The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Abortion is O.K in the very worst case scenario.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,921 times Debate No: 42987
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Thanks to TUF and MyDinosaurHands for making this debate possible. I wish to do my very best.

First round for acceptance only. However, ground rules:

Very worst case scenarios means the very, VERY worst case scenario thinkable. By accepting, you can not argue that my scenario is invalid.

Forfeiting means an automatic loss of conduct and arguments.

Plagiarism means a full 7-point loss.

Arguing or rebutting in the fourth round means loss of conduct and arguments.

No religious arguments or references from the Bible. Violating this means loss of conduct and arguments.

By agreeing to this, you accept all of the terms above.


I accept.

Via messaging my opponent and I have agreed upon worst case scenario to mean a pregnancy that was created through incest or rape, or both. It also includes babies who can or will be born with defects.
Debate Round No. 1


I do accept that. However, I only agreed that it could not kill the mother. Anything else can be included.
However, I did not agree that it could not significantly shorten the life of the mother.


A 20 year old girl named Amanda with several health problems was raped against her will. She does not have a job, access to a clean water source, and very limited access to food. She simply can not support a baby. Amanda would also have to face significant health problems after birth that would cripple her life. Doctors say that her life could be shortened as much as 30 years if she does not get an abortion.
An abortion would cost $468 dollars [1]. Amanda has enough money to pay for an abortion, but not nearly enough to pay for birth.
Furthermore, the baby is guaranteed to have many serious birth defects which may include missing limbs, Tay-Sachs disease [2], Sandhoff disease [3] and many others. Doctors only give the baby a 0.01% chance to live after birth and a 0% chance to ever be able to walk and talk.
If she proceeds with birth, doctors give Amanda a 5% chance to be able to perform activities she was able to do before, like eat normally or walk. If she proceeds with the birth, doctors say that she will need at least 3 surgeries to fix the damage done to her body, which Amanda nor her family can pay for.

So Amanda is left with two choices:

•Get an abortion and continue with her life without any health problems caused by the baby.

•Not get an abortion and have to support a child who can not walk nor talk. She will have to have three surgeries and her life will be shortened significantly. However, that is given the microscopic chance that the baby survives. If the baby doesn't survive (which is a 99.9% chance), Amanda will still have her life shortened by up to 30 years and have three surgeries she can't afford. There is a 95% chance she will never be able to resume normal activities like talk or eat normally.

Con now must explain why Amanda should choose the second choice instead of the first.





First I'd like to talk about Pro's scenario. He says the baby is guaranteed to have serious birth defects which may include certain things. Of those things I'd like to talk about are Tay-Sachs[1] and Sandhoff[2]. In the case of these diseases, the baby only has a 25% to acquire one of them, and a 12.5% chance to acquire both. I bring this up not to nit-pick the scenario for the sake of nit-picking. I do it because the fact that neither of these diseases is a guarantee, which is important to consider when deciding what to do in this situation.


The first mention Pro makes of expenses is in regards to the fact that Amanda can afford an abortion, but not the cost of giving birth. I have two arguments against this contention, one of which will be given later. The one that I am addressing right now is this: There are many anti-abortion groups who are aware of the monetary factors in the decision of whether or not to abort, and they are ready to help cover the costs involved in birth[3], in order to prevent an abortion. These groups may also help provide the costs for her surgeries that are required for unspecified reasons. According to the scenario, Amanda sounds pretty poor. Just because she cannot pay for the surgeries (the price of which has not been specified), does not mean the large anti-abortion organizations would be unable to cover, or at least help cover the costs. To an organization that puts life ahead of everything else, offering to spend money on a person's surgeries so they consider not getting an abortion doesn't seem unlikely. Even if the money was a greater concern than life to them, the scenario Amanda is in is so rare, that it is unlikely any financially harmful precedents would be set. I say her scenario is rare based on the rape related abortion statistics. Between .5% and 1% of abortions are related to incest or rape[4]. Take that into account with the odds of the defects the scenario calls for and there are now long odds that there are many cases like Amanda's.

Now I shall need to address the odds in this scenario. Clearly talking about the expenses and the chances of acquiring a few specified diseases in not enough on its own to sway the decision one way on their lonesome. So, why should Amanda have to play the odds in this scenario? To answer that I'll need to take a step back to lay my reasoning against abortion, and then apply that reasoning to the question. So:

---Why Abortion Should be Treated as Killing---

Many abortion arguments center on whether or not abortion is killing. The Pro-Choicers attempt to show that an unborn baby is not a life, and Pro-Lifers attempt the opposite. I would submit that a conclusion on the question/argument does not need to be reached for one to decide to be opposed to abortion.

When a person is killed, they die (I'm a genius I know), and their life that they had ahead of them is taken away. Let's just assume Pro-Choicers are right, and the fetus isn't a life. That means when an abortion occurs, nothing dies. However, the possibility for life in the future has been wiped out, just as in killing when the life a person was to have ahead of them is taken away. Abortion and killing accomplish the same thing: taking away one's future life. Whether or not life has started yet is immaterial, because the possibility for future life is still being wiped out.

And since saying that abortion takes away the possibility for life in the future just as killing takes away the possibility for life in the future, the two should be treated alike, since they accomplish alike things. This follows directly into the next idea:

---Why Unborn Babies Should be Treated as Living---

I do not say that you should have to believe unborn babies are alive, you can think just the opposite and agree with the title of this section. For this argument I refer to the above section, and the idea of possible future life. Whether unborn or born, there are always possible future lives. As we sit here reading this, we have life with all its experiences waiting for us in the future. This is not different for the unborn, whether or not they are considered alive. They still have life experiences waiting for them in the future, same as us.

If it is true that unborn and born both have possible future life experiences ahead of them, then both should be treated as alive, in order to preserve the attainability of these future life experiences.

Before I get back to the question, I'll leave an example for the two above arguments. Is a construction project whose goal it is to become a house, a house? Or is it an un-built house? Does it matter? Will it be ok to burn down an un-built house because it is not yet considered a house? It shouldn't be, because of the destroyed potential for a house to exist.

---To the Question!---

So, why should Amanda have to play these odds? Because of the potential for life, and for the reasoning that requires us to treat abortion as killing and unborn babies as alive. No matter how long the odds, it is our moral obligation to make the attempt for life. It is immoral to decide that the baby probably wouldn't be happy with its life and take away the possibility for it. And yes, Amanda is likely to have her life's quality drastically reduced, but it will not be lost. And life lost is what must be combated against. The chances are worth it for the few babies who survive, and are happy, because the cost is not a loss of life, but rather a degradation of life, which, while not pleasant, is the lesser evil compared to the extinguishment of life entirely.

Odds aside, the costs should not stand up to the reasoning presented in my third and fourth section, especially if Amanda receives monetary help from anti-abortion agencies.

--------MESSAGE TO VOTERS--------

My opponent has used the scenario in a way that he never mentioned using during our discussion on what should be included in the scenario. I will not talk further on it because I don't want to start a second, and probably less civil debate right here. I would ask that anybody who plans to vote to please message me, or even my opponent if they wish, to hear what we have to say on what the discussion was on the scenario. I will be copying and pasting (via messaging) our discussion for anyone who wants to make a determination to see who, if anybody, was in the wrong at any point. I recommend this course of action especially if you're one of the voters TUF sent here. He believes you're reliable voters and I think this is an important thing to consider before casting a fully educated vote. Thanks.

Debate Round No. 2


First, I would like to congratulate con on a beautiful second round. Thanks to TUF and MyDinosaurHands once again for making my arguments possible.

First round: "Very worst case scenarios means the very, VERY worst case scenario thinkable. By accepting, you can not argue that my scenario is invalid."
Please consider this. I gave you an outline of what I was going to do in this debate. You may not argue against my scenario. Sorry if this was misleading. I never said "I agree" anywhere in the personal message. The agreement between us was implied, yet it shouldn't be. Here is our message on this:

The very worst case scenario... Yes, it would.

But I can take it a step down and not have it kill the mother.

Like child with defects, rape baby and incest baby?


Ok so we've got defects, rape babies and incest babies still on the table. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Not really.

Anyway, on to rebuttals.

My opponent points out that the baby has low chances to get the diseases. However, I was just putting a few diseases out there to show you the picture. That is why I said "which may include."

Rebuttal of P1: Expenses

Rebuttal I: My opponent makes a claim that Amanda could afford birth but not abortion. However, birth costs $3,500, $3,000 more than a clean abortion (1). She does not have access to a clean water, how do you expect her to be found along the pro-life groups?

Even if she was found, the anti-abortion groups would have to pay for much more than surgery, such as clean water/food for the baby, household items, and normal living items. Amanda would not want to bring a child into a world in those conditions.

Rebuttal II: My opponent claims that Amanda's scenario is very rare. I do not see how this is relevant to the case. The title says "In worst case scenario." The worst case scenario could be a case that has never happened before, and it fails to affect the resolution. Yes, Amanda's scenario is rare, but it is close to the worst case scenario.

--Failed to mention--
As my opponent pointed out, I failed to mention the prices of the surgery. However, he failed to do so also, meaning I can now specify the price of the surgery in the scenario. Here is the very worst case scenario that could happen:

Due to the extra weight she carried in the baby, she must have a heart transplant because her heart is far too weak and no pacemakers are available. This costs $997,000 dollars (2).

And due to the extra stress on breathing and eating while she held the baby, she needs a Tracheotomy to breathe properly. This costs $205,000 dollars (3).

Finally, she needs an intestine transplant. All of the extra eating she did for the baby during carry took a toll on her intestines and weakened her liver. She must have a transplant. This costs $1,120,000 (4).

That is about $2,200,000.


Rebuttal of P2: Why Abortion Should be Treated as Killing

Rebuttal III: My opponent claims that when abortion takes place, you are taking away the possibility of life in the future, like killing. What my opponent failed to realize in this section is that the baby will die 999 out of 1,000 times. While there is still a possibility for life, it is a very slim one at that. For example, if Amanda proceeds with birth, she will lose 30 years of her life.

If Amanda proceeds with birth 1,000 times (the supposed number for life) she will lose 3,000 years of HER life. The baby wouldn't live that long due to the horrible living conditions and the defects that he/she has. Plus, no one ever lives 3,000 years...

Given the astronomical chance that the baby even survives, he/she will never be able to walk or talk. He/she will be living in terrible conditions that are unsuitable for a newborn baby. On top of all of that, Amanda, the baby's mother, would die much earlier in life. Even if Amanda lives a long life, she only had a 5% chance to even be able to CARE for the baby, let alone care for herself if she can't eat or do any normal things!

On to the opponent's point.

While saying that the baby's life would be taken away, he contradicts himself (kinda). He fails to show that with birth, Amanda's FUTURE LIFE would be cut back thirty years. By your point, shouldn't BIRTH be treated as killing for Amanda?
You may argue that the baby will live longer than Amanda's life, but that is not the case. Due to the birth defects the baby is guaranteed to have, he/she will likely die well before thirty years.

Rebuttal of P3: Why Unborn Babies should be Treated as Living

Rebuttal IV: First, I really need to argue your house example. It is O.K to burn down a house, or destroy it in some other way, because the house could portray serious harm and kill people, such as if it collapses. Maybe the house was built in the wrong location and is a hazard for water or for life. It is also O.K to destroy a potential to exist because of the bad possibilities it has, as shown above (5).

Rebuttal V: I feel like I have already refuted the majority of the rest of your argument in rebuttal III. I have shown that by having the baby, Amanda loses her future life. The baby will likely not even HAVE a life as it will die 999 out of 1,000 times. I have also shown that the baby will have one of the worst lives possible.


Rebuttal of P4: To the Question!

Rebuttal VI: My opponent's reasoning lies on the "facts" he presented above, which were all refuted by me. Therefore, I see no need to refute his decision, as I have already undermined it. However, for the sake of debate, I will.

You say that it is our moral obligation to allow life no matter how long the odds. However, this is your opinion. One may think the opposite, and allow life to continue, like in Amanda's situation. Her life will continue much more efficiently, and actually CONTINUE, if she gets an abortion.

Also, it is not immoral for us to assume the baby will have a bad life if we see what life it would have. To assume the baby will not have a happy life without seeing what life it would have is immoral. Therefore, with that, it is immoral to even assume the baby will have a good life.

Rebuttal VII: Last rebuttal here because I don't have that much more room to write. My opponent claims that life is worth it for the very few babies that survive and are happy. You do say that the baby has a 25% chance to acquire Tay-Sachs disease. That means 1 in 4 babies will get a fatal disease and die well before the thirty years Amanda loses.

You also say that losing life years is a lesser evil than killing the baby. However, what if the baby only lives for one single nanosecond, whereas Amanda loses her life for thirty years? Is that really a lesser evil?

Also, one last thing. You went on the borderline to say killing a fetus is the same as killing a baby. Once again, false. The baby that is in the world is guaranteed to have a life, if little at that. A fetus is not guaranteed to have a life. A very little chance in Amanda's scenario at that.

---Message to voters---

If you do take the course of action said by con, please contact the both of us. If you are a voter that TUF sent here, it is clear that both my opponent and I agree on one thing: to contact us both to make the best vote for you and us possible.

I also ask to provide a good RFD for each category. I think I speak for con here also.

With my arguments and rebuttals done, I pass the debate on to con. I ask him to take it easy on the questions and arguments because I can't refute in the fourth round. Thank you for reading.



---Counter Rebuttal 1, Diseases---

My opponent says that the diseases he mentions are only some of the diseases in play. I knew that when I pointed out the odds of acquiring Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff. Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff really, really suck[1][2], and so I wanted to show that even though in this scenario there is a .01% chance that the baby will have diseases/defects, there is not a .01% chance that Tay-Sachs or Sandhoff will be among these.

---Counter Rebuttal 2, Expenses---

My opponent starts by saying I stated that Amanda could afford birth but not abortion. I did not say that, I said, "... Amanda can afford an abortion, but not the cost of giving birth." I encourage voters to go back a minute and check the statement, found in the beginning of my section titled 'Expenses'.

Next he asks how could Amanda be expected to find a pro-life agency given how disadvantaged she is. Frankly, Amanda needs to get in contact with them herself. She could use public computers at the library to look up some organizations, then use a public telephone if she has to.

Next he says that they probably wouldn't be able to handle the costs of clean water, food, and regular household items. However providing these necessary items is one of the main operations of the pro-life groups. Furthermore, if Amanda wants, an adoption agency[3] could take the baby off her hands, and provide the necessary materials.

---Counter Rebuttal 3, Rareness of Scenario---

My opponent says he fails to see how may statement in regards to the rarity of this situation is relevant. It is relevant because the pro-life organizations wouldn't have to worry about setting any financially harmful precedents in the act of assisting in paying her surgeries' costs. I stated this in my previous round of arguments, under section 'Expenses'.

---Rebuttal 1, 'Failed to Mention'---

Next my opponent adds new things to the scenario halfway through the debate. I won't tell voters how to vote based on this, but I would ask that they take it as one of the things to be evaluated before casting a vote.

For the voters who don't care that he added things to his scenario in Round 3, I will provide reasons why this isn't a deciding factor. As I stated earlier, organizations that are pro-life should logically think that life should be put before everything else, including money. If that were the case, they'd be willing to pay for these surgeries, no matter the cost, as long as it helps save life. And assuming one charity or organization cannot pay the cost on its own, there are quite a few pro-life charities out there[4][5] that would doubtless pitch in.

---Counter Rebuttal 3, Numbers---

My opponent says I've failed to realize that the baby will die 999 times out of 1,000. I have not, that's actually why I'm Con, because the Pro position allows for the baby to die 1,000 times out of 1,000, whereas the Con position allows for better odds of life. As for his statement about Amanda in this section, I've already made a statement in regards to that, addressing the 'lesser evil'. I understand my opponent has made a rebuttal to that idea, which I will get to later.

Next my opponent makes a statement in regards to the number 1,000. He says its the number needed for life. Then he goes onto say that if Amanda had to do this 1,000 times, she'd end up losing 3,000 years of her life(the proper math would actually have it at 30,000). I think this should be disregarded by readers and voters because this will not happen to Amanda 1,000 times.

---Counter Rebuttal 4, Conditions---

Next my opponent makes mention of the various hardships the baby will face, if it should live. One of the major points brought up is that conditions would be very poor for raising the baby, and that Amanda would likely be unable to raise the baby properly. Certainly Amanda's income and situation would provide little help to the raising of the baby, but what about adoption? She could give the child away to an adoption agency that could care for the baby appropriately. If she's physically able to care for the baby, she can always receive financial aid from a pro-life organization.

---Counter Rebuttal 5, Killing Amanda?---

My opponent says that through allowing the birth of the child, Amanda is being killed, through virtue of the fact that she is losing 30 years of her life. This is a necessary sacrifice however, in order to provide the best chance for as much life as possible for the baby.

Next he says that the baby, should it live, will not live longer than Amanda, due to the diseases it has. If he is referring to Tay-Sachs or Sandhoff, I've already shown that's not a guarantee. If he is referring to other unnamed diseases in play in the scenario, I would ask that voters refer back to his stated scenario in Round 2. Nowhere does it say that the baby's guaranteed diseases will shorten the baby's life.

---Counter Rebuttal 6, Burning House---

My house example was intended to reinforce my idea of why abortion should be treated as killing. It does not directly apply to the rebuttal put up against it, which is coming from the specific scenario for this debate. But one other thing to be said is that it is OK to burn down a defective house because it is inanimate, unlike babies.

---Counter Rebuttal 7, My Main Argument---

My opponents main reason here against my position is that Amanda's life will go on much more efficiently than if she had a birth. Amanda will not die under any circumstances however, and her baby's odds against dying can be increased if she makes a sacrifice that does not involve death.

Next he says it isn't immoral to make an assumption that the baby's life would be bad, if we see what kind of a life it would have. While we can assume the life will be bad by the standards of ordinary people, how do we know that the baby will be content with its lot in life. To assume that the baby wouldn't be happy with its life is illogical, because there are people out in the world with various disabilities who are happy with their life.

---Rebuttal 8, Tay-Sachs Odds---

My opponent states here that the baby has a 1 in 4 chance of getting a fatal disease that will kill it within the early stages of life. This fact does not way in favor of Pro however. If there's a majority chance that the baby will not have the disease, then the decision should point overwhelmingly in the direction of non-abortion, in regards to the odds of the baby having Tay-Sachs, seeing as there's a better chance of the baby not having Tay-Sachs.

---Counter Rebuttal 9, Lesser Evil---

My opponent counters my idea that Amanda's degradation is the lesser evil in comparison to the death of the baby with a possible outcome, in which the baby dies and Amanda loses thirty years of her life. He insinuates that this is the worse evil, and therein also insinuates that his course is the lesser evil. However, Amanda's degradation of quality of life is always the lesser evil, due to the good it has the ability to achieve. It will always be justified to risk this, because of the gain of the baby's life that is possible.

---Counter Rebuttal 10, Odds of Fetus's Life---

My opponent says that the fetus in this situation is not guaranteed to have a life, and therefore its termination shouldn't be considered killing, and it shouldn't be avoided. This shouldn't allow for termination however, as under Con the baby has a greater chance of life than under the Pro side. If chance is what factors into termination of the fetus, and if the chances are better under Con, then we see that termination is not warranted.

To my opponent: I don't care if you refute things in Round 4.

Debate Round No. 3


My opponent says he does not care if I refute in the fourth round. So I will refute one of his arguments.


In the first section of his rebuttals, he points out that the baby has a limited chance of acquiring Tay-Sachs disease. Again, yes. Once again, I was just putting some diseases out there. There are many other diseases out there that the baby can get.

My opponent also states that in this scenario, there is an 0.01% chance that the baby will acquire birth defects. I said there is a 100% chance the baby will acquire serious birth defects. Notice I said seriousin the scenario. Also note that I said many. If you want to, go back and check.

Many: A large indefinite number (1).

Serious: dangerous possible result (2).

This may provide the single most important argument/rebuttal in this debate.
Many is usually thought to be higher than some and half, correct? In this case, I will say that out of ten diseases (I'll go easy on you) the baby will acquire four. Say the baby acquires four of the lesser serious birth defects (like not Tay-Sachs) (3):

1. Thalidomide
2. Anencephaly
3. Back of brain Encephalocele
4. Coarctation of the Aorta

So now, the baby:

1. Will have serious limitations in physical activities, such as walking, and emotional problems. 40% mortality rate. (4)
2. Missing parts of skull and brain, most die soon after birth. 99% mortality rate (5).
3. Will have serious seizures, will have unusually small and sometimes fatal head, complete loss of strength in key muscles, and problems with the five senses (such as vision.) 55% mortality rate (6).
4. Narrow Aorta due to not developing correctly. 87% (untreated) mortality rate. (7).

That is only for some of the less serious birth defects. Acquire one of the more serious ones and you're done. All together, the mortality rate on all of these diseases is 100%, as no baby has EVER survived all four of these. So the baby will die 1,000 out of 1,000 times, thus meaning that the con and pro side have the same chances of life.

So I ask you, why not abort this baby? It is going to die 100% of the time shortly after birth anyway, and aborting it means that you don't get the consequences.



With my arguments done, I pass the last round onto con. Thanks to the voters, MyDinosaurHands, and TUF for making this debate possible.


Firstly, my apologies for messing up one of the statistics. My point still stands however, in regards to acquiring Tay-Sachs or Sandhoff.

Next my opponent decides to make his scenario more specific, in the final round, specifying diseases that he claims will result in 100% death rate, which is in direct contradiction to his scenario, which claims a 99.99% death rate. A small difference, yes, but it is the difference that matters for the Con position. Given that these newly introduced diseases break the scenario, I do not need to defend against them. Their invalidity in regards to the debate and scenario does the job for me.

So I'll just round off finish off with a closing statement.

It's all about the odds. Under Pro, 1,000 out of 1,000 babies will die. Under Con, 999 out of 1,000 babies will die. We owe it to that one baby to take these risks. For Amanda, the risks are not as bad as what could befall that one baby under the Pro position. I have already shown several ways the costs could be covered, and I have countered Pro's rebuttals to those ideas, to which he has provided no defense. I have shown that we can't assume the baby that lives might be content in its life, to which Pro has provided no counter.

Thanks to TUF for creating this tournament. Happy New Year's.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
You probably should've won anyways.
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
Dammit! I forgot to mention that people have survived abortions... I would've won if I said that, as pro and con would've had the same chances of life...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by alevan 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: I found this to be a very interesting debate. I think conduct was even on both sides as was spelling and grammar. When I look at sources however a few of the Pros articles contradicted the other ones he mentioned. I felt con had better refutations because after reading the entire debate he had me going against my own personal beliefs. One of the better debates I've seen good job to both debaters.