The Instigator
atheistman
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Lexicaholic
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Abortion Should Remain Legal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Lexicaholic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/19/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,756 times Debate No: 8708
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (6)

 

atheistman

Pro

Women should have the right to their own bodies, not the government. A fetus is not a human, it is a potential human. Because of that, a potential human does not have any rights.
Lexicaholic

Con

My opponent argues that women should have an indefinite right to receive an abortion, qualifying the validity of that right as stemming from the inhuman nature of the fetus. I disagree with my opponent's source of validity, as did the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.

According to that case, though "the State cannot override [the woman's right to privacy], it has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman's health and the potentiality of human life, each of which interests grows and reaches a 'compelling' point at various stages of the woman's approach to term." http://www.law.cornell.edu... The validity of the abortion right therefore stems from the right of an individual (the mother), who is certainly a fully conscious human being, to prevent harm to herself while the 'humanity' of the fetus is uncertain.

In an age where prophylactics are common and readily available, and a simple pill can prevent pregnancy before the development of the fetus, it is monstrous to needlessly engage in a behavior that threatens even the potentiality of human life. The threat to the health of the mother can be eliminated before abortion would even become an option.

Why is this wrong?

As the court noted, there are two compelling interests held by the state: protecting a citizen and protecting a potential citizen. The potential citizen may, in fact, qualify as a citizen when a fetus, but it is impossible to determine; it falls along the thin gray line between human and inhuman. This does not mean that the indefinitely human being is not a human being. It means that it may or may not be so. The court erred on the side of the person who was clearly a citizen, with all the rights inherent thereto, only because there existed no better way to ensure the citizen's rights/well-being. It decided that, provided the two interests were in conflict, the interest of the definite human outweighed those of the indefinite one.

However, that was assuming that a risk needed to be taken. A pregnant woman MUST choose whether or not to abort if the ONLY option is abortion. If there are other options besides abortion, that prevent development even earlier, to the point where the continuum can be pushed back further, that option should be taken. As time goes on, the indefiniteness of the developing child's humanity becomes less and less so; therefore, abortion has become less valid as the need to risk lesser indefiniteness diminishes. As such, arguments for abortions undertaken to prevent non life-threatening or physically disabling harm become less and less compelling.

Someday, a method could be developed to safely and easily excise the child from the mother and continue the child's development outside of her womb. This would give the mother two options: preventative birth control and interruption of the birthing process within the mother to the benefit of both the mother and the potential life. At such a time, the need to risk what could be classified as the murder of the human being disappears as there is no longer any threat to the life of the definite human that justifies the risk. At this time, abortion should be outlawed, as the compelling interest of the mother's well being would no longer outweigh the compelling interest of the child's.
Debate Round No. 1
atheistman

Pro

'The validity of the abortion right therefore stems from the right of an individual (the mother), who is certainly a fully conscious human being, to prevent harm to herself'
The prevention of harm to the woman is not the only reason for abortion, an abortion could be used for other reasons such as birth control, the prevention of a fetus with deformities from having a life of suffering, among other reasons.

'In an age where prophylactics are common and readily available, and a simple pill can prevent pregnancy before the development of the fetus, it is monstrous to needlessly engage in a behavior that threatens even the potentiality of human life.'
An abortion could be necessary when it is too late to use other methods of birth control. And it doesn't make sense to say that women will always get an abortion instead of using other methods of birth control earlier. A woman will realize that it is easier to use protection opposed to not and always having to get abortions.

'The potential citizen may, in fact, qualify as a citizen when a fetus, but it is impossible to determine'
It is not possible to determine? Do you consider sperm to be human? Many people let millions of sperm die every day, but that will never be illegal. Some people think that a fetus becomes human when it can survive outside of the body. Some people think it becomes a human after it leaves the body. There can be many points when a fetus could be considered human, but the moment of conception is certainly not one of them. The moment of conception merely creates a cluster of cells that is incapable of thinking, showing emotion, of being conscious. A woman can choose where to draw the line of when the fetus is human, making abortion illegal is not the solution.

'Someday, a method could be developed to safely and easily excise the child from the mother and continue the child's development outside of her womb'
That may be true, but that 'someday' hasn't happened yet. For now, abortion must remain legal.

Other Reasons for Abortion

A woman may want to get an abortion because she can't pay for the child. Would you want to be paying with your tax dollars for those unplanned children? Also, would you really deny a rape victim from having an abortion? Would you expect her to care for a baby she didn't ask for, have to endure 9 months of pregnancy and labor, and have that baby as a reminder of the incident and that the child carries the genes of a rapist? Also, it shouldn't only be for a rape victim, there are other woman who don't want to carry that fetus around for 9 months that is an accident that a lot of parents would love less than a planned child. And think of all the unplanned children adding to the population that is already starting to overcrowd, and how a kid would react if they found out that they were an accident.
Lexicaholic

Con

"The prevention of harm to the woman is not the only reason for abortion, an abortion could be used for other reasons such as birth control, the prevention of a fetus with deformities from having a life of suffering, among other reasons."

Yes, but the prevention of harm to the woman is the only valid legal reason, and that reason was essentially decided along ethical lines – it's also the only valid ethical reason. A fetus with deformities? Which deformities? What's a "life of suffering?" People with disabilities aren't all wallowing in misery.

"An abortion could be necessary when it is too late to use other methods of birth control. And it doesn't make sense to say that women will always get an abortion instead of using other methods of birth control earlier. A woman will realize that it is easier to use protection opposed to not and always having to get abortions."

That is absolutely true. I'm saying that when an abortion is no longer necessary, because of alternative treatments, there is no longer a compelling interest for abortions to be legal.

"It is not possible to determine? Do you consider sperm to be human? Many people let millions of sperm die every day, but that will never be illegal. Some people think that a fetus becomes human when it can survive outside of the body. Some people think it becomes a human after it leaves the body. There can be many points when a fetus could be considered human, but the moment of conception is certainly not one of them. The moment of conception merely creates a cluster of cells that is incapable of thinking, showing emotion, of being conscious. A woman can choose where to draw the line of when the fetus is human, making abortion illegal is not the solution."

You ignore my point, and then drew completely different conclusions from your interpretation of it. The point is that human life exists along a continuum, and along that continuum there exist stages where, as you said "a fetus could be considered human." I am not arguing that conception is such a stage, but I don't need to because the morning after pill fixes that problem without abortion. Abortion is a procedure that is not performed on unfertilized eggs and sperm, or even on early stage zygotes, but on embryos and fetuses. The discussion of the validity of human life is only valid within this range.

"That may be true, but that 'someday' hasn't happened yet. For now, abortion must remain legal."
This is not what you were arguing. You were arguing that "abortion should remain legal" because "women should have the right to their own bodies, not the government. A fetus is not a human, it is a potential human. Because of that, a potential human does not have any rights." A fetus may, in fact, have rights, because it may be human, and not merely a potential human. Just as you said, definitions differ. By asserting that the fetus' rights are never taken into account, you are making an argument that abortions are justified no matter what happens. After all, if one being has rights and the other does not, then there is nothing stopping the one being from doing as it wishes to the other. I am arguing that abortion rights should not remain legal indefinitely, as you have proposed, because there may (and likely will) come a time when abortion is no longer a valid ethical risk to take.

Other Reasons for Abortion

"A woman may want to get an abortion because she can't pay for the child. Would you want to be paying with your tax dollars for those unplanned children?"

Sure. I like people more than things. But seriously, she could have the child adopted, or be required to seek potential adoptive parents before birth. There are certainly enough people who would like to have children.

"Also, would you really deny a rape victim from having an abortion?"

Yes. Potential should not be thwarted because of origin.

"Would you expect her to care for a baby she didn't ask for, have to endure 9 months of pregnancy and labor, and have that baby as a reminder of the incident and that the child carries the genes of a rapist?"
1.I am positing that a procedure may exist to remove the child safely from the mother and incubate it so that she can get on with her life. When this happens, labor pains can no longer be taken into account as an ethical concern.
2.The "genes of a rapist" argument is eugenics speak. Many children of rape are adopted and go on to live 'normal' lives. Rape is borne out of the effects of certain experiences on those organisms that develop as a consequence of their genes. You can not inherent actions, just (possibly) a likelihood to commit certain actions given similar circumstances. http://forums.adoption.com...

" Also, it shouldn't only be for a rape victim, there are other woman who don't want to carry that fetus around for 9 months that is an accident that a lot of parents would love less than a planned child."

This is an argument for better birth control, not abortion.

" And think of all the unplanned children adding to the population that is already starting to overcrowd, and how a kid would react if they found out that they were an accident."

This is also an argument for better birth control, not abortion.
Debate Round No. 2
atheistman

Pro

"the prevention of harm to the woman is the only valid legal reason"
That is not true, an abortion could be performed for any reason, if the woman wants it. And even if it is made illegal for a woman to have the right to an abortion for birth control reasons, then the laws should be changed. This is a bill that will probably be signed to ensure the rights for women to get abortions. http://en.wikipedia.org...

'A fetus with deformities? Which deformities? What's a "life of suffering? People with disabilities aren't all wallowing in misery.'
A fetus can have plenty of deformities, such as permanent mental or physical disabilities. Sure, some people with disabilities aren't all wallowing in misery, but that's not true for all handicapped people. It should be the choice of the woman whether she wants to bring the baby out into the world to live a non-normal life, or not let that happen.

'I'm saying that when an abortion is no longer necessary, because of alternative treatments, there is no longer a compelling interest for abortions to be legal.'
Even if we develop alternative treatments, there could still be reasons for abortion. Such as using embryonic stem cells from aborted fetuses - which have the potential to replicate themselves into any type of tissue - could be used for huge advances in medicine, and even save lives. Also, even if alternatives to abortion and other ways of getting embryonic stem cells are developed, then we could stop having abortions then. But right now we don't have those things now, so abortion has to remain legal for the time being.

'The point is that human life exists along a continuum, and along that continuum there exist stages where, as you said "a fetus could be considered human." I am not arguing that conception is such a stage, but I don't need to because the morning after pill fixes that problem without abortion.'
Morning-after abortion pills don't work if the woman finds out she's pregnant later than a day after. I don't advocate abortion as the only means of birth control, but it should never not be an option.

'A fetus may, in fact, have rights, because it may be human, and not merely a potential human.'
How could you consider a fetus equal to a human being? I already stated how it is NOT a human. It is a potential human because it is only alive because of the mother's body, and is incapable of many human functions. It also does not have rights because it is part of another human's body. The woman should be in control of that fetus because it's part of her own body.

'Sure. I like people more than things. But seriously, she could have the child adopted, or be required to seek potential adoptive parents before birth. There are certainly enough people who would like to have children.'
Just because you're willing to, doesn't mean everyone is. Many people couldn't afford to pay for the millions of unplanned babies born if abortion was made illegal. Also, why should that woman have to carry that baby around for 9 months and endure labor and pregnancy, just to give that child away? There are still going to be many planned children put up for adoption.

Also, would you really deny a rape victim from having an abortion?

'Yes. Potential should not be thwarted because of origin.'
Seriously, what's your problem? You value embryos over a grown person's control over their own life? You're okay with women getting raped and having to be pregnant and care for a kid, just because you don't agree with the decisions they make over their own bodies?

'I am positing that a procedure may exist to remove the child safely from the mother and incubate it so that she can get on with her life. When this happens, labor pains can no longer be taken into account as an ethical concern.'
What don't you understand about us not having those advances yet?

'The "genes of a rapist" argument is eugenics speak. Many children of rape are adopted and go on to live 'normal' lives. Rape is borne out of the effects of certain experiences on those organisms that develop as a consequence of their genes. '
That's not completely true, actually a lot of actions in humans have some hereditary factor in them. Even suicide is part hereditary. Sure, some kids born from a rape victim turn out okay, but it's the woman's choice whether she wants the kid or not.

'This is an argument for better birth control, not abortion.'
You still don't understand that we don't have all the advances in birth control that we'd like to have. Currently, abortion is the only type of birth control necessary in a lot of situations.

Even if anti-choice people make abortion illegal, that won't stop abortion. Plenty of women will get back-alley abortions which are much more dangerous than the regular abortions legal today.
Lexicaholic

Con

"… an abortion could be performed for any reason, if the woman wants it. And even if it is made illegal for a woman to have the right to an abortion for birth control reasons, then the laws should be changed."

The laws could be changed, yes. But the jurisprudence that removed a number of state laws restricting it shouldn't be discarded. The right of the mother outweighs the rights of the fetus only so long as there is some risk to the mother in not denying the fetus those rights.

Let me use an analogy, as I am fond of those:

Let's say you have a pet cat. I take your cat and put it in one of two identical boxes. In the other I put an armed bomb. I leave a full container of water at your feet and hand you a box. I tell you that, if the box holds the bomb, it can be disarmed by holding it in the water for fifteen minutes. Of course, if it's the cat, the cat will drown. The box must be gently lowered into the water soon, or it will detonate.

In this case, there is a high likelihood of harm to yourself, and a high likelihood of harm to your cat. You need to decide whether the potential that you are holding your cat outweighs the potential of harm to yourself. That is a personal choice, where ethical boundaries are blurred. It is a situation where choosing to dunk the box or not is basically up to you.

Now, same scenario but one box is left empty. Once again, I leave the container of water at your feet. I tell you that one box is empty and the other holds your cat. How could you ethically argue for dunking the box?

Just replace your cat with the concept of ‘human being' and the bomb with ‘harm' and you will have some idea of why abortion without any need is wrong.

"A fetus can have plenty of deformities, such as permanent mental or physical disabilities. Sure, some people with disabilities aren't all wallowing in misery, but that's not true for all handicapped people."

If a person so dislikes living, that person could end it, and may have a right to do so. One does not have the right to choose for others, however, whether or not their lives should be lived. You have successfully made an argument for the right to commit suicide. You have not made an argument for the right of one person to take a chance of killing another person when there is no need to take that chance.

"Even if we develop alternative treatments, there could still be reasons for abortion. Such as using embryonic stem cells from aborted fetuses - which have the potential to replicate themselves into any type of tissue - could be used for huge advances in medicine, and even save lives. Also, even if alternatives to abortion and other ways of getting embryonic stem cells are developed, then we could stop having abortions then."

Thank you for conceding this argument to me without my having to do it myself. See one way below:

http://www.boston.com...

"Morning-after abortion pills don't work if the woman finds out she's pregnant later than a day after. I don't advocate abortion as the only means of birth control, but it should never not be an option."

http://www.webmd.com...

Sex is not a surprise. Tell me a valid ethical reason for a woman not using any of the above options, knowing that she is having sex?

"How could you consider a fetus equal to a human being? I already stated how it is NOT a human. It is a potential human because it is only alive because of the mother's body, and is incapable of many human functions. It also does not have rights because it is part of another human's body. The woman should be in control of that fetus because it's part of her own body."

That is your definition. Some ‘vegetarians' eat fish because ‘they're not animals.' After all, they don't have fur. If it helps you sleep at night, fine. This not a valid argument, however, for all the reasons I set forth above … it's not up to me or you to decide if the fetus is a child; the state of the organism is indeterminate because of our definitions. The ethical thing to do is to mitigate the possibility of harm. If the mother would not be harmed by the fetus' development into a definite human being, the mother has no right to risk the possibility of harming even what COULD be a human being. It would be like dunking the empty box.

"Just because you're willing to, doesn't mean everyone is. Many people couldn't afford to pay for the millions of unplanned babies born if abortion was made illegal."

No, many people couldn't afford to pay for the (many more) millions of unplanned babies born if people didn't have contraceptives. Or so I can argue, as you've provided no statistics to review. This is, of course, beside the point; you asked for a personal opinion, and I granted it.

"Also, why should that woman have to carry that baby around for 9 months and endure labor and pregnancy, just to give that child away?"

So does she want it or not? If she's the type who would argue that labor pains alone mean that she earns the right to parent the child, I would argue that she should have the child TAKEN away.

"There are still going to be many planned children put up for adoption."

Then they weren't planned very well, were they? Perhaps there is a need for greater sexual responsibility. This would be something I agree with.

"Seriously, what's your problem? You value embryos over a grown person's control over their own life?"

Awesome ad hominem/straw man attack you've presented. No, I value mitigating harm. I can not, and do not, define whether or not a fetus is a human. I do recognize that a fetus MAY be a human. If the fetus MAY be a human, and it has not and will not predictably cause harm to a person, then regardless of its origin I do not see a valid reason for taking its life. Because it MAY be murder, and I would rather not take that chance needlessly.

"You're okay with women getting raped and having to be pregnant and care for a kid, just because you don't agree with the decisions they make over their own bodies?"

[sarcasm] Oh, yes, clearly I am in love with rape. [/end sarcasm] No. Women have a variety of options at their disposal now, but hopefully will have an even greater variety at their disposal in the future, such that abortion will seem wrong even in these situations. If someone murdered your sibling, would you go ahead and kill the murderer's kid? I hope not. The burden for the recompense of a vile crime of the progenitor should not be transferred to its progeny.

"What don't you understand about us not having those advances yet?"

Not a thing. What do you not understand about how these advances invalidate your resolution?

"That's not completely true, actually a lot of actions in humans have some hereditary factor in them."

Yes, it's just that, a factor. A chance. It is not a guarantee of anything. It probably isn't even a very high probability really. The possibility of the good that may come of the birth outweighs the loss of that possibility in abortion: http://www.righttoliferoch.org...

"... it's the woman's choice whether she wants the kid or not."

Not indefinitely, no.

"You still don't understand that we don't have all the advances in birth control that we'd like to have. Currently, abortion is the only type of birth control necessary in a lot of situations."
See above.

"Even if anti-choice people make abortion illegal, that won't stop abortion."

Anti-choice. Funny. I am anti-choice I suppose. I don't think people should choose to murder, steal, rape, etc. So I'm anti-choice in a very limited sense.

"Plenty of women will get back-alley abortions ..."

They could do that or get the perfectly legitimate non-abortive equivalent I have already proposed, where the child can be incubated independent of the mother.
Debate Round No. 3
atheistman

Pro

'The right of the mother outweighs the rights of the fetus only so long as there is some risk to the mother in not denying the fetus those rights.'
How does that statement make sense if you said before hat the laws could be changed? And I'm pretty sure that abortion is legal for any reason before the third trimester, that's why it is called the woman's right to privacy. But even if it has restrictions in some states or more restrictions are made, then those laws could be changed, as you said.

'Let's say you have a pet cat.'
That analogy fails when it gets to the 7th word. A cat is a living thing, not a fetus. A cat is also an animal, and animals do not have the rights that humans have. The only rights animals have are the protection from assault and murder if they are someone's property. If you have an animal as part of your property, then you can do whatever you want to it. Since animals are also not self-aware, and human fetuses are not self-aware, they are both property of humans. So a woman has complete control of her property.

'If a person so dislikes living, that person could end it, and may have a right to do so. One does not have the right to choose for others, however, whether or not their lives should be lived. You have successfully made an argument for the right to commit suicide. You have not made an argument for the right of one person to take a chance of killing another person when there is no need to take that chance.'
There is a home near mine that houses two kids with many deformities including retardation. When I'm outside I can sometimes hear them screaming in pain. Their mother has an extremely hard time caring for both of them and so does the third child who has no deformities. When he was younger, he pleading with his mom to not leave him alone with them. He also probably has thoughts such as 'why me, why do I have to live life with siblings like these when everyone else has normal siblings?' Many people with deformities may not know how to commit suicide, or that suicide even exists. And why should you let them go through a pain-filled life and end it with more pain, instead of just save them from all of that with an abortion?

'Thank you for conceding this argument to me without my having to do it myself. See one way below:'
The only problem with stem cells hat that article mentions is that some people think it's unethical.
It is not unethical, because a fetus is not a living thing, it is a potential living thing. Now with stem cells, it is made into a potential life-saver. 'There are always going to be people like me trying to bring us forward, and there are always going to be people like you trying to hold us back.' - youtube user TheAmazingAtheist

'Sex is not a surprise. Tell me a valid ethical reason for a woman not using any of the above options, knowing that she is having sex?'
It may not be a surprise, but a lot of people aren't going to be testing for pregnancy or taking pills right after they have sex. If a decent amount of protection is used, then a lot of people won't think there was a chance that one little sperm might've slipped by. Although the chance is low, there's still a chance. The woman might not even remember having sex, she could have been tired, a little drunk, or both.

'Some ‘vegetarians' eat fish because ‘they're not animals.' After all, they don't have fur.'
True, people draw the line at different places, but is eating meat illegal? No, because if someone doesn't want to eat meat then they don't have to. If someone doesn't want to get an abortion then they don't have to either.

'No, many people couldn't afford to pay for the (many more) millions of unplanned babies born if people didn't have contraceptives. Or so I can argue, as you've provided no statistics to review.'
You don't need statistic to know the obvious. Of course there are many people in the U.S. and the world that can't even pay to feed themselves. You know what what happen if abortion were made illegal? The population would grow. You know what happens when the population grows? More mouths to feed. More mouths to feed = less food to people ratio. When food is more valuable, the price will rise. When the price of food rises it affects everyone, and their tax dollars, including the people barely making a living today. And it doesn't only affect food, it affects every resource that people need.

'So does she want it or not? If she's the type who would argue that labor pains alone mean that she earns the right to parent the child, I would argue that she should have the child TAKEN away.'
? What re you talking about? I said pregnancy and labor, not just labor pains. And to have the child taken away would mean the woman would have to endure both, what you said doesn't make sense.

'Awesome ad hominem/straw man attack you've presented. No, I value mitigating harm. I can not, and do not, define whether or not a fetus is a human. I do recognize that a fetus MAY be a human. If the fetus MAY be a human, and it has not and will not predictably cause harm to a person, then regardless of its origin I do not see a valid reason for taking its life. Because it MAY be murder, and I would rather not take that chance needlessly.'
First off, thanks for the compliment. But the thing is, a fetus if NOT a human. Read this web page, it'll help you understand: http://www.capitalism.org.... A fetus is basically a parasite. It's feeding off of a human, and is not conscious. It is aware of nothing, it's subconsciously feeding off of a human's body because it isn't developed enough to live outside of it yet. Parasites are not human, therefor, a fetus at most is a potential human.

'[sarcasm] Oh, yes, clearly I am in love with rape.'
I never accused you of being in love with rape, I just said you were okay with women having to endure the after-effects of it (pregnancy, labor, caring for the child, the child as a permanent reminder of the incident.)

'If someone murdered your sibling, would you go ahead and kill the murderer's kid? I hope not. The burden for the recompense of a vile crime of the progenitor should not be transferred to its progeny.'
ABORTION IS NOT MURDER. Here's an excerpt from the web page I sent: 'Murder is the taking of the life of another human being through the initiation of physical force. Abortion is not murder, because a fetus is not a human being -- it is a potential human being, i.e. it is part of the woman. The concept murder only applies to the initiation of physical force used to destroy an actual human being, i.e., such as when "pro-life" terrorists bomb abortion clinics.'

'Not a thing. What do you not understand about how these advances invalidate your resolution?'
Even if we had alternative ways to terminate a pregnancy without the standard abortion procedure, it would still be an abortion, because it 'aborts' the fetus.

'Not indefinitely, no.'
Until the third trimester, yes

'Anti-choice. Funny. I am anti-choice I suppose. I don't think people should choose to murder, steal, rape, etc. So I'm anti-choice in a very limited sense.'
Pro-choice doesn't mean every action should have a choice, it only refers to abortion.

'They could do that or get the perfectly legitimate non-abortive equivalent I have already proposed, where the child can be incubated independent of the mother.'
Incubation is a simulation of the body keeping the baby alive, since a fetus is a woman's property until it can survive on it's own, a woman can choose between incubation of abortion.

Please, vote Pro. In order the bring us a step closer to a Libertarian society, and to protect the freedom for people to have control over their own bodies, abortion must remain legal. Vote Pro.
Lexicaholic

Con

"How does that statement make sense if you said before hat the laws could be changed?"

Laws do not make ethics, ethics lead to the development of laws.

"And I'm pretty sure that abortion is legal for any reason before the third trimester, that's why it is called the woman's right to privacy."

It's only legal because of the ethical consideration of privacy (all persons', not just women's) outweighing the consideration of life where life is indeterminate. If there is no burden on privacy, then the consideration of life prevails.

"But even if it has restrictions in some states or more restrictions are made, then those laws could be changed, as you said."

No. These are restrictions derived from the Constitution. States can not pass just any laws; they pass those laws that comply with the State and Federal Constitutions. You would need to amend the constitution to change the laws permanently for your side. Even then, I would argue that such a change is unethical, because it encourages possible harm where needless.

"That analogy fails when it gets to the 7th word. A cat is a living thing, not a fetus."

My opponent fails to understand the meta-ethical argument. I could have just as well have said ‘baby' rather than cat, but I didn't want to seem horrifically callous. The fetus is the possibility inherent in the box, NOT the cat. The fetus may be something we would have an ethical obligation not to harm, or it may not. So long as an ethical obligation to prevent harm clearly exists for the person "holding the box" (pregnant), the indeterminacy of our obligation to the box's potential allows its sacrifice for the benefit of the person holding it. When there is no longer a compelling reason (potential harm) for sacrificing the box, the possibility that we may not meet our ethical obligations outweighs any personal desire to dunk the box.

"… why should you let them go through a pain-filled life and end it with more pain, instead of just save them from all of that with an abortion?"

A better question would be, what moral or ethical consideration did the mother have for bringing two more children into the world considering the difficulties she knew she would encounter with the first? At some point, personal responsibility matters more than one's ability to correct mistakes.

"The only problem with stem cells hat that article mentions is that some people think it's unethical. It is not unethical, because a fetus is not a living thing…"

Entirely false … it is a living thing, just as your organs are. The question is whether or not it is a human life, subject to protection as a citizen, not whether or not it lives. The possibility that it could be life, despite your definition, is why the fetus deserves ethical consideration. If I handed you a box and a gun, told you that there could be a baby in the box, and then told you to shoot the box, would you? No (I hope), because the possibility that there is a human life within keeps you from pulling the trigger.

"It may not be a surprise, but a lot of people aren't going to be testing for pregnancy or taking pills right after they have sex…The woman might not even remember having sex, she could have been tired, a little drunk, or both."

These are excellent arguments for personal responsibility. Why would the woman risk being put in a ‘dunk the box' situation, when she can prevent that situation from ever occurring?

"True, people draw the line at different places, but is eating meat illegal?"

No, but meat isn't made of people either. The vegetarian line-drawing was analogous to your saying that the fetus is/is not a human life. If it is, then you are taking a human life. That is not a choice you can just make, because human life is protected within society.

"You don't need statistic to know the obvious. Of course there are many people in the U.S. and the world that can't even pay to feed themselves. You know what what happen if abortion were made illegal? The population would grow."

This is an excellent rationale for either greater responsibility in sexual practices or forced sterilization. It is not a good rationale for an indefinite right to abortion.

"? What re you talking about? I said pregnancy and labor, not just labor pains. And to have the child taken away would mean the woman would have to endure both, what you said doesn't make sense."

If the woman believes that what qualifies her as a mother is only that she bears the child, then she does not deserve the child. A mother is a parent. A parent has duties and responsibilities that come with a child. If the woman is unwilling to be a parent, then she should not act as the mother. The child's welfare outweighs the mother's sense of entitlement. That is why we have social services.

"… the thing is, a fetus if NOT a human. Read this web page, it'll help you understand: http://www.capitalism.org...;

Read this website: http://www.catholiceducation.org...
No this one: http://www.associatedcontent.com...
No, wait: http://www.enquirer.com...

I think it is much more likely, as I have argued, that a fetus is indeterminate. You don't know that the fetus isn't a person. I don't know that it is. So long as it may be, it deserves consideration. If it didn't, people wouldn't debate it.

"I never accused you of being in love with rape, I just said you were okay with women having to endure the after-effects of it (pregnancy, labor, caring for the child, the child as a permanent reminder of the incident.)"

Nope, I said that the child could be either (a) given up for adoption or (b) incubated independently in the future.

"ABORTION IS NOT MURDER."

No, it's POSSIBLY murder. One should not risk the possibility, however, if there is no need to mitigate obvious harm.

"Even if we had alternative ways to terminate a pregnancy without the standard abortion procedure, it would still be an abortion, because it 'aborts' the fetus."

No, it wouldn't. I'm arguing independent incubation. The fetus lives and develops into a human outside the mother.

"Until the third trimester, yes."

Because of the option I presented above, no, not indefinitely.

"Pro-choice doesn't mean every action should have a choice, it only refers to abortion."
I am pro-choice in that sense, but I am also pro-responsibility, and pro-life if the choice is no longer ethically relevant. Removing the woman from harm removes that relevance.

"Incubation is a simulation of the body keeping the baby alive, since a fetus is a woman's property until it can survive on it's own, a woman can choose between incubation of abortion."

See, there we go. That's the real crux of my opponent's argument. The fetus is not the woman's "property." That is not where the right to have an abortion springs from. The fetus is maybe a human, the development of which could harm a definite human. That's why abortions are ethically valid now. If its development did not threaten harm, there would be no ethical reason to abort. It would be like shooting/dunking the box.

Honestly, the atheist argument that a fetus is absolutely not a human life is as invalid as the Christian's argument that it absolutely is. We have no reference point to be sure of the truth of such a statement. Therefore, we must determine our ethics based upon a weighing of the ramifications of such statements assuming they could be true or false, which I have done and my opponent has failed to do.

Please, vote Con. In order to bring us a step closer to a Libertarian society, and to protect all people, and all living beings that may be deserving of the rights of people, from the caprice of others' irrationality, abortion must be recognized as a right only so long as it protects against a harm. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
At least we have a side
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
"Agnostic, what a stupid position."

Atheist, what a stupid position.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
Agnostic, what a stupid position.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
A human can survive on it's own and is capable of emotion, consciousness, relationships, and thinking. A fetus is not. A fetus is a potential human that does not have rights."

You are creating your own (false) determinations for humanity. Again, I suggest you learn biology.

"Learn to think outside of the bible."

A typical ignorant atheist comment. Sigh. Could I have expected anything more?

(P.S. I'll have you know that I am, in fact, an agnostic.)
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
Learn to think outside of the bible.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
A human can survive on it's own and is capable of emotion, consciousness, relationships, and thinking. A fetus is not. A fetus is a potential human that does not have rights.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
You don't need a fully functioning mind to be human. That is completely wrong.

A fetus is indeed a human from the very moment of conception. Learn biology.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
A fetus is not a human, it is a potential human until it has a fully functional mind. Fetus=potential person. Potential person=no rights. Conclusion: Abortion is okay
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
Fetus=human. Human=person. Person=rights. Rights=abortioniswrong.

Almost as simple as that.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
Abortion=fetus termination
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
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sherlockmethod
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