The Instigator
Geogeer
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
TheGingerPirate
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion Should Remain Legal Until Viability

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Geogeer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 801 times Debate No: 54762
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Geogeer

Con

This debate is about whether abortion should remain legal until the fetus is viable.


Definitions

Abortion - Any of various procedures intentionally resulting in the cessation of the unborn.

Legal - Authorized by or based on law [1]


Rules

Pro may take the initiative and begin arguing in the first round and pass in the final round, or may merely accept in the first round and have final say.

8k Charaters per round, 3 rounds, 72 hrs per round, 7 point voting system, voting open to all.


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
TheGingerPirate

Pro

I am going to take the first round to accept the debate.
Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Geogeer

Con

Introduction

I wish to thank Pro for the opportunity to debate this topic with him.


Opening Arguments

1. Biology

A new member of the homo sapiens species comes into being when the sperm and egg join resulting in the zygote. Before the zygote even implants in the mother's womb there have been 70 to 100 cell divisions. [1] Words like fetus, zygote etc. are merely technical medical terms that denote age and development of the human being, not whether it is human or not.

Embryo: In humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development. [2]

Fetus: In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo. [3]

The average life of a human (barring any problems) is:


zygote -> embryo -> fetus -> baby -> infant -> toddler -> youth -> teenager -> adult -> elderly

This is the same organism at every stage of life.


2. Philosophy

Our system of law is based on the concept of the existence of fundamental human rights. The US Founding Fathers described these fundamental rights in a philosophical statement in the declaration of independence: [4]


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.

The order that the rights are listed in is important because they go in progression from the most fundamental. One cannot pursue happiness if one doesn't have liberty. One can have no liberty if they don't have the right to life. The right to life is the most fundamental right anybody has. All other rights are built upon this. In essence, if you do not have this right, you can have no rights at all.

If a right is inalienable that means that it is yours by default, and is not granted to you by any government. Otherwise, if this was a right that a government had the authority to grant to an individual, it logically becomes a right of the government to revoke this right as it chooses. Thus the necessity of the aforementioned truth in the Declaration was that everyone is created equal.

If a right is inalienable, it is illogical to state that it does not belong to the same organism at every stage of its life. Every member of the human race either has fundamental rights or they do not. This fundamental right is not to be confused with privileges granted by the state such as the right to drive, vote, etc...


3. Discrimination

To deny the fundamental rights to the unborn is simply another form of discrimination like sexism or racism. This is a prejudice based solely on a single characteristic of the other person that attempts to dehumanize them in one fashion or another. In all cases, this becomes an exercise of justifying the denial of fundamental human rights by qualifying that in order to recognize the right to life of the individual they have to be Human AND something.

This is readily shown buy comparing ourselves to other mammals. Let's take a cow, I can kill and eat it without any moral or legal ramifications. Yet until a child is somewhere around at least 1-2, a cow is an objectively superior animal. Yet, I would not be permitted to kill a newborn. This is logically incongruous, unless being human is more important than any other characteristic.

We have a history of denying rights based on personal prejudice. The two most obvious ones were:

You have to be human AND white - justification for slavery
You have to be human AND not Jewish - justification for the holocaust


4. Viability

Given the title of the debate Pro's argument is likely going to focus on viability being something unique that grants the unborn a special status. Yet logically, viability apart from the mother is merely another stage of development of the new human being.

The unborn child is the same organism before and after "viability." In both cases the child is living in the environment that God/Nature/Evolution (take your pick) meant it to be in at that time.

In fish, the female fish releases eggs into the water and the male inseminates them there. They then settle to the bottom of the lake or river and are on their own from that time forth. Thus it is obvious that, for sexual reproduction, fertilization is the beginning of life for a new organism. For mammals we have the ability to protect our young within the mother until a much later stage of development. This enables mammals to have certain advantageous traits including high intelligence. As such, it is against our very nature as mammals and humans to kill off our young in the womb.

Viable: Capable of living, developing, or germinating under favorable conditions. [5]

The unborn is perfectly viable in the environment that it is supposed to be in at that stage of development. If I were to take any adult and jettison them into outer space or give them a pair of cement boots and drop them in the river, they'd be non-viable in those environments.

Additionally, a newborn child, or someone in a severe medical condition are just as dependent on others for survival. Thus, unless the argument is that this condition of dependence removes one's rights as a human being, the entire concept of viability is a fallacious argument in and of itself.


5. Responsibilities of Guardians

I believe that we can agree that parents do not own their children. However, they are the natural guardians of those children and have a grave duty (and associated powers) towards their children.

My final argument will be that the Law already recognizes the responsibility of parents to provide for the needs of their children:

Failure to Provide the Necessities of Life: Everyone is under a legal duty as a parent, foster parent, guardian or head of a family, to provide necessaries of life for a child under the age of sixteen years. [6]

Now this shows a logical disconnect in the current law. It has been clearly demonstrated that the unborn is the biological child of the parents. Additionally, the law mandates that the parents, being the natural guardians of the child, are obligated to provide for the needs of the child until they reach an age where they are able to provide for themselves.

Additionally, the law would not permit me to intentionally kill my child:

First Degree Murder: Murder occurs where the person who causes the death of a human being means to cause his death, or means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and is reckless whether death ensues or not.[7]

Now, if the woman desires to pass legal guardianship of the child off to someone else (adoption), then she is fully entitled to do so.


Conclusion

I have clearly shown that the unborn are:

1) individual members of the human race,
2) that the foundation of our justice system is that everyone is created equal and thus equal before the law,
3) that the justification for abortion is just another form of discrimination
4) that the viability argument is based on discrimination
5) parents have a duty to provide for minor children until they are able to provide for themselves

It is thus my contention based on my detailed arguments that the non-"viability" of the child to live outside of the mother's womb at certain stages of development is a non rational argument for abortion. As such abortion should not remain legal until viability.

I look forward to Pro's opening roung.


[1] http://courses.washington.edu...
[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[3] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[4] http://www.ushistory.org...
[5] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[6] http://en.wikibooks.org...
[7] http://tinyurl.com...
TheGingerPirate

Pro

TheGingerPirate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Geogeer

Con

Regrettably my opponent failed to post an argument and there can be no real debate.

Arguments extended.
TheGingerPirate

Pro

TheGingerPirate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Geogeer 3 years ago
Geogeer
Thanks to Cobo, Iannan13 and baus for taking the time to vote on this debate!
Posted by Geogeer 3 years ago
Geogeer
*Phew*

Sorry about cutting it so close to the deadline for my opening round!
Posted by Dilara 3 years ago
Dilara
Abortion is murderer.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by baus 3 years ago
baus
GeogeerTheGingerPirateTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF with equal S&G.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
GeogeerTheGingerPirateTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Cobo 3 years ago
Cobo
GeogeerTheGingerPirateTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfiet