The Instigator
DeFool
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
Anti-atheist
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Abortion and Contraceptives

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
DeFool
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/17/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,717 times Debate No: 35576
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (6)

 

DeFool

Pro

In the abortion debate, a great many fallacies and generally poor arguments are often made. A famous example of this is the gleeful way in which liberals point out that the self-described "Pro-Life" community tends to support war, the death penalty, and other things that do not match up well with the description of "pro-Life."

I want to discuss another set of ideas that are connected to the abortion debate - sexual activity. I observe that most of those who oppose abortion, even those who do so vehemently, (abortion is murder, abortion is baby-killing) also tend to strongly oppose policies that would prevent abortion, but also facilitate sexual activity.

Obviously, not all anti-abortion activists share this 'idea set.' However, most seem to. I will argue in this debate that opposing policies such as improved contraception access, while at the same time arguing that 'abortion is murder,' is one of the many poor combinations of 'idea sets' in the abortion debate. I will ask my partner to challenge my premise by arguing that opposition to contraception (specifically) is consistent with the assumption that "abortion is an act of killing babies."

To be clear, I want to instigate this debate in order to resolve the following question: "Can a person believe that 'abortion is baby-killing' and also argue that contraception ought to be opposed in many cases without some loss of logical consistency?"

The structure of the debate should follow this schedule:


R1-Acceptance (opening statements are fine, but please no detailed arguments)


R2- We shall both examine the nature of the presented argument, to determine if the inclusion of (p2) weakens the conclusion. I expect that CON will offer an alternative argument that can more comfortably incorporate (p2).

Argument:
p1: Abortion is murder
p2: Contraceptives are bad, ineffective, unnecessary, or other
p3: Opposition to contraception availability (etc) is justified
C: The use of contraceptives should not increase in certain ways
(This is obviously simplified, and is not binding for this debate.)

R3- We will compare any competing arguments, and attempt to resolve differences between them.

R4- Both debaters will evaluate the overall debate, and attempt to draw conclusions. My conclusion will attempt to defend my thesis, that anti-contraceptive arguments destabilize the assumption that "abortion kills babies," and my opponent will challenge.

"Abortion" must refer to the deliberate termination of a pregnancy, and not to miscarriage or pregnancies that fail due to passive or accidental means. Additionally, "abortion" cannot be interpreted as being caused by hormonal or chemical injections, supplements, or prosthetics, such as IUDs, Emergency Contraception "The Morning After Pill," or any other strategy that effectively makes a viable pregnancy impossible during the first 6 weeks following conception.

"Abortion is murder/killing babies" Abortion may be considered to be "killing babies," in this discussion, but not "murder," since murder is a technical term that describes illegal actions. Abortion is a constitutionally protected right.

"Contraception" must refer to any deliberate strategy to prevent a viable pregnancy that occurs within 6 weeks of sexual activity.

"Proper use" must refer to the use of contraception in a manner that is recommended by the manufacturer of that contraceptive method, and the majority of health professionals.

Debate Round No. 1
DeFool

Pro

I want to thank my partner for agreeing to participate in this discussion.

There would be almost no elective abortions anywhere if every pregnancy in America was planned, and wanted. Over 90% of all elective abortions that have been performed in the US since Roe v Wade happened in cases where the woman either did not use contraceptives, or used them improperly. [1] This well-researched fact requires the conclusion that unwanted and unintended pregnancy represents the only important factor in whether or not abortions occur.

Contraception provides this planning ability with a nearly 100% rate of success, when used properly. For the pro-life supporter, contraception should be a strong ally, but often, it is not.

The reasons for the widespread rejection of contraceptives among anti-abortion advocates are difficult to explain, especially in light of the common rhetoric that calls abortion an act of “baby killing” that amounts to legal infanticide. The Catholic Church is a leading opponent of abortion rights, and yet also is the world’s only important opponent of contraceptive use. [2] Additionally, there is a plethora of legislators in the United States that have fought against contraceptives on a near pathological level, preventing their access in schools, their distribution from family planning clinics, that have fought against requiring insurance companies to cover them, among other actions. In every case, these same politicians oppose abortion, with many of them using the familiar “abortion is baby killing” rhetoric.

It is my contention that, if abortion is “baby killing,” then logically, it must be prevented at all costs. Replacing the horror of infanticide with contraceptives seems like a very common sense matter, and if millions of babies can be saved by the use of, for example condoms, then why do we not see a rush of contraceptive advocacy among the anti-abortion community?

These two arguments do not belong together, and cannot be logically reconciled. I have placed them into argument form, to make the logical problem more obvious:

P1: Action C prevents more than 90% of Scenario A
P2: Scenario A is an act of killing babies
P3: Action C is much less intolerable than killing babies
P4: Action C must be limited, even if the result is killing babies

Clearly, we see a logic problem here. If Action C is “better” than killing babies, and moreover prevents the killing of babies, then how can it be acceptably limited? As it stands, the argument that “abortion is baby killing” cannot be made more convincing by including the anti-contraception elements. In fact, a reasonable person might conclude that the anti-abortion activist who believes that abortion is an act of infanticide opposes contraceptives for reasons that are not intended to be included in the abortion debate directly, if at all.


Pregnancy is a prerequisite for abortion. Unwanted, unintended pregnancies are prevented almost entirely by the proper use of contraceptives. It follows that, in order for an abortion to occur, a pregnancy must happen first. In order for that pregnancy to happen, contraception must not have.

[1] http://www.guttmacher.org...
[2] http://www.catholic.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Anti-atheist

Con

Anti-atheist forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
DeFool

Pro

As I have debated this topic (with more more lively opponents), I have encountered inevitable discussions as to a woman's sexual practices as the contraceptive aspect is raised. Most often, I am informed that "contraceptives are not banned," or "Contraceptives are inexpensive."

However, in this discussion, a woman's sexual behavior is simply not relevant.

Except that it is made to be, exposing the true inspiration for limits on abortion: the unashamed woman. It seems that the abortion debate in general is an outgrowth of the contraception debate, which itself is a reaction to the loss of societal control over female sexuality. We see this clearly in arguments that suggest that abortion is acceptable in cases of rape or incest. (Incest is not rape?)

The anti-abortion activist continues to degrade their position by the use of hyperbole, calling abortion a form of "killing a human being." This combination begs the question: If her mother were raped, would it be morally permissible for her to be executed? I am not certain if Pro lifers are aware that this is what they are often arguing; but many seem to feel that it is fine to kill the children of rape victims.

We need to isolate why rape and incest victims are morally permitted to undergo an abortion, while other women are not. I suspect that the sexual behavior of the woman is more relevant than it should be in arguments like this. Likewise with the subject of contraception.

Logic: If the sexual behavior of the woman is so relevant, then the "life of the unborn" is not 'really' the important thing in the debate. The woman's sexuality is. Denying her access to contraception demonstrates this clearly, since contraception would reduce the numbers of abortion more than making the practice illegal would. [1]



How many abortions can be prevented by providing free contraceptives?


According to a study recently conducted by Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the abortion rate can be reduced by 62-78% by providing free contraceptives to women at risk of unintended pregnancy. [2] This figure easily overwhelms the decrease in abortion rates that tend to accompany restrictive laws that prevent the procedures after pregnancy. According to the Guttmacher Institute, "The criminalization of abortion does not eliminate the procedure; instead it forces women to turn to unskilled providers who work in clandestine, unsafe conditions, thus increasing their risk of injury and death. Many developing countries have highly restrictive laws, but also high abortion rates. While the legal restrictions in these countries do not lessen the incidence of abortion, they greatly increase the risk to women." [3]

In a press release, the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which conducted the study showing that abortion numbers, and overall rates decline sharply as a result of free contraceptives, states: "The implications of such results fly in the face of the idea that, to reduce the abortion rate, abortions must be heavily restricted or even outlawed, and that contraception should remain out of reach for many." [4]

The fact is, that outlawing or restricting abortion does not reduce the number of abortive procedures as much as preventing unintended pregnancy does.


Conclusion:

If the goal of many Pro Lifers was to reduce the number of abortive procedures that happen, then contraceptives (and preventing unwanted pregnancies) should be the first option. However, to many important Pro Life figures, such as the Catholic Church, and the Texas Legislature, strong opposition to contraceptives remain.

This indicates that female sexuality, and not the life of the unborn, is the real inspiration for opposing abortion.



[1] http://www.guttmacher.org...
[2] http://www.addictinginfo.org...
[3] http://www.guttmacher.org...
[4] http://www.addictinginfo.org...
Anti-atheist

Con

Pro wants to love the sex. We shouldnt have Contraception or sex, people should wait until they get married and only have sex to reproduce. Aboirtian is murder but there should only be planned parenthood amung the married and if they have child so what?

Thats all i got bc your argument is bad and easy to refute.
Debate Round No. 3
DeFool

Pro

I extend all arguments.
Anti-atheist

Con

I also extend arguments,

Conduct to pro but everything else to me.
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
Well.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
He is?

I hope he has reformed; but if not, I was considering putting this topic up as a forum post.

That might work better, anyway. It will allow more opinions to be stated in the matter.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
I'm not sure why you let AA accept your debate DeFool. He's typically a massive troll.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
I will work to clear up these misunderstandings, however, many of them are ingrained into the debate. I will explain.

In this debate, I am only analyzing the compatibility of including anti-contraception policies with anti-abortion policies. To discuss this, I must accept that there are those who view abortion as an act of all but outright murder.

My argument is that the opposition to preventing unintended pregnancies, via contraception, becomes nonsensical when combined with a belief that abortion is akin to murder. The only real way to resolve this conflict, to my mind, is to argue that "murder is not as bad as contraceptives." My own view holds that the animus to contraception and abortion both spring from a fear of female sexuality, and not from a desire to "protect the unborn."
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 3 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
DeFool, you appear to have a few biological facts incorrect. Most contraceptives have nothing to do with killing a just-fertilized ovum, or what it becomes later (morula, blastocyst, embryo, fetus). Those contraceptives almost all act to prevent sperm from meeting ovum ("conception"). Some work by killing sperm; some are barriers to sperm motility; some work to prevent ovulation (including typical "morning after pill" usage). Only one well-known birth-control thing, the drug RU-486, works to prevent implantation of a blastocyst into the womb, which therefore leads to its death. You should be aware that that particular drug was and is heavily opposed by opponents of abortion!
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 3 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
You seem to be ignoring all the married women who get abortions. They aren't the majority, but they still account for (in 2007) 16% of all abortions.
www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0102.pdf

Married women can have as much sex as they want within the confines of marriage, and that CANNOT be called "promiscuous behavior". For them, the chances of ordinary contraception failing are the same as for unmarried women. And they might choose to abort because they aren't ready to devote themselves to child-raising, or they have already had all the kids they wanted (though it must be admitted that that latter scenario is one in which men should get vasectomies --much less expensive than abortion!).
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
"Abortion and Contraceptives" is simply the title. In the R1 description, I describe the nature of the contest fully: opposition to contraception is not consistent with the characterization of abortion as "baby killing." In other words, if one earnestly believes that having an abortion is tantamount to legal murder - then that same person cannot then oppose preventing that act of infanticide by the use of contraceptives.

I feel the arguments contradict one another, and reveal that the true animus towards abortion is not based on the life of the unborn, but on the sex life of the woman.
Posted by Teleportation 3 years ago
Teleportation
What is the topic of this debate? Because 'Abortion and Contraceptives' doesn't really point to one side, and as such is quite vague as a debate topic. It would spread into too many different topics, and therefore would be more likely to go off topic.

You could specialize the topic. Instead of 'Abortion and Contraceptives', try something like 'Abortion is murder' or 'contraceptives should be illegal to use'. In the topic 'Abortion is murder'(that I just made up), you can clearly see that the proposing thesis for that topic would be 'Abortion is murder' and that the opposing thesis for that topic would be 'Abortion is not murder'.

However, in 'Abortion and Contraceptives', what would be the proposing thesis? What would be the opposing one?

These are just my little detailed comments, so disregard everything I just said if you find it to be at all offensive. :)
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
I was able to surreptitiously re-write my R1, which may more clearly communicate my purpose at any rate. I have eliminated the "number/rate" verbiage altogether, since it was a peripheral, unnecessary concern.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
I have attempted, weakly, to clarify this. However, I cannot do much at the moment; work constraints, conferences. My first try has resulted in my R1 instigation becoming an unintelligible block of text.

I will have to correct it in a few hours.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
DeFoolAnti-atheistTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: ff. you got trolled hard bro.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
rross
DeFoolAnti-atheistTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: DeFool takes on the Catholic Church about sex! How great this debate would have been if it had actually happened.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
DeFoolAnti-atheistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: No RFD needed.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
DeFoolAnti-atheistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: CVB ragnar. If you read this debate, you literally have no reason to offer a RTF. There were no arguments on Cons part. I wish Pro would have actually got a serious contender for this, It would have been interesting. In addition to CVB on ragnar, I am voting for pro because he simply thrashed con. No better way to word that.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
DeFoolAnti-atheistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: CVB imabench: While I suspect a votebomb in favor of pro may be valid in this debate, the RTF was lacking.
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
DeFoolAnti-atheistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Retard....