Abortion and the right to life
Debate Rounds (4)
The basic moral argument of why abortion is wrong is centered around this set of arguments:
P1. A fetus is a person from the moment of conception
P2. Every person has a right to life
P3. A fetus has a right to life
C. It is immoral to kill a fetus as that violates its right to life.
While this set of arguments comes in many shapes and sizes, when you look into it, the basic premise is usually the same as above.
This first round will be used for acceptance or if my opponent would like, they can begin their defense of the basic argument above doing so would require them to give up their last round.
I thank The Bomb for instigating this debate. The resolution is a little unclear, so in Con's first round I would ask that he indicate whom he doesn't believe deserves a right to life. Does he believe abortion should be allowed up until birth, or not past the first trimester, etc? I would ask he be a little more clear so I don't risk creating a strawman argument against him.
I would also like to amend his syllogism slightly. I don't use the word "person" when discussing abortion because "person" is a legal term used to discriminate a group of humans. For example, when slavery was legal, Africans were considered sub-human. They were not considered "persons." They were considered 3/5 of a person for the purposes of voting, only.
Additionally, conception is not a "moment" (it usually takes a few days to a week). So more accurately, I say we are living humans from fertilization, which is backed up by science and indicates that all zygotes which are fertilized are human, not when implanted (which is why I would argue that IVF is immoral, as is embryonic stem cell research).
Therefore, a syllogism which more accurately represents my position is as follows:
P1: The unborn are human from fertilization
P2: Every human has an inherent right to life
P3: The unborn have a right to life
P4: It is prima facie wrong to kill an innocent human
C: It is immoral to kill the unborn as that violates its right to life.
As instigator, Con bears the burden of proof, that the unborn don't have a right to life. Therefore, I will allow him to make the opening argument. Following that, I will make my opening argument and rebuttal to Con's arguments.
To answer my opponent's question, I believe abortion is morally justifiable up until the point where there is the possibility of the child being independent of the mother. To be charitable, I will not argue against the first premise of my opponent's syllogism, I will argue solely against the third premise, and thus the conclusion. Throughout my argument, I will avoid bringing up extreme cases such as rape, and when abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother (my argument can be applied to these cases though).
Let us define the unborn as separate human beings who are completely contingent upon the mother. It is common knowledge that the unborn relies completely upon the mother for nutrients and an immune system.
Advocates of the syllogism presented by my opponent treat the right to life as unproblematic. The right to life can be defined as the right to the bare necessities to live. When applied to abortion one question comes to mind: what if someone's right to life is contingent upon another person? If we want to define the unborn as human beings, the unborn's right to life is no greater or less than anybody else's right to life. This is why I am going to avoid extreme cases such as when abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother.
Now let me present a hypothetical: there is a rock star that is dying from a deadly disease which can only be cured if he is "connected" to your kidneys for 9 months. There is a risk you may die and you definitely will be bedridden, your diet and exercise will be carefully monitored by doctors. The question is: does this rock star have a right to your kidneys? No. The rock star has no right to demand use of your kidneys as his due. He has no right against you to use your kidneys. Only you can decide whether to let him use your kidneys or not. Let us say you consent and allow him to use your kidneys. It still is not his right to have use of your kidneys. It is only out of kindness you allow him to use your kidneys. You still reserve the full right to deny the rock star the use of your kidneys as you have to right to deem who can use your kidneys. A pro-life activist must make the claim the rock star has the right to use your kidneys otherwise they are being hypocritical in thinking the unborn have the right to its mother but, a rock star does not have the right to your kidneys to save his life.
Let's put it in another sense: does someone who needs an organ (a kidney, heart, liver, etc) have the right to another person's organs? My opponent must answer yes. I say no, simply because it is not theirs to demand. A person in need of a liver cannot demand someone give them a piece of their liver. It is not their place to demand someone go through surgery and the many months of recovery. Even if someone initially consents to the surgery they can still recant their consent as that remains their right.
In both of these situations above there is a constant. The person(s) in need do not live because it is their moral right to demand what is not theirs but, because of the kindness of the donor. In the same way the unborn does not develop into a human being because of its inherent right to what is not theirs but, instead, because of the kindness of the mother. In all of these situations, a person is contingent upon another person. This makes their right to the bare necessities of life invalid simply because what they need to live infringes upon what is not and would never be theirs except for the niceness of another human being.
Second, while it is wrong to kill an innocent human being what makes the unborn innocent? Innocence implies having done no wrong. But, the inherent nature of a fetus means it has and will do wrong. My question now is as follows: is acting like a parasite right? The unborn acts as parasites simply because they "sucks" vital nutrients from the mother in order to grow. The unborn act as a parasites "stealing" vital nutrients from the mother. Is harming another person for your own good morally correct? While some may argue it is the unborn's inherent nature to "steal" these nutrients, the same argument can be applied to a tumor or a tapeworm. Does that make them innocent because it is their nature to do what they do?
This leads to my final point, abortion is morally correct simply because it is self-defense. Self-defense is the response to an imminent threat and if a person feels their safety is threatened they can morally use force to stop the threat. The unborn human is a threat simply because of its complete dependency upon the mother's nutrients and immune system. This dependency means the mother is losing vital nutrients needed to keep her own body healthy. This dependency lasts for 9 months and increases as the fetus grows. The mother has the right to use force to stop the threat within her. This force is otherwise known as an abortion. The mother basically has two moral options to avoid irreparable harm to her. First, they can supplement their diet. Or, second, they can have an abortion. Both options are moral.
Throughout this argument I have conceded that the unborn were human from fertilization. (That in itself is a debate).
In my first point, I have attacked the premise "the unborn have a right to life" and the premise "every human has an inherent right to life". My second point attacks the unsaid premise that a fetus is completely innocent. My last point directly attacks the conclusions and shows why it is moral to have an abortion.
A human being, and as a human being the unborn, cannot have the right to live if their right to live is contingent upon somebody else as it is transforming from a right into the kindness of another person.
Again, I thank The Bomb for issuing this challenge.
He has assumed that the unborn are living humans and as such, I will not defend that as it has been assumed for the purpose of this debate. He has gone the route of the bodily rights argument to show that the unborn do not have a right to life (or at least, the wishes of the mother supercedes the unborn's right to life, if it has one).
While Con defines the right to life as "the right to the bare necessities to live," in the case of the pro-life position it is more accurately defined as "the right not to be killed."
Con brings up the famous violinist analogy postulated by pro-choice philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson (updated to include a rock star). While on the surface this analogy seems to resemble pregnancy quite well, it actually doesn't for several key reasons.
First, most pregnant women are not bedridden. They are able to go places. They are not stuck to a bed for nine months.
Second, in the original case that Thompson relates, you are kidnapped by by the Society of Music Lovers and forced to be connected to this famous violinist. I'm not sure if that's where Con was going with this, but the vast majority of pregnancies are not forced. In most cases, a child is created through a consensual act by two adults. They are not forced into the situation. Con is a little ambiguous on whether you are forced to give him use of your kidneys and asked not to disconnect, or if the person in question was just given the choice before hand. But either way, in this scenario the person has no obligation to allow this musician to use his kidneys (or other internal organ) because he is not responsible for the situation this musician finds himself in, sad as it is.
As such, it is not hypocritical to saw the person has no obligation to allow this musician to use his organs, even for a relatively short period of time (nine months).
As for when Con puts his argument in another sense, the same argument against the violinist analogy stands.
So even though the unborn is living off of something that is technically "not theirs" (e.g. the woman's uterus, the nutrients she takes in, etc.), the unborn still has a right to life that is immoral to take away because the child exists due to a consensual act between two people. The child did not bring itself into existence. To create a needy child only to kill that child is irresponsible and barbaric. To say nothing of the fact that the woman's body actually goes through changes to facilitate carrying the child for nine months.
Regarding Con's question of the innocence of the unborn, he, himself, says that "innocence implies having done no wrong." As the fetus has done no wrong, it is immoral to kill her, especially since she has not done anything deserving of death. It is irrelevant that the fetus has an imperfect nature that will cause her to do wrong things. There's no guarantee that she would ever do anything deserving of death. Suppose she does grow up to commit a criminal act: you are proposing killing her even though she may only grow up to shoplift from a supermarket. Also, this raises another ethical question: do you have the right to punish someone before they are guilty of a crime?
Unborn humans are clearly not parasites. Most pregnancies are not harmful to the mother, and the unborn are biologically human while a parasite is a different biological organism from the host. A parasite is an invading organism from an inside host, but the sperm and egg come together and create a brand new human inside the woman's body, and she moves from the ovaries to the uterus, all inside the woman's body. You can view this webpage for some more reasons why the unborn are not parasites.  The unborn are also not tumors or tapeworms. Tumors and tapeworms are detrimental to a woman's health, and most pregnancies do not result in harm to the mother. Procreation is a natural process. The zygote implants itself in a location where every zygote goes to implant itself (unless something goes horribly awry, such as in ectopic pregnancy). The zygote is not invading the woman's body, it is implanting itself in the only place in the universe it can survive because it was created by a consensual act between two parties.
Regarding Con's final point, abortion is not self-defense. It is illegal to use excessive force to stop someone from harming you. Most pregnancies do not result in harm to the mother so killing the unborn child is excessive force (and to be clear, I believe that abortions are morally justified if the mother's life is in immediate danger and both mother and child cannot be saved). Abortion is not a moral method for making sure she benefits from her nutrients, especially if a simple change in diet can be instituted.
I have shown how Con's arguments fail. The right to life is our most fundamental right as human beings, and as human beings (which is supported by science and reason) the unborn from fertilization should receive the same protection from death that we have. The unborn are innocent, as I have shown, and the conclusion logically follows from the premises.
The conclusion throughout this debate is conclusive (abortion is immoral) yet, throughout their arguments my opponent makes inconclusive claims saying in some instances abortion can be correct. I ask them to explain their reasoning.
Now I would like to make an observation about my opponents thinking on the right to life in the unborn.
My opponent states "I believe that abortions are morally justified if the mother's life is in immediate danger and both mother and child cannot be saved". My opponent believes the right to life IS negotiable and not an absolute truth. By compromising in this regard they are acknowledging a woman's rights are more important than the unborn rights. Since, if the abortion is necessary to save the life of the woman you can kill the unborn thus, you place the woman above the unborn. Furthermore, they are undermining their own case as their burden is to prove the conclusion: "it is immoral to kill the unborn as that violates its right to life". This must hold true in all situations.
Now for the defense of my attack on the syllogism:
The main point of my analogy was to ask the question of whether a person ever has the right to use another person's body for their own good. I recognize it does not portray pregnancy perfectly the purpose was to provide a more tangible example. My point is one human has no right to use another human's body. I then go on to explain how the unborn develop into human beings out of niceness of the mother. The mother allows the unborn to use their body. From this my opponent has developed this hypothetical into a debate over whether the mother has a responsibility to the unborn in every situation. The basic question, for now, is: why should a woman "loan" out her body unwillingly for 9 months? (Why should the woman be a Good Samaritan?)
My opponent's answer to this question is "the unborn still has a right to life that is immoral to take away because the child exists due to a consensual act between two people". The implied assertion here is the act of sexual intercourse somehow creates a contract for pregnancy. In other words, a person has no right to non-procreative sex. I also would like to point out the sexism in my opponent's argument as they wish to punish the woman for their sexual behavior but, not punish the men.
Now I shall begin my refutation of this defense. Why is sexual intercourse a contract for pregnancy? It is not. People have the right to have non-procreative sex. (1, 2) Furthermore, the legality of birth control, in most countries, inherently shows people have this right. Consenting to sex does not mean you are consenting to get pregnant as it is a right to have non-procreative sex. If a person consents to non-procreative sex (they use contraceptives) then they are not consenting to have the child develop within them. So now the child is nothing more than an unwanted guest. This becomes clearer when you see "More than half of all the women who have an abortion are pregnant because of failed contraception" (3). Most abortions are a result of contraception failing creating an unwanted human. Since there was no consent for the creation of the human, the human is akin to being the product of rape. Now, Mrs. Thomson's analogy fits perfectly, the mother has the right to "unplug" herself from the unborn simply because she never consented to having the unborn in the first place.
Furthermore, a right to life requires an independent existence. Both my opponent and I agree, the unborn are not independent beings. The fetus depends solely upon the mother for everything. If it wishes to survive the mother must give it consent to survive therefore, the right to life is not inherent for the unborn simply because it has to be granted by the mother. The parasitic relationship, the unborn constitutes a parasite simply because it relies upon the mother to survive and disrupts normal bodily function (a parasite does not necessarily have to cause harm to its host, I will explain the relationship between unborn and mother below), between mother and unborn means the continued existence of the unborn requires the mother's consent. (4) It is not an inherent right if it must be given by a human being to a human. If the pregnancy is forced then you are violating a woman's rights and bodily integrity. Also, if you force the pregnancy to continue for moral reasons then you are creating an unwanted child. Unwanted children have a much higher chance of leading a dysfunctional life simply because they were not wanted. (5) Should you condemn a child to live a dysfunctional life because you do not allow a woman to get an abortion? (By the way, your link does not work).
In response to my point about self-defense my opponent states "It is illegal to use excessive force to stop someone from harming you. Most pregnancies do not result in harm to the mother so killing the unborn child is excessive force." But, pregnancies can cause harm. I do not have the space to list all possible complications and diseases resulting from pregnancy (this does not even include psychological diseases) but, here is a list (6). And here you have the psychological effects (7). So pregnancy does cause harm why is self-defense not a viable attack on the syllogism? My opponent's answer is "it is illegal to use excessive force". If someone is assaulting you, you are allowed to kill them. The fetus has caused harm to the mother (assault) the mother is allowed to kill them (abortion).
1.Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965 (decision)
2.Eisenstadt v. Baird, 1972 (decision)
4.McDonagh, Eileen L. 1996. Breaking the Abortion Deadlock: From Choice to Consent. Oxford University Press, New York, NY (book)
5.David, Henry P. et al., eds. 1988. Born Unwanted: Developmental Effects of Denied Abortion. Springer Publishing Co., New York. (book)
I thank Con for his response and will attempt to rebut them clearly and concisely.
My reasoning for justifiable abortions are simple: The unborn are human beings, which is supported by science (embryologists consistently agree that human life begins at fertilization without significant controversy), and philosophy (bodily rights arguments, such as the ones Con is making, assume the life and humanity of the unborn). Humans are inherently valuable due to the fact of belonging to the species Homo sapiens. They have an inherent capacity for sentience they just have not developed it yet. In order to justify killing a child in the womb, you must supply a reason that could not be applied to a child outside the womb (and some sophisticated pro-choice philosophers like Singer and Tooley take the pro-choice position to its natural conclusion and support infanticide, for there is no fundamental difference between an infant and a fetus, yet it is legal to kill a fetus.
Now, in certain rare cases the unborn child's and the mother's life may be in danger (e.g. during ectopic pregnancy). This is not a case of abortion, but of triage. Two patients are in mortal danger and only one can be saved. The one with the greatest chance of survival is the one doctors will save, the mother. During the later term, a c-section can be done to save both mother and child. This is why it is no contradiction to believe abortion to be immoral but in certain rare cases it can be justified. I am not saying the mother's rights are more important than the fetus'. I am not saying that murder should be justified even though a doctor sometimes loses patients on the operating table.
I have not detracted the debate at all. I have kept it on topic. The unborn are human from fertilization, which is backed up by science. This is a quote from the most-used textbook on embryology: "Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a 'moment') is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte."  Jarvis' violinist analogy fails because you are in the situation due to an act of violence. You are kidnapped and forced into a situation in which you are sharing your organs. Pregnancy is not a kidnapping; as I have indicated, in the vast majority of cases it is through a consensual act by two people. The woman's uterus is designed to carry a child and her body goes through changes that facilitate carrying that child. It is merely that sometimes the woman's will is at odds with her body. The zygote is not an attacker, not a rapist, not a parasite, and no good arguments can ever be made to show they it is.
So no, you can't be forced to give someone an organ that you are not responsible for. However, the woman is responsible for creating a naturally needy child, who implants itself in the only place in the entire universe it can survive. It is not an aggressor, and it is not there through any act of its own will.
Here, Con has created a strawman argument against me. I do not wish to punish women, merely to expect them to take responsibility for the child they create. Also, I believe the same of men. A man is 50% responsible for the child's creation and should stick around to raise the child, or be forced to pay child support. The man is just as responsible as the woman. Calling me sexist is nothing more than an ad hominem.
Consider this: You approach a baby-making machine. Every time you press the button, it gives you a pleasurable experience but 1 time out of 100 a baby pops out. If you push the button and a baby pops out, are you not responsible for that child? You pushed the button for the experience, knowing that it could produce a baby.
Also consider this: I am playing baseball with my kids. I throw the ball and my son hits a pop fly which soars into my neighbor's yard and breaks a window. I knock on my neighbor's door and say, "I'm sorry about your window. However, I consented to play baseball with my sons. I did not consent to breaking your window. Therefore I am not responsible." This wouldn't fly. I am responsible for breaking the window, just like a couple is responsible for caring for a child they create through a recreational means.
Showing court cases is an appeal to authority. Slavery used to be legal. Even if our court rules we have a "right" to procreative sex, it doesn't mean it's a moral right. What is legal is not always right and what is right is not always legal.
Additionally, Con's assertion that Thompson's analogy "fits perfectly" is simply flawed, since it doesn't accurately portray pregnancy. I have shown why it fails.
A right to life does not require an independent existence. A man in a reversible coma has a right to life, although he is completely dependent on life support. Additionally, it is simply bad logic to consider a preborn human to be a parasite. I apologize for my link not working, sometimes this site doesn't post my links properly. However, I did give a couple of reasons why the unborn are not parasites in my rebuttal.
Con believes it is moral to kill an unwanted unborn child because it has a higher chance of leading a dysfunctional life. So please tell me, Con, if you happen upon a child who was abandoned in a dumpster (this does happen), do you have a moral obligation to get this child help, or would you be morally justified in walking away and washing your hands of the matter?
Regarding self-defense, again, I reiterate that pregnancy is not an assault. It is a natural process resulting from sexual intercourse. It's simple cause and effect. Sex produces children. The zygote is not attacking you, it was brought into existence through a consensual act between two adults. Abortion is not self-defense, it is homicide. Death resulting from pregnancy is exceptionally rare, in fact it's 13 in 10,000, or less than a 1% chance.  In fact, she has a higher chance of dying in a car accident, a 1 in 6,000 chance.  Hopefully those links will work this time.
Killing someone who has less than a 1% chance of killing you is not self-defense, it's homicide. There may be certain health factors in play, too, but with proper diet and care she most likely won't have to worry about them.
I have shown why it is immoral to kill an unborn child (they are alive, they are human, and they are intrinsically valuable based on the fact they belong to our species of humanity, and have an inherent capacity for everything that makes us valuable, they just haven't developed them yet). I have also successfully refuted Con's points and I look forward to his response to my arguments. I look forward to our final round.
 Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.
From this debate my opponent and I have come to the conclusion you cannot be forced to give an organ to someone you are not responsible for. Excluding circumstances such as rape, where the mother never consented to sexual intercourse and thus, never consented to the responsibility of the unborn child, the question now becomes is the mother responsible for the unborn child? My opponent's argument makes sex into a contract for pregnancy and if sex results in pregnancy then, you have consented to be pregnant just by the act. Carrying this logic forward, without consent to carry the unborn child, there is no responsibility. Therefore, for my opponent's argument needed to have shown there is a "sexual contract" otherwise the woman has no responsibility to something she never consented to.
My opponent accuses me of creating a strawman argument and an ad hominem attack, while I will refute this claim further along in this final argument, I first want to say, my opponent makes sex into a contract for pregnancy therefore, he is directly punishing only one person, the woman. Only the woman can bear the unborn therefore, my opponents argument is sexist simply because there is only one person is being directly punished for their sexual behavior, the woman. What direct punishment does the man have? They can simply walk away. There must be proportionate punishments for sexual behavior in a moral society.
My opponent also claims I have a fallacious appeal to authority by citing the United States Supreme Court. They then provide absolutely no reason to believe that nonprocreative sex is immoral. Simply saying it may be immoral is not the same as proving it. My opponent provides no basis for the reader to believe why the United States Supreme Court in 1965 and 1972 are not legitimate authorities on the matter we are discussing. They are members of the highest court in the United States, should we not respect their decision? My opponent also calls into the question the morality of contraceptives by questioning the decisions of the Supreme Court. But, they never proved contraceptives were immoral simply making an assertion. The legality of contraceptives proves people have a right to nonprocreative intercourse. In questioning the decisions of the Supreme Court my opponent makes unsubstantiated claims.
My opponent then goes into their analogy of the baby-making machine and the baseball. They ask the question "If you push the button and a baby pops out, are you not responsible for that child?" A person pushes the button for the experience and just that, people have a right to non procreative sex (shown through the legality of contraceptives and the Supreme Court). People have the right to have sex without responsibility for an unborn child. This argument basically says consent to sex equals consent to pregnancy. But, simply acknowledging the risk does not mean they consent to the risk. My opponent answers this with their baseball analogy, it is completely flawed I have two reasons. First, you consented to play baseball but, not break the window. Now, you can either clean up the mess or you can leave it as it is. In other words, you consented to sex not the unborn, so now you can either leave the unborn or you can "clean up the mess" and have an abortion. Second, in this situation you broke someone else's window, now your own you have no ownership over the window; you therefore, have no right to consent what happens to someone else's property. In abortion, the woman's body is her own; she has the right to decide what happens to her own body. Your son has no right to decide what happens to your neighbor's window.
My opponent, once again, implicitly makes the argument consent for sex equals consent for pregnancy. But, simply acknowledging a risk does not mean implicit consent for the risk. Acknowledging sex may get you pregnant does not equal consent for the pregnancy. For example, if I drive a car on a rainy day does this mean I consent to a car accident which can cause harm to me and possibly kill me? Of course not. If an accident does occur all parties are allowed to call 911 to mitigate the effects of the accident. Life is dangerous and almost anything we do has the potential for danger, man acknowledges this but, man does not consent to danger. Why is it that in no other circumstance, other than abortion, do people argue taking the risk equals consent for the damages and the waiving of the right to mitigate these damages? You may argue my example is not natural, in fact my opponent alludes to this argument, (cars are not designed to crash while sex is designed to create an unborn child) so therefore, pregnancy should continue unabated by medical intervention. But, then you must also argue other natural things such as disease must be allowed to run their course without treatment, disease is natural and if by having sex you are consenting to pregnancy why wouldn't touching a toilet seat be consenting to whatever disease may be present on the toilet seat? If you argue against this then, your premise regarding abortion is misogynist and only seeks to unequally render the health and bodily integrity of those who can get pregnant meaningless and not the population as a whole.
My opponent responds to my argument a right to life requires an independent existence by citing a man in a coma being sustained by machines. Yes, this man has a right to life, the difference between these machines and the mother is the mother is a sentient being, a machine is not. A machine cannot choose anything for itself; it is programmed to do whatever man wants it to do. This leads me to the parasitic relationship between the mother and the unborn. I dropped the premise that the unborn were parasites in favor of citing the parasitic relationship between mother and unborn. It is a parasitic relationship as the unborn feeds off of the mother, requiring the mother for life.
In response to my argument about the morality of having an abortion simply because an unwanted child will have a much greater chance of leading a horrible life and can be suicidal, my opponent states I believe this. Then they go on and ask about what I would do if I found a child in a dumpster. My answer to their question is I have a moral obligation to help all independent human beings in need if it does not result in a comparative risk to me. I have to help people if helping them does not lead to something bad. Since this child is an independent human being and helping the child would not result in harm to me I am morally obligated to help the child.
As this is the last round, I will not present any new arguments. I will simply rebut Con's last points that need mentioning. I would like to thank him again for his thought-provoking responses.
He has unfortunately created another strawman argument against me by claiming I make pregnancy into a contract. While, yes, I agree that we are not morally obligated to provide an organ to someone we are not responsible for, I have shown that when a couple has sex they are responsible for the child they create. Con has not refuted this; in fact, he has actually side-stepped my arguments.
Sex is not a crime. I am not punishing anyone by saying a couple should not be able to abort their unborn child. I am stating that the couple should take responsibility for the life they create through an act that was consensual. I have also shown that I believe the man to be equally responsible and should be forced to pay child support at all points during her pregnancy. I am not singling out women and calling me sexist for it is an ad hominem, plain and simple. Con says there is no punishment because the man can just walk away, but he has ignored what I said. I said that I believe a man should not be able to walk away and should be forced to give child support at all points during the pregnancy.
I don't believe recreational sex is immoral, as long as if a child is conceived the couple takes responsibility for it. Citing the U.S. Supreme Court to prove Con's case is an appeal to authority. Slavery used to be legal. What is legal is not always right and what is right is not always legal. Additionally, I never said that contraceptives were immoral. I would rather a couple use contraceptives to prevent conception than to abort a preborn child once conceived. But using contraceptives is irrelevant because there is still a chance they can fail. You just can't assume you'll never get pregnant even using contraceptives. There's always a chance it may still happen.
The fact of the matter is the U.S. Supreme Court is not an authority on morality. In fact, in the landmark Roe v. Wade case the supreme court ruled in favor of abortion due to faulty reasoning. Former president of NARAL (and one of its founders) Dr. Bernard Nathanson has come out and shown that the figures used by the pro-choice side during the Roe v. Wade trial were greatly inflated.  Additionally, forty years before Roe v. Wade was voted on by the Supreme Court and they made the statement that "no one can tell when life began," Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood, wrote the following regarding the scientific fact that human life begins at fertilization: "This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn't part of the common knowledge."  The Supreme Court is not an authority on morality, especially when it comes to abortion.
Now we come to where Con has side-stepped my arguments. Notice how Con didn't answer my question about whether someone who pushes a button for a pleasurable experience would be responsible for a baby created by his pushing the button. The obvious answer is yes. Con obviously didn't respond because the answer would be detrimental to his case.
Con, in response to my baseball analogy, considers abortion to be "cleaning up the mess" of pregnancy. But this is ridiculous. Abortion would be "cleaning up the mess" only if in my analogy I knocked out the wall the window was in so that the broken window wouldn't be noticed. The analogy shows that even though I didn't consent to breaking the window, I bear responsibility for fixing it. An act of violence (abortion) is not a fix for an unplanned pregnancy.
Con has also indicated that you bear responsibility for the window because it is not your property. But there is another human here that abortion affects. We don't have the right to do just whatever we want to our own bodies. In fact, thalidomide is a drug that was used to ease morning sickness in pregnant women but it resulted in deformations of the child. They were often born without limbs. Doctors will not prescribe thalidomide to pregnant women anymore. The argument "it's my body" doesn't stand because there's another human being affected by these actions. Con has not shown why a pregnant woman bears no responsibility for her unborn child so her responsibility stands.
In actuality, we do consent to negative consequences to actions that we do. For example, people die in car accidents. Unless Jesus happens to wander by that day, you're not coming back from that. While yes, doctors can help repair damage done to you, there are some things they can't fix. You must be prepared to accept some consequences for your actions. Becoming pregnant is different than accepting negative consequences to yourself because there's another living human at stake. Human beings are being killed in the name of convenience.
Regarding my argument of the guy in the coma, Con seems to have misunderstood my argument. He certainly didn't refute it. What the machine or the mother is, is irrelevant to this example. I was showing that a person in a coma has a right to life despite being completely dependent on a machine for survival, and an unborn child has a right to life despite being completely dependent on the mother for roughly nine months.
Finally, regarding the child in the dumpster, Con has not shown that we only have a moral obligation to save independent humans. My example of the guy in the coma shows that there are cases in which a human is completely dependent yet has a right to life. Saving a kid thrown away in a dumpster seems contradictory to Con's claims that we should kill unborn children because they may grow up to lead lives that are less than ideal.
In closing, I will reiterate that I have shown a mother bears responsibility for her unborn child, especially considering that in the vast majority of cases the child has been conceived through a consensual act between her and her partner. Independence is irrelevant because people in comas bear a right to life. I thank you for reading and hope that you have found this debate enlightening and interesting.
 Guttmacher, Alan, Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation, New York: Viking Press, 1933, p.3.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were weak.
Vote Placed by HeartOfGod 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con provided more sources to back up his claims that Pro did. The problem is pro clearly showed that a fetus has just as much of a right to live as any born human being. cons arguments were pretty weak but he had a few good points regarding the fetus and it's dependency on the mother. I noticed a few spelling errors in Pro's spelling so I have spelling to Con. Good debate!
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