The Instigator
WhateverItTakes
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TruthHurts
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Abortion is Always First-Degree Murder

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
TruthHurts
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 739 times Debate No: 56207
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (5)

 

WhateverItTakes

Pro

Abortion has become an enormous debate since the opening of the case Roe v. Wade, and it hasn't simmered down much since. There are those that would tell you that abortion is the mother's choice, since it is "her body", and I will tell you why they are mistaken in a bit. Then there are those who would tell you that abortion is not the mother's choice, and it's not her body: it's the fetus' body. Personally, I don't understand how you could see the argument any other way.

I don't think that anyone will argue that first degree murder is wrong. The planned killing of another human being is always a wicked act, regardless of the circumstances. And yet, there are those who would say that and at the same time say that abortion is morally sound and should be perfectly legal. So, let's explore the similarities and differences of these two acts.

In order to properly compare two things, it's important to understand the definitions of each. So I added the definition of abortion and first degree murder below:


abor·tionnoun\ə-G2;boM5;r-shən\

: a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus


First-degree murder is any willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder


Now here is where I lose the opposition's argument completely. Abortion is a "medical procedure", and in this context that indicates willfulness. So here we have a pregnant woman, who has to decide to get an abortion, go to the clinic, sign paperwork, sit and wait for this procedure, go into a room, and allow a doctor to rip apart her unborn child. It is plainly in the definition of abortion that the process of ending a pregnancy "cause[s] the death of the fetus". So now we have established that the mother has willfully caused the death of the fetus, with some premeditation (and in many cases much more than some).

That's where my argument ends. So let me briefly address some common pro arguments that will likely be brought up. First and foremost, the "it's her body" argument. To be scientific, the fetus has it's own DNA, and is therefore genetically different than it's mother. But there is also the more common sense based argument that by the time a fetus is old enough to be aborted, it can respond to pain, music, has fingerprints, has thoughts and dreams... all of which sounds much more like a person than a "clump of cells" (which is a pathetic argument in the first place, all living things are just different "clumps" of cells.)
The most logical argument (which applies to less than 1% of abortion cases) is cases of rape. Along with the fact that this case is very rare, and that most abortions are done for the sake of convenience, it still doesn't justify murder of a baby. Do I think that a woman who is raped deserves to give birth do a child she doesn't want? Absolutely not. Does the scenario justify murder? Absolutely not. The victim has had her rights violated, absolutely and undoubtedly, but that does not justify the violation of the rights of the fetus.

In conclusion, I believe the abortion is first-degree murder, and that regardless of special cases, it is always wrong. Murder is never a good solution, and especially when the murder victim is to be an innocent unborn child. In fact abortion does
not deal with the mother's body, and justifying any way that she has been wronged by killing the product is immoral.

TruthHurts

Con

Hello Pro, and thank you for this interesting topic. My case will be a very simple one, as I only need to demonstrate that at least one case of abortion is not first-degree murder. If I can sucessfully do this, then I win the round under Pro's resolution.

To do this, I will not, of course, be using the arguments that Pro claims Con could use. Rather, my argumentation will be centered around the fact that a fetus is not a person.

Constructive

A person is "one (as a human being, a partnership, or a corporation) that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties" [1]. Of course, this person must be recognized as a human being. Murder is "the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought" [2]. Thus, to qualify for the definition of murder, a person has to be maliciously killed. An abortion clearly does not meet this burden.

The reason this is the case can be seen in the definition of a person as a subject of rights and duties, as human. To be human, one has to have cognitive abilities, that is, sentience [3] [4]. This ability to have sentience, to reason, is the result of evolution, which caused humans to develop a frontal cortex to allow for sentience, reason, thoughts, emotions, etc. A fetus at three weeks does not have this.

At 3 weeks fetal development, a fetus barely has arms or legs, and certainly does not have a developed brain [5]. The absence of this cognitive ability is clearly acceptable grounds for termination, as a human being has not formed yet. We see this standard come into play when we allow for the unplugging of braindead patients on life support. They have lost all cognitive ability, their brain is not functioning, and, as a result, they lose derivative right to life claims. Thus, they can be unplugged, terminating their existence, though, by that time, they are already dead.

If we similarly apply this standard, we can clearly see that a fetus does not have the same rights claims that human beings do because they lack sentience and cognitive abilities that rights are designed to protect in the first place. Thus, since I have demonstrated that a fetus is not a person, abortion, at least in some instances, is not first degree murder.

Rebuttal

Since my constructive undermines the entire assumption underlying Pro's case, there is little rebuttal work to be done here. However, I would like to take some time to point out that the entirety of Pro's argumentation is appeal to emotion and assertion. Pro never substantiates the claim that a fetus is equivalent to a human being, but instead throws around buzzwords like murder, victim, etc.

In order to win this round, Pro will have to substantiate the abortion = murder logic that is, quite literally, assumed from the top of the argument without any substantial proof otherwise. That is, Pro has to prove that fetuses have rights claims in the same way that humans do.

Thank you, and I look forward to reading Pro's future argumentation.

Sources:
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. http://www.sciencedaily.com...
4. http://science.howstuffworks.com...
5. http://americanpregnancy.org...
Debate Round No. 1
WhateverItTakes

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting my debate, and especially in such a speedy manner.
Taking the stance that a fetus is not a person at all is another interesting angle at which this argument can be viewed, and it raises a question that in truth, cannot be answered.

In order to argue for or against the thesis that a fetus is, in truth, impossible. What constitutes a "person" is a grey area, and one person's definition will almost certainly differ from the next's. My opponent, for example, would tell you that a person is a human with cognitive abilities; while I would tell you that a person is any human post-conception. This problem is why I try to avoid the word "person" and use the term "human". Human is pretty non-negotiable. Anything that has human DNA is a human. So at the moment of conception, there is a new human.

By this standard, abortion is in fact murder.

murder
mur·der [mur-der] Show IPA
noun 1. Law. the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law.

Now definitions may vary, but often the term human is used over person, because it is more definitive. According to this definition, abortion is murder (killing of a human by another) of the first degree (it is premeditated). And with that I stand by my original statment: Abortion is first-degree murder.
TruthHurts

Con

I would like to begin by thanking Pro for this topic and this debate. However, the case Pro presents is severely flawed.

Pro attempts to squirrel away from my argumentation by throwing hands up in the air, claiming the line for personhood is somehow grey, and asserting that a human being and a person are somehow different entities. In case I was not clear, a human being and a person are interchangeable entities; the reason, I feel, is quite obvious. A human being is "A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance" [1]. Note that this is the precise delineation that I have argued for the entire round.

To demonstrate how Pro's conflation of human as an adjective and human being as a noun, I will use the case of my arm. My arm, if amputated from my body, has human DNA. However, I find it quite difficult to argue it is in any way human.

Besides this example of the absurdity of Pro's standard, Pro does not, in any way, substantiate, with definition or evidence, why the line for a human being should be the moment of conception; rather, assertions are relied upon in spades.

Finally, let's look to Pro's definition of murder. Other than the human being/person semantic argument I have presented earlier, the end of the definition substantiates my claim. The idea that the conditions must specifically be covered in law implies that the victim must have some rights claims. A person does because they possess cognitive and deliberative capacities to be protected; indeed, animals (and fetuses past the point of viability) have lesser derivative rights as a result of their relatively lower cognitive and deliberative capacities.

However, to argue that a zygote, which, at the point of conception, is literally the combination of two cells, has these rights claims is absurd under the definitions I have presented, and, indeed, the definitions Pro has presented. Moreover, note that Pro's definition of murder deals with conditions specifically covered in law. As it turns out, abortion IS specifically permitted under law, per Roe v. Wade.

As a result of these, Pro's argument cannot possibly stand. A fetus is not a human being or a person, and, thus, its termination is not a first degree murder in any sense. Pro has yet to make any non-assertive arguments to the contrary.

Thank you, and I look forward to future rounds.

Sources:

1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 2
WhateverItTakes

Pro

WhateverItTakes forfeited this round.
TruthHurts

Con

I am disappointed that Pro has forfeited this round. As a result, simply extend my argumentation and, accordingly, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by LeDebate 2 years ago
LeDebate
Abortion to bs
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Empiren 2 years ago
Empiren
WhateverItTakesTruthHurtsTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Always BoP and forfeit
Vote Placed by Raymond_Reddington 2 years ago
Raymond_Reddington
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by Themba 2 years ago
Themba
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: 'Always' are a huge burden. Arguments by Con were never addressed & Pro forfeited the last round. Con wins.
Vote Placed by Burncastle 2 years ago
Burncastle
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
WhateverItTakesTruthHurtsTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeits. Arguments because Pro never addressed Con's refutation, and so it stands. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.