order for the fetus to learn to recognize tones such as the mother's voice as early as in the last three months (1a).

While having preference for voice is a rudimentary form of cognition, even if this early development is used as a criterion, the right to life can be defined at about 27 weeks. If you want a line at when it becomes more questionable, then 32 weeks may be a consideration due to cortex weight gain from the connectivity of neurons (i.e. a result of learning) (1b). Consider this cutoff in mind with the fact that 99% of all abortions happen before the 21st week. Remember that I only need to defend up to around week 9 where 59 % of abortions occur (2) for this argument.

I want to point out what is morally relevant here is intelligent perception and as you've read from the above paragraph, I've set a pretty low bar. The bar is so low that B.F. Skinner's pigeons would hit their head on it. In fact I'm saying it is ridiculous for the bar to be any lower. Is killing less than the moral equivalent a pigeon morally permissible in order to not be pregnant for 9 months? I say yes.

~~~Your Responses~~~

Frank:
"First of all, whether the abortion happens within the first 21 weeks or not, killing a baby is killing a baby, regardless of when it is done."

My Response:
It sounds like your implied claim is that the "baby" being killed has the same moral relevance as a "baby" that is born. Age of the "baby" is irrelevant. (I'll use this against you later) I address the moral significance of fetus killing above.

Frank:
"I'm sorry, most of those girls made the choice to have sex."

Having sex is not the same as signing a contract to keep a possible baby even if the risk is known. Also, just over half of mothers having abortions reported having used some form of contraception during the month they got pregnant (2).

Frank:
" Plus, the last time I checked, having sex under the age of 18 was illegal. If a girl disobeys the law by having sex before 18, she should not be allowed to have an abortion."

My Response:
You may want to check again. You're going to need to put references next to every claim you make just so I know you're not getting mixed up. The federal age of consent is 16, although for those under the age of 16 a four year discrepancy is afforded before it's illegal (3). You'll find the specific laws vary from state to state. Also, I'm not sure how breaking the law to have sex logically connects to a mandate of no abortion.

Frank:
"If you do not wish to keep the baby you are going to have, you could put it up for adoption or send it to a foster home. The baby deserves a chance to live, doesn't it."

According to my argument at the beginning of this phase my mother's right to her body trumps your baby.

~~~Your Exceptions~~~

Frank:
"Honestly, who would want to look a baby and be reminded of the monster that raped her."

My Response:
Your response here sounds like you're saying abortion is okay in the circumstance of rape because knowing your rape baby is somewhere in the world is upsetting. This is good enough for me, but keep in mind what you concede in order to stay consistent:

If all babies have the same moral relevance as in your first claim (the one I said I'd use against you later), then this means you must logically conclude a baby brought to term can be morally killed if it was a rape baby. Further, this means your claim logically concludes that this post birth killing is just as morally justifiable as having an abortion at 5 weeks. Are you sure you are okay with these conclusions?

Frank:
"Second, if a woman or the baby could die from death, I think an abortion should be allowed."

My Response:
If you're allowing this exception of relative mortality risk of abortion versus giving birth, you'll have to consider the following:
Mother mortality risk from childbirth (4): 200 per 1,000,000
Mortality risk from abortion at (2--Note that I just divided to put everything constant at per 1,000,000 for easy comparison):
>8 weeks: 1 per 1,000,000
16-20 weeks: 35 per 1,000,000
>21 weeks 90 per 1,000,000

Inference: It's clear that abortion is mortally safer than childbirth for the mother.

Frank:
"Finally, if the baby is going to face serious mental or physical defects, an abortion should be allowed. No one would want their baby to suffer."

My Response:
Does having to go through foster care systems or living in the same home as a parent that didn't want you in the first place count as serious mental suffering?

Good luck in your responses.

~~~References~~~

1. The Oxford companion to the mind, Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004
a, pg. 123-"In the last 3 months of gestation, a fetus has a well developed subcortical auditory system that can hear and learn to recognize the expressive rhythms and tones of the mother's voice."
b, pg. 121-"A secondfold increase in bulk of the cortex takes place in the last two months of gestation and continues in to the first few months of infancy. This is due, not to multiplication of cortical neurons, but to their branching and to the formation of the connections that integrate the experience –sensitive cortical tissues with the rest of the brain to make conscious perception voluntary action, and intelligent learning possible."

2. http://www.guttmacher.org...

3. http://uscode.house.gov...

4. http://www.who.int...
frank_gore_is_da_best

Con

Yet again, whether the abortion occurs in the first nine weeks or not, killing a baby is killing a baby.

Frank:
"I'm sorry, most of those girls made the choice to have sex."
"Having sex is not the same as signing a contract to keep a possible baby even if the risk is known. Also, just over half of mothers having abortions reported having used some form of contraception during the month they got pregnant"

The only 100% way to make sure you are not going to get pregnant is to not have sex at all. If the mother does not want a baby, my response to her would be, don't even have sex at all then. If you absolutely can not have a baby, then don't have sex. It is not fair for the baby to die because she doesn't want a baby, but has to have sex.

Frank:
" Plus, the last time I checked, having sex under the age of 18 was illegal. If a girl disobeys the law by having sex before 18, she should not be allowed to have an abortion."
"You may want to check again. You're going to need to put references next to every claim you make just so I know you're not getting mixed up. The federal age of consent is 16, although for those under the age of 16 a four year discrepancy is afforded before it's illegal (3). You'll find the specific laws vary from state to state. Also, I'm not sure how breaking the law to have sex logically connects to a mandate of no abortion."

If a girl breaks the law to have sex, why should she get an abortion? She did not have to have sex, she chose to. Therefore she broke the law by having sex as a minor. I will say it again, why should the baby die because she wants the pleasure of sex, but does not want the baby.

Frank:
"If you do not wish to keep the baby you are going to have, you could put it up for adoption or send it to a foster home. The baby deserves a chance to live, doesn't it."

"According to my argument at the beginning of this phase my mother's right to her body trumps your baby."

Why does the baby deserve to die because of the mother's wants. She chose to have sex didn't she? If she really didn't want the baby, she should not have taken the chance of getting pregnant by having sex. Yet again, the only 100% way to make sure you will not get pregnant is to not have sex.
Debate Round No. 2
schoolglutton

Pro

~~~ A Summary of Your Round 2 ~~~

All your responses in this last phase add up to you claiming that having sex (even when protected) implies that the mother is somehow making a promise to grant a fetus residence in her uterus for 40 weeks. Further, the mother would be committing an immoral act by aborting, not only by violating her unspoken residence contract, but also by killing the fetus. That is, because killing a baby is killing a baby, as you state it. Your statement may be slightly circular, by the way. Should I assume that you are repeating that you mean the moral weight of a fetus is constant from conception to toddlerhood? You leave this extremely vague. I'll let that vagueness be your problem to clarify.

A refresher on a circular fallacy is that your supporting evidence for a premise is based on the assumption that the premise is true. You accomplish this by simply repeating your premise as evidence of your premise.

~~~ My Response ~~~

My comment that sex is not the same as signing a contract to keep a possible baby still holds. Your babies are babies response didn't change that. Further, my main argument explained the reason that abortion was morally permissible was because the characteristic that was morally relevant, some reasonable threshold of intelligent perception, had not been met. I still hold that the relative value of the moral weight from the fetus at the time of abortion is less than that the mother has in her right to her own body. You didn't challenge my ruler for measuring this at all, so I won't add to it.

Other things I noticed:
- You failed to acknowledge that I proved your law statement false.
- You failed to address the conflict with relative mortality risk in your mother risk exemption.
- You failed to address how I responded to your child having grief exemption.
- You failed to address how your criterion (you never had a criterion to begin with) for how it is wrong to abort a non-rape-baby and yet okay to abort a rape-baby. If the excuse is grievance on the mother's part, then why doesn't the grievance of an unwanted baby should also act as justification? How does your reasoning reconcile with the rights of the baby?
frank_gore_is_da_best

Con

"Other things I noticed:
- You failed to acknowledge that I proved your law statement false.
- You failed to address the conflict with relative mortality risk in your mother risk exemption.
- You failed to address how I responded to your child having grief exemption.
- You failed to address how your criterion (you never had a criterion to begin with) for how it is wrong to abort a non-rape-baby and yet okay to abort a rape-baby. If the excuse is grievance on the mother's part, then why doesn't the grievance of an unwanted baby should also act as justification? How does your reasoning reconcile with the rights of the baby?"

First, the legal age may be 16, but in California (which is where I live), the legal age is 18.

Second, it is wrong to abort a no-rape baby because the mother chose to have sex, while with a rape baby, the mother did not choose to have sex; she was forced to, so she should have the ability to have an abortion if she wishes.
Debate Round No. 3
schoolglutton

Pro

~~~ What Frank Addressed Last Round ~~~

Frank addressed:
- "First, the legal age may be 16, but in California (which is where I live), the legal age is 18."

My Reply:
Your claim was that having sex under the age of 18 was illegal is false, as I showed prior. Even in California it is not an illegal offense for someone under 18 (or even 16) to have sex unless the person they are having sex with is over three years younger (1). Once again, you fail to logically explain how it would be relevant even if it was illegal.

Frank Addressed:
"Second, it is wrong to abort a no-rape baby because the mother chose to have sex, while with a rape baby, the mother did not choose to have sex; she was forced to, so she should have the ability to have an abortion if she wishes."

My Reply:
This goes back to implied consent of a pregnancy, which you never addressed. Also, you have an inconsistency in that prior you stated that: "First of all, whether the abortion happens within the first 21 weeks or not, killing a baby is killing a baby, regardless of when it is done."

If this is the case, then you're saying that a mother aborting a rape-baby is the moral equivalent of a mother deciding to kill a toddler rape-baby later on. Somehow you have it so that the mother not choosing to have sex devalues the baby's right to life. Your argument doesn't reconcile this while my main argument does by implying that it may be morally impermissible after a certain time period in development.

~~~ My Conclusion ~~~

You addressed two things that last round, neither of which attacks my main argument, which has gone unchallenged the entire debate. It is pointless to raise new arguments on your turn since I can't respond.

Other things I continued to notice:
- You failed to address the conflict with relative mortality risk in your mother risk exemption where I show that all mothers get this exemption if you're going to grant it.
- You failed to address how I responded to your abortion exemption when the child will suffer grief.

~~~ References ~~~

1. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...
frank_gore_is_da_best

Con

"You addressed two things that last round, neither of which attacks my main argument, which has gone unchallenged the entire debate. It is pointless to raise new arguments on your turn since I can't respond."

Obviously you can not read very well. I have given my point of view on what your opening statement said. I have given facts to support my opinion, so if you can not understand what I am saying, that is your fault. I even gave the website from which I got my info from.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by hattopic 9 years ago
hattopic
It seems that the Con is a product of the abstinence only education being taught in this country.

Oh, and just so you know there is a difference between a fetus and a baby.
Posted by frank_gore_is_da_best 9 years ago
frank_gore_is_da_best
Thank you to everyone who has voted for me. Schoolglutton may think I never attacked his main arument, but I did and supported it with facts. According to this debates's title, school thinks abortion should be permissable. I gave my opinion why I disagree.
Posted by schoolglutton 9 years ago
schoolglutton
Have people begun to realize that this site is not a collection of opinion polls?
Posted by schoolglutton 9 years ago
schoolglutton
The next time I will have a caveat at the end of my opening argument. As one sided as I thought this was too, somehow my opponent got a bunch of votes as well. Interestingly, some of the more interesting debates I've seen here the arguers appear to be quite familiar with the topic; however, these cases are when BOTH are familiar. I'll keep what you say in mind. Should we not accept challenges for arguments we are familiar with? How do we know our opponent's knowledge base?
Posted by wingnut2280 9 years ago
wingnut2280
People should REALLY stop creating topics in which they have a distinct background advantage. In the interest of having a good debate, I don't think anyone wants to debate you on your debate teams case or topics (not you specifically, just in general), or a topic in which you have prescripted evidence and arg flows for. I would hope we are here in the interest of having good exchanges rather than wiping the floor with people (or attempting to) with our awesome preformulated prepared arguments.
Posted by Ozymandias 9 years ago
Ozymandias
I think most people seem to vote for the person who they agree with, not with the person who presents the better arguments.

That's really a shame, because that's not how it should be done. I've voted for several people I disagreed with when the debater I agreed with presented horrible arguments, because this is a site for debate, and thus we should reward debate skills.
Posted by schoolglutton 9 years ago
schoolglutton
I'm curious the reasoning for why people are voting con on this with the arguments that have been presented. I thought it was pretty clear. My opponent never even attacked my main argument and the one time he attempted to he used circular reasoning. Did I miss something?
Posted by AceX6 9 years ago
AceX6
Nice debate! I'm glad you both were born to have this discussion.
Posted by schoolglutton 9 years ago
schoolglutton
That's the same circular logic that Frank used and it's addressed in my main argument. Aside from that in this argument Frank unnecessarily gave me exemptions that worked against him.
Posted by countrylover 9 years ago
countrylover
killing is killing...see it for what it is.
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