Abortion Should Remain Legal
I would like to thank my opponent in advance for engaging in this discussion. My name is Roger Robbins, I am 15 years old, I am a liberal Democrat living in the U.S.A.. I have a 4.2 GPA, I am a Junior in high school, I am an adolescent volunteer coordinator for a convalescent hospital, and I have a minimum wage job that helps me save for college.
I ask that my opponent uses the first round as a personal introduction for them self, and gives a very general/direct statement that summarizes their opinion on abortion.
The following debate should be structured using three different questions, where each should be answered in their designated round:
These questions do not have to be the entire basis for your argument, but they should at least be acknowledged to help keep structure within our discussion.
As for my opening statement I want to be clear that I am not pro-abortion, but I am pro-choice. Abortion should remain legal in all states because women are entitled to make their own decisions, especially regarding their health. Revoking a woman of her ability to do what she wishes with her body is a violation of her constitutional rights, and in some cases disrespectful. Making a woman give birth to a child she does not want, is making her endure pain for an act that she may or may not have had control over. Forcefully making a woman's life change because you do not agree with her beliefs is not your business nor your responsibility. I do not believe that women should use abortion as birth control, however I more strongly believe that it would be inappropriate for me to force my beliefs upon another person, especially to the extent of changing their life. It is a woman's life, a woman's child, a woman's body, a woman's motherhood, and ultimately a woman's choice.
I thank my opponent for posting this argument.
I am Justin. I am against abortion. I believe it is the wrongful taking of an innocent life. I will not mince words, nor will I worry about offending anyone, no matter how unpopular the viewpoint.
I believe, personally, that it abortion should not only be illegal, but it should be unthinkable. Women are not entitle to make decisions that endanger other humans' lives. The babies that are destroyed through abortion have the same Constitutional rights as the mother. If a woman chose to have sex, then she, without a doubt, has the responsibility to give birth to the child, no matter the pain or discomfort caused her. If a woman is raped, then I believe she should have the child as well, so long as it's not life threatening. There are many options for putting a child up for adoption, so the child after birth does not have to influence the mother's lifestyle. If a mother is raped, and will not survive giving birth to the child, I believe the mother is morally obligated to have the child, but should not be legally obligated. However, I do not believe that this, almost invisibly small, percentage of women justify making all abortions legal.
Thank you. On to round 2.
Round 2: Should abortion be legal in the U.S.A.?
Yes, I believe that abortion should be legal in all states and all American women are entitled to choices regarding their own welfare. It is insensitive to dictate what women can and cannot do in a country that promises freedom. Most advocates for our constitution would say that abortion is a violation of our natural rights because “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.” (U.S. Declaration of Independence)
Although life is promised to each citizen of the United States of America, does a woman’s underdeveloped fetus count? No, they are not legally citizens until birth. With that take into account, we also notice that the constitution was written to defend freedom and protect all of its citizens. "… establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare …" (Preamble- U.S. Constitution) I have no right to claim that any life is less valuable than another, but for the sake of our constitution- the basis on which our country was developed- we must protect women's rights over their own bodies. Protection of women’s choice should be reserved regardless of the circumstances.
In the United States of America it is legal in all 50 states to get an abortion, therefore making it a surgery, not murder. Because abortion is not outlawed in any state, it would be foolish to call abortion "murder."
Supreme Courts & Science
When the supreme courts faced the legalization of abortion they declared that there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that the fetus is alive, therefore it would be irrational to revoke women’s constitutional rights for ignorance. Scientific studies suggest that life (as we know it) is not developed until the third trimester. Regardless to these laws, rights, and scientific studies, women have rights lawfully and constitutionally, but there has not been enough science to strip them of their rights.
Who are you to control someone else’s life? (Especially when there are no certain as to when life starts)
I thank my opponent for his speedy response.
Round 2: Should abortion be legal in the U.S.A.?
Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... These are noble goals that have outlined our chase for the concept of freedom since Day 1 of the United States. My opponent speculates that, by taking away the option of abortion, we would be taking away a woman's right to pursue happiness. He defends this point by claiming, "I have no right to claim that any life is less valuable than any other, but for the sake of the Constitution... etc.". It seems that my opponent has taken the vague idea of "general welfare" and placed it higher than the 14th Amendment (which he kind of referred to, but apparently isn't too familiar with).
The 14th Amendment states:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The word that the 14th Amendment uses is "Person". It also states that no law shall be made to deprive any person of their life or their liberty. Yet my opponent believes that the preamble saying the Constitution is designed (no specific guideline, just stating the goal of the Constitution) to promote the general welfare proves that abortion is justified. Perhaps he will find support for his argument somewhere... but America was not designed to support the wrongful killing of children, so he will have no such luck with the Constitution.
On a side note, referring to Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama as "some of our greatest leaders" made me laugh. My opponent, I understand, is one of many who actually support this man. I am one of many who do not. I would urge my opponent to keep in mind that I am not persuaded by the opinions of Barack Obama. I could quote Bush, couldn't I? Yes. The point of quotes is to use opinions from people who are mutually respected, and even then, they're not worth much in a debate round.
I do not believe we are discussing the moral conflict yet. However, I will respond to this point.
The fact that abortion is legal doesn't mean it should stay legal. My opponent is using circular logic. If we were to outlaw abortion, then it would stand as murder in 50 states. My opponent seeks to use the status quo as a fallback. However, we are debating whether the status quo is correct ("Murder... er ... abortion should remain legal."), are we not? Modern law is not an acceptable justification for abortion.
Supreme Courts and Science
I can not argue against my opponent stating that the supreme court ruled something. However, obviously we are trying to find if that ruling was just. The ruling itself isn't support for the ruling.
As for the science, I believe my opponent is mistaken. I am going to directly quote another website. I will provide the link below.
As soon as a man's sperm penetrates the woman's egg, a new entity comes into existence. "Zygote" is its name.
The zygote is composed of human DNA and other human molecules, so its nature is undeniably human and not some other species.
The zygote has a genetic composition that is completely unique from any other human being, including its mother. (This disproves the "it's a woman and her body" argument.)
This DNA includes a complete design, guiding both early development and even hereditary attributes that will appear in later life, from hair and eye color to personality traits.
It is also quite clear that the zygote is biologically alive. It fulfills the four criteria needed to establish biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.
Finally, scientists define an organism as a complex structure of interdependent elements constituted to carry on the activities of life by separately-functioning but mutually dependant organs. The human zygote meets this definition. Once formed, it initiates a complex sequence of events to prepare it for continued development and growth:
The zygote acts immediately to initiate a program of development that will, if uninterrupted by accident, disease, or external intervention, proceed seamlessly through formation of the definitive body, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, and aging, ending with death. This behavior is the very hallmark of an organism.
By contrast, while a mere collection of human cells may carry on the activities of cellular life, it will not exhibit coordinated interactions directed towards a higher level of organization.
The scientific evidence is there: at the moment of fusion of human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive, and an individual organism - a living, and fully human, being.
Before I begin Round 3 I would like to quickly respond to Con’s defensive tactics in the previous round.
In the evidence you gave about the 14the amendment you said “All persons born or naturalized (naturalized means toconferupontherightsandprivilegesofacitizen) in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty,or property (later changed to the pursuit of happiness), without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
I thank you for reiterating my point, but still your argument is unclear.
This brings me to another point, your scientific definition of life. Again, I disagree with your argument in a way that is best illustrated through an article on http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org....
“If you point out that a fetus consists of human tissue and DNA, anti-choicers triumphantly claim you just conceded it's a human being. Now, a flake of dandruff from my head is human, but it is not a human being, and in this sense, neither is a zygote. Anti-choicers will respond that a fertilized egg is not like dandruff, because the fertilized egg consists of a unique set of chromosomes that makes it a separate human being. But with cloning, a cell from my dandruff is enough to create a new human being. Although it would have my identical genetic make-up, it would still be a unique individual, and because human beings are much more than our genes Also, both a fertilized egg and a cloned cell represent a potential, not an actual human being. It’s a worn cliché, but it bears repeating—an acorn isn’t an oak tree and the egg you had for breakfast isn’t a chicken.”
Need I say more? My opponent’s argument is very poorly put together, and he is using a weak debate strategy in which he disagrees with my points yet fails to provide any concrete ideas of his own.
Finally I would like to answer the question that he asked me at the end of Round 2. (Although it was probably a rhetorical question)
Nobody should control anyone else’s life, but since a fetus is not life (it is more of an opportunity for life) I am more concerned with the mother’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
Round 3: Is abortion morally correct?
Like I said countless times before, abortion is not murder. Yet my own personal beliefs regarding abortion are much different than whether or not I feel that it should be legal. It should be legal because neither my, nor my opponent’s opinion is worthy of controlling another woman’s life. When it comes to someone’s health, it is only their opinion that should matter. Now we face a new question, when is abortion okay?
Is it okay to abort a baby when the mother’s life is threatened? If you answer is yes, (like my opponent did in Round 1) but you do not support abortions then your logic is flawed. Because according to my opponent, the zygote (before third trimester) is just as valuable as the living, breathing mother. But since a woman had “sex, then she, without a doubt, has the responsibility to give birth to the child, no matter the pain or discomfort caused her.” (Round 1, Con) I would assume that means that my opponent feels that she should die on that operation table with her stillborn child.
Is it okay to abort a baby when there is rape involved? If you answer is yes, but you do not support abortions then your logic is flawed. My opponent stated in Round 1 that he believes. “If a woman is raped, then I believe she should have the child as well”.
I believe that my opponent has demonstrated a lack of sympathy, and he is a man that is willing to dictate the welfare of an independent woman because he feels she is not worthy of making her own health decisions.
I thank my opponent for his quick response.
For quick clarification:
I beleive my opponent missed the point of my argument, or just doesn't understand what the 14th amendment is saying. He ignored the second part of the sentence, where it states "Nor shall and state deprive any person (not citizen, mind you) of life, liberty, or property etc.". I do not have any quarrel with citizens and their rights, I'm just pointing out that it also gives all people certain rights as well.
My opponent seems to think that by not allowing women to kill their unwanted children, we are depriving women of their pursuit of happiness. However, it is the opposite. By allowing abortion, we are denying these children all 3 of their inalienable rights, whether they are citizens yet or not is irrelevant.
I believe my argument actually addressed my opponent's rebuttal already. If you would recall, the human zygote is distinct due to its coordinated interactions directed towards a higher level of organization. This makes it very different from a piece of dandruff. A zygote doesn't require cloning, or any external intervention, to become a fully grown being. A piece of dandruff has no such potential. My opponent's argument is clearly flawed, and I would hope his future arguments will not already have been refuted.
I do not see how my arguments are weak at all. So far, I have shown that the Constitution applies to all people, I have shown that modern law isn't justification for modern law , and that a human zygote is a human being. There's not much more to prove. With these already established, answering my opponent's next question will be quite simple.
Is abortion morally correct?
My opponent is using the add passiones fallacy here, despite the fact that in reality (and all things logically considerd) any spectator's emotions shouldn't support his side at all. He claims that we have no right to control a woman's life. I agree. However, we do not claim that making murder illegal is "controlling a person's life". No. The only case where abortion would be the wrongful controlling of another being's life is in the scenario that an unborn child is not a human. This is not the case, as I've shown.
In fact, the only side supporting the wrongful control of another being's life is my opponent's.
It's the only logical conclusion we can come to.
My opponent has failed to show that non-U.S. citizens do not have the right to life, and has failed to show how an unborn child (in any stage) is not a human. Therefore, abortion is the taking of a human being's life. Abortion deprives a human of his right to life. The right to life (of any human) can not be condoned under U.S. law. Therefore, abortion should not remain legal!
Can my opponent refute this? I don't believe he can, but I'll be disappointed if he doesn't try.
A baby who is the product of an incestual relationship has the right to be born. I don't believe that your status as a human being depends on who your parents are.
I will address the "mother whose life is threatened" argument in a minute.
However, as for human who is the product of an act of rape. That human is still a life. I stated clearly in round 1 that if the baby did not threaten the life of the mother, the legality should not be questioned. If it won't deprive you of your rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, then you have no right to deprive another living being, do you?
My opponent is clearly still using the Ad Passiones falalcy here, and a borderline Ad Hominem attack. My opponent doesn't realize that when he proposed this debate round, he was going to have to remove any emotions he may feel from the playing field.
Debate is a battle of reason, not emotion. Is it unfortunate, in any scenario, for a woman to get raped? Agonizingly so. Is it even worse when she is burdened with bearing a child she does not want? Of course. No doubt. But does the inconvenience justify the taking of a human life? No.
If a human is tortured, and will be tortured more unless she shoots an innocent man in the head, is the murder of that man justified? Looking at the same problem with a different perspective shows how my opponent's argument was merely built on passion, and not sound logic.
My personal feelings are my own, and my opponent's are his. Legality is not about opinion. I am slightly offended that my opponent would assume I lacked sympathy for rape victims, seeing as that is the farthes thing from the truth. However, worse things have been said. I would advise my opponent to keep his arguments strictly logical, however. No one likes to lose a debate due to bad conduct.
Finally, I will address the problematic (yet extremely rare) scenario of a woman's life being threatened due to pregnancy, in the case of rape. I believe that we can return to the same analogy of the tortured captive, with a much more sickening twist. Instead of merely recieving more torture, the captive in question will die if she does not shoot said man. However, she did not do anything to be put in this situation.
It would be foolish to state that action here is either legally permissable or not. That man she has the choice of shooting is still a person, but she has a right to life as well. I believe, morally, she is obligated not to shoot said person. However, seeing as not all people share the same sense of morality I do, and it was really not the woman's choice to get into this situation, I believe it is debatable whether it would be legal to do so.
However, before my opponent twists my words on this (as any clever debater would, to some degree), I want to clarify something. Just because it is debatable whether an innocent woman, whose life is threatened, has the right to end another innocent life to preserve her own, does not mean it is justified to allow all women to destroy all innocent lives.
Despite the villainous description my opponent has tried to give me personally, I am merely a man trying to also defend my beliefs. It is clear to me, as I beleive it should be to any logical being, that abortion is murder. I have proved my point so far, my opponent hasn't fulfilled his burden of proof. It's as simple as that.
Your move, Pro. I eagerly await your response.
RogerRobbins72 forfeited this round.
Ah! A forfeit :( what a shame. I can't say that I was particularly fond of my opponent's style of argumentation. However, this debate was one of the most fun I've had in a while. I had hoped to finish it.
Alas, without my opponent to rebut off of, and with my points being untouched, we stand at the last question.
Is abortion necessary?
I hope, after all that you've seen, you can come to the same logical, and moral, decision I did. Abortion is wrong. It is taking an innocent being's right to life away from them.
I have proven that, even from the zygote stage, an unborn baby is a human being.
Therfore, killing them is murder.
Abortion itself... is murder.
So we ask ourselves... is abortion necessary?
I think we all know the answer.
It's a resonating, and quite firm, no!
Thank you, to both my opponent (despite the forfeit), and those who vote/have read through this.
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