The Instigator
cjack92
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
uj0320
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Abortion, except in the cases of rape or when the mother's life is endangered, should be banned.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,596 times Debate No: 4685
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (7)

 

cjack92

Pro

My argument is simple:
(1) A fetus, or embryo, is an individual human being
(2) Abortion kills this innocent human being.
(3) Abortion should be banned.

The main contention that needs to argued for is (1). In support of this, I will use an objective way to show that fetuses are individual, human beings: DNA. William Lane Craig, Professor of Philosophy at Biola University, has said, "Already in that moment of conception, that individual is either male or female, depending on whether he or she received an X or Y chromosome from the sperm. The later developments of sexual organs and other secondary sexual characteristics is only evidence of a difference in sexuality that has been there from the very beginning. Moreover, all of the individual's traits, such as body type, ey and hair color, facial characteristics, and so forth, are determined at the moment of conception and are just waiting to unfold. From the moment of conception we have a genetically complete and unique human being; in effect, you began at the moment of your conception." From the moment of conception, the fetus has DNA that tells us that it is human (obviously) and that it is an individual (in that no one else has that DNA). What do we call an individual human? A human being. This is why Professor Matthews-Roth of Harvard University Medical School has said, "It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins as conception."

My second point follows the simple definition of abortion. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines abortion as "the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus". Abortion kills the fetus.

My conclusion follows logically. The killing of innocent human beings, no matter how large or small, should be banned.
uj0320

Con

I think differently.
There is truly no doubt about that abortion results death of unborned baby.
And it is also acceptable enough that the act of abortion can be referred as killing a human-being, because unborned babies are already considred as human beings at the point where they were created according to the citations.
However, abortion is not for the benefit of people who want to abort their babies, it is for unborned babies.

It is quite expectable that people who want to abort their babies, except for the cases that are mentioned in the topic, were irresponsible enough to not think about the consequences of having a sexual relationship without proper equipments or knowledge.

There is only a little chance of them to raise their babies with full responsibility in the future;therefore, the unhappy children will not live in ideal environments for the most of time.

By prohibiting them from aborting their babies, it can cause other serious problems. The irresponsible parents-who will most likely be only the mother, in this case- will be overwhelmed by the amount of work that is needed to raise a baby. Also, according to a scientific research, the babies from such parents are more potentential of commtting a crime than other babies are.
Debate Round No. 1
cjack92

Pro

First, I would like to note that my opponent agrees with me on the fact that it is, quoting uj0320, "acceptable enough that the act of abortion can be referred as killing a human-being."

I interpret my opponent's argument as:
(1) There is an increased chance of the children being unhappy
(2) Therefore, we should allow abortion

My opponent's argument has 3 flaws:
(A) My opponent's solution to helping unhappy children is flawed. We do not KILL children simply because they are unhappy. For my opponent to successfully argue against this objection, he or she (I can't tell by the name) must rationally support the idea that a HELPFUL way to treat unhappy children is to KILL them.
(B) My opponent assumes that these children will be unhappy. Even if my opponent somehow explains how a helpful way to treat children is to kill them, he or she must show how he or she KNOWS that these children will be unhappy. Unless my opponent shows this, his or her argument rests on the fact that there is a CHANCE that the child will grow up to be unhappy. However, this position is irrational. If we should abort people simply because there is a CHANCE that they will become unhappy, then we should abort EVERYONE. Why? Because, for everyone, there is a chance of growing up unhappy. My opponent's illogic is obvious. Yes, there is a chance that the unborn will grow up unhappy. But yes, there is a chance the unborn will grow up happy. What my opponent MUST show is that the unborn babies WILL grow up to be unhappy. Personally, I don't believe that my opponent can show this...unless my opponent can see into the future.
(C) My opponent creates a false dilemma. My opponent seems to assume that a child can either be aborted or kept. However, there is another stunningly obvious option: ADOPTION. If a child is adopted, then their parents, who my opponent states will likely not take care of them well, do not have to take care of them. This gives them a chance to be adopted into a family that will take care of and love them.

I would also like to add that I am not debating this for purely intellectual reasons. Through this simple online discussion, I pray that someone will recognize abortion for what is truly is: an evil that takes 1.2 MILLION lives away every year.
uj0320

Con

My opponent represented "killing is not the right solution for unhappy children." First of all, "unhappy children" is not enough of a description for the situations that the babies, whom their own parents wanted to abort, will get through. They will neither experience love from their parents, nor live in an appropriate condition. It is certainly doubtful that parents who did not want their children to be born would treat their children well in the future. "Unhappy children" is an appropriate description for kids who are not allowed to play with their friends too much, or forced to study all day. The state that the children whom their parents were forced to give birth to because of their irresponsibility will be much worse than the state of unhappy. It is not a mere assumption, but it is a perceptive future for those poor unborn infants, if they were forced to live under pressure of the social environments surrounding them entire their childhood.

Secondly, people should not only focus on the babies, but also focus on the woman who is on a serious perssure that cannot be compared to that of any others. She will have to devote her entire life for her child; the burden that she will have to deal with will be hard for most of us even to imagine. Therefore, it is she who has to decide to give birth to her own child, not anyone else.

My opponent argued that there is another option that's called adoption. However, candidates for adoption are not always present, and the mother is in the situation where she doesn't have enough time to wait for a candidate for adoption. Furthermore, the governement's foster care system for the babies is often in a miserable situation. In the state of Texas alone it is learned that 48 foster children died in the state's care. Compared to the general population, a child is 4 times more likely to die in their foster care system than in a loving household. And the only way we got these statistics is because Texas is one of the few states who takes action and tries to help these children as much as possible. Many states are less effective, less caring, and more neglegent than Texas. Foster care is unsafe. In 2004, almost 100 children were treated for poisoning; 63 were treated for rape that happened while in state care; and 142 children gave birth. In Missouri, they found that 57% of foster children were likely to be abused and neglected.
(I'm using libertarian's quotes for this citations)
[http://www.window.state.tx.us...]
[http://en.wikipedia.org...]

Since it is certain that government doesn't have proper and appropriate system for the parents who can't raise their babies on their own, the parents are only left with a tragic, but inevitable option, abortion.
Debate Round No. 2
cjack92

Pro

cjack92 forfeited this round.
uj0320

Con

My opponent failed to come up with further arguments and he also failed to represent better alternatives than abortion.
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by uj0320 8 years ago
uj0320
In my opinion, some of the votes were based on the voters' background knowledges or beliefs. You have to vote based on the arguments that were given by me and my opponent.
Posted by Ravynwulf 8 years ago
Ravynwulf
So you're saying that no fetus has any rights? That means every single person did not have the right to live. I fail to see how my view shows no concern for women. A woman does not have the right to choose who lives or dies. Everyone has the right to life according to the constitution. Check the preamble. Most women will not die from pregnancy, but 100% of all unborn children that go through abortion die. And as I state again, if a woman has no means to take care of a child, there are alternatives to abortion. Having an abortion also creates up to five times more health risks and psychological problems than pregnancy itself (Journal of Youth and Adolescence).

As for a fetus being able to adapt, here is a quote from Focus on Mammalian Embryogenomics,

"Preimplantation development directs the formation of an implantation- or attachment-competent embryo so that metabolic interactions with the uterus can occur, pregnancy can be initiated, and fetal development can be sustained. The preimplantation embryo exhibits a form of autonomous development fueled by products provided by the oocyte and also from activation of the embryo's genome. Despite this autonomy, the preimplantation embryo is highly influenced by factors in the external environment and in extreme situations, such as those presented by embryo culture or nuclear transfer, the ability of the embryo to adapt to the changing environmental conditions or chromatin to become reprogrammed can exceed its own adaptive capacity, resulting in aberrant embryonic development."

A quick summary, An embryo begins to develop and adapt to the environment before it even attaches to the uterine wall and a placenta forms. It can adapt more than needed to and result in aberrant embryonic development.

As for our development process, it actually is similar to bacteria. We start as one or two cells and we multiply. We also follow the same pattern of multiplication, if you dont believe me, take a microbiology class
Posted by tribefan011 8 years ago
tribefan011
No, a ball of cells is not life by definition. That's a very subjective definition. There is no consensus biological or scientific definition of when life starts, but most scientists will agree on the characteristics of life. Homeostasis, organization, metabolism, growth, adaptation, response to stimuli, and reproduction are the characteristics of life. Adaptation is obviously not possible until birth. And some of these are not present when it is in the embryonic stage, such as homeostasis in different cases. Your definition is only covered in organization. As the fetus develops, it gains more characteristics and it becomes more complete. One is not complete until birth.

Comparing humans to bacteria is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Our development process is nothing like that of bacteria.

Since when does a fetus has rights? Women have rights. Fetuses do not. The reason I called your view nutty is because it shows no concern whatsoever for women.

And I notice in your second post that you say adapt. A fetus cannot adapt. It's impossible until it's born. No, it's not the most obvious thing. The fetus has no environment to respond to.
Posted by Ravynwulf 8 years ago
Ravynwulf
As for "characteristics of life", biology lists many characteristics of life: are composed of cells or a cell, require energy, reproduce, display heredity, respond to the environment, maintains homeostasis, and evolve and adapt.

You cannot say that a fetus does not do ALL of these. A single cell can produce and use energy, mostly ATP. Yes it does reproduce, all cells do through mitosis. An embryo will display heredity at time of conception, it is determined by the sperm cell and whether or not it contains the X or Y chromosome. Cells of a fetus also maintain homeostasis through many ways, one such way is the sodium-potassium pump. The most obvious thing an embryo does is evolve and adapt. That occurs constantly throughout pregnancy.

A human embryo is life.
Posted by Ravynwulf 8 years ago
Ravynwulf
Tribefan, a ball of cells is life by definition... what do you think we are? If you want to go further in depth, we are a group of cells that have formed tissue, that in turn grouped together to form organs, that work together in organ systems that form one organism. Oh, single cells have "organs" as well called organelles that carry out the LIFE of a cell.

Another example, we are currently searching for life on mars; what exactly are we looking for? Not one giant alien, but microscopic bacteria. Life exists in a cell. If you still don't believe that one cell is life, then look up single-cell organisms or protozoa. Every cell, including bacteria, has either DNA or RNA, which are the blueprints for protein synthesis. Oh, and as for hair being life... sounds stupid I agree, but think about it, it can grow and die can't it? Science teaches that anything composed of cells, or a cell, is life.

Now, aside from whether or not a cell is life... the real question is should we abort a fetus? It shouldn't matter whether or not it can feel pain, whether it is able to live independently, or whether it can breathe; it is still life (or in your viewpoint potential life). Abortion is taking away that life (or potential life) and is therefore wrong. It is a crime against humanity and hypocritical for anyone who fights for human rights to say it isn't.

As for my "nutty" view on rape, that comes mostly from the social interactionist theory in sociology. What I was saying was behavior isn't genetic, it is learned after birth from a society's values and norms. That means that we are promoting murder in society if we support abortion because that is exactly what abortion is. It's a whole different debate, but TV and Video Games promote murder, violence, and a whole bunch of other crap as well.

A woman does NOT have to deal with rape for the rest of her life if she decides not to have an abortion, there are alternatives to abortion. Thinking otherwise is rather close-minded.
Posted by tribefan011 8 years ago
tribefan011
And now you're lying, BlondE9. It never says that. Read Genesis 2:7, Job 33:4, Ezekiel 37:10, and Luke 23:46, where Jesus dies. All equate life with breath.

So basically what you're saying, Ravynwulf, is that one of my hairs is a life, since it has cells. That is very ridiculous. A ball of cells is not a life. It is entirely dependent on its mother and does not have the characteristics of life.

But a fetus is not a life. The scientific, biological, legal, and Biblical standards don't agree with you there.

I'm personally against partial-birth abortion, because it's grotesque. And I'd expect the same from the other side to make exceptions in the case of rape and incest. But you hold a truly nutty view on it. I mean, are you serious? A women should have to deal with the rape for the rest of her life? Wow.
Posted by Ravynwulf 8 years ago
Ravynwulf
For those who think that it takes a long time for life to begin after conception, the definition of a cell is "The smallest unit of living matter." A baby is who it is at the time of conception.

It is true that there are health risks to a woman from pregnancy; but those health risks do not disappear because of an abortion, in fact they worsen.

I would gladly choose foster care over abortion for one reason: with foster care the child has the right to live.

Since when do men have the right to choose who lives or who dies? Our ancestors came to America for freedom. Freedom to LIVE the way they want to. They did not have the right to choose if their neighbor should live or die, and neither do we. A life is a life no matter how you look at it; we, as human beings, should not have the authority or ability to take away another's life.

What about children of rapists? Should we kill them? Being the child of a rapist or a murderer does not cause the child to behave the way of the father. Biological characteristics do not shape a person's behavior; Sociological characteristics, however, do shape a person's behavior. (So actually, having a child grow up in a society where abortion, or murder of unborn children, is legal; What kind of social factors are being given to children today? We are basically telling them it's ok to murder. I don't know about you, but I don't want that kind of influence on my children.) If the woman does not want the child, or has not means to raise a child, she should put it up for foster care.

Women should have to right to abort their unborn child because they can't take care of them? What about the homeless children who have no one to take care of them; should we kill them because they are doing poorly? What about homeless people in general?
Posted by BlondE9 8 years ago
BlondE9
The bible says that life starts at the moment of conception tribefan. You say that you were just a clump of cells, but you still are a clump of cells, just a larger clump of cells. As Dr. Seuss said, "A life is a life, not matter how small."
Posted by uj0320 8 years ago
uj0320
I'm sorry for the late reply.
Yes, as I admitted before, there could be cases that people who were going to be aborted survived, and successfully grew up. However, in many cases and statistics, it is not most likely the case. Since abortion was prohibitied in one state, the crime rate suddenly increased 10 years from that day when abortion was prohibitied from the state. Should it be considered as just a coincidence?
There are also many other evidences that prove children who were going to be aborted did NOT have good conditions to grow up, and therefore, could not get sufficient education and consequently, could not get a job to feed themselves in a daily basis. I apologize for using extreme expressions in this comment, but people have to forsake their optimistic views such as "They will grow up just fine" and face the reality.
Posted by tribefan011 8 years ago
tribefan011
TO salocime, when I was an embryo, I was a ball of cells. What a ridiculous question. I relied on my mother to develop. I could not live on my own outside the womb. It is not a life. The Constitution doesn't say so. The Bible doesn't say so. And there is no consensus biological or scientific definition of when life starts.
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indianajones644
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