The Instigator
GarretKadeDupre
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

Abortion is illegal according to the Supreme Law of the Land

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,890 times Debate No: 28839
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

GarretKadeDupre

Pro

According to the preamble of the Constitution, the Constitution was established to secure the blessings of liberty to our posterity. Killing an unborn person in the womb is directly contrary to this idea.

All people have equal rights under the Constitution, including unborn persons.
socialpinko

Con

===Definitions===


The supreme law of the land in this context obviously refers to the Constitution of the United States. Pro's burden therefore lies in constructing a Constitutional case for why abortion is illegal. Con's burden on the other hand lies in deconstructing/refuting that argument.

Illegal- contrary to or forbidden by law [http://oxforddictionaries.com...]

Abortion refers to the purposeful termination of a pregnancy.


===Preliminary points===


-Abortion is currently not forbidden by law, therefore it's not illegal in any real sense. Con's case, if successful, would only show that abortion should be illegal according to the Constitution. However, his case makes the mistake of equivocating normative with descriptive claims.


-The Supreme Court (the body charged with interpreting the Constitution) has ruled that abortion is a right provided for under the Constitution [Roe v Wade http://www.law.cornell.edu...]. This isn't meant to be an exhaustive argument by itself, however it reveals a presumption in favor of the Con position. In order to refute established Constitutional precedent, Pro will need to provide more than just three sentences of unsourced and unsupported argument.


-The "posterity" point that Pro brings up is obviously not a blanket commandment. There are several instances in which a child may be killed, such as in self defense. The intent of this point isn't to conjure up abortion as self defense, but to show that the "posterity" point clearly isn't meant to be taken as a categorical mandate.


I'll go more in depth in the next round after seeing Pro's full case. So for now I send the debate back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
GarretKadeDupre

Pro

My argument is that Abortion is currently forbidden by the Constitution; therefore, I'm arguing that Abortion IS currently forbidden by law. The Constitution, being the Supreme Law of the Land, trumps all other laws made under it.

The Supreme Court's opinion on the Constitution is not relevant to this debate. Supreme Court Precedent has contradicted itself many times; precedents have been struck down before. You imply that the meaning of the Constitution changes to fit these interpretations, but it doesn't. The Constitution is established on principles that are not subject to the whims of the Supreme Court.

You're right, the Posterity clause is not a blanket commandment. But I used it because I think we both agree that all persons have equal rights under the Constitution, and the Posterity clause merely enforces my position.
socialpinko

Con

Is vs. Ought.


I assumed Pro would claim that they made a mistake in the wording but this is interesting nonetheless. Abortion is not currently forbidden by the Constitution. Pro can argue that, on his view, the Constitution calls for a ban/law against abortion but it's clear to anyone looking that there currently is no ban/law to that effect. For a law to actually be in place there must be a mechanistic force by which said law is enforced [http://oxforddictionaries.com...]. As of current there is no official governing force in the U.S. to enforce this supposed 'illegality'.


Supreme Court Precedent.


I already mentioned in R1 that this point was not meant to be an exhaustive argument. It was merely meant to set up a presumption in favor of the Con position. Refuting a strawman does nothing to bolster Pro's case. Furthermore, Pro's statement here is also misleading: ("The Constitution is established on principles that are not subject to the whims of the Supreme Court."). While technically true (in the sense that interpretation does not necessitate correctness, Pro is wrong to dismiss wholesale the Supreme Court as a prima facie viable interpretation mechanism.


Posterity Clause.


First, Pro has conceded that the "posterity clause" doesn't exist as a categorical mandate. On the "equal rights" point, Pro has also failed to establish why the allegedly equal rights of the foetus outweigh those of the mother as in cases where the mother's life is threatened. This is why the "equal rights point" as applied to abortion leads to absurd conclusions. By taking the life of the to be of equal weight to that of the mother, the mother's right to life ends up being violated. The same is true vice versa. At the very least then, Pro's equal rights point lends credence to legalization of abortion at least when the mother's life is threatened.

Note that my burden doesn't lie in Constitutionally defending abortion in all cases. Just defending abortion under certain circumstances (as in when refusing one endangers the life of the mother) is enough to refute Pro's case.
Debate Round No. 2
GarretKadeDupre

Pro

I assumed you agree that all persons have equal rights under the Constitution; you haven't clarified your position on this. I claim all persons DO have equal rights under the Constitution, but I do think that it is legally permissible to artificially induce a pregnancy when it is the only reasonable way to protect the mother's life. This is not because the mother's rights trump that of the fetus; rather, it is ONLY because it can be reasonably assumed that the mother is the only one who can possibly survive in any circumstance. However, this is very different then terminating a pregnancy at the whim of the mother, which always obviously murder. I would say that since a proper interpretation of the Constitution cannot exist without the Declaration of Independence, and the Declaration of Independence clearly makes the deliberate killing of innocence wrong, the Constitution, having the Declaration of Independence so closely involved, presumes deliberately killing an person to be illegal.

I do realize this may mean you win this debate, but I hope you bite and still respond to my other positions.
socialpinko

Con

First, I should point out that Pro seems to have conceded the debate, claiming that: ("I do think that it is legally permissible to artificially induce a pregnancy when it is the only reasonable way to protect the mother's life."). According to the definitions agreed upon from R1, abortion refers to the purposeful termination of a pregnancy. So Pro admitting of a Constitutional precedent for doing so (admittedly under restricted circumstances) essentially concedes the debate. Pro himself also seems to understand this, saying that "this may mean you win this debate".

This probably isn't necessary but Pro also dropped the is/ought point as well as the presumption in favor of current legal precedent.

On Pro's DOI point, you can't get around the fact that "rights" as defined in various American legal documents are rarely taken to be inalienable in practice. The right to life may be circumvented for the purpose of self defense, etc. Of course Pro conceded that a foetus' right to life could be circumvented under certain conditions ("it can be reasonably assumed that the mother is the only one who can possibly survive in any circumstance."), we're essentially in agreement on this point.

Thanks to Pro for this interesting debate, though I urge a Con vote for Pro's concession.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 4 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
This was fun. I learned what an exhaustive argument is, among other things :)

Thanks Con... and I have to say, vote Con. Technically he won this debate, I think.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 4 years ago
DoctorDeku
GarretKadeDupresocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro should have argued that abortion should be illegal, not that it is illegal. Pro's poor framing of the resolution invited an easy win from Con.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
GarretKadeDupresocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro claims that abortion _is_ illegal. He grants that statutes and the supreme court disagree with him, but he claims, based on his own unique interpretation of the Constitution, that abortion in some sense _is_ illegal. He gives no basis for this belief other than his personal desire to include embryos as "persons." Like the founding fathers were thinking that when they wrote the Constitution. Con refuted this argument, and Pro had no comeback.
Vote Placed by Xerge 4 years ago
Xerge
GarretKadeDupresocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded when he stated abortion was legally permissible and Con showed it was based on the ruling by the Supreme Court.
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
GarretKadeDupresocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: In the framing of this debate, Pro argued that "Abortion is illegal according to the Supreme law of the Land" (Constitution). Con tried to speak to 'legality' from cases that came about long after the Constitution was established. I believe that Pro's arguments were more inline with the challenge of the debate and I agree with Pros conclusion that Abortion for the most part is Un-Constitutional and in therefor with respect to the "Supreme Law of the Land" - Illegal. Vote to Con for the better use of sources to support her arguments.
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
GarretKadeDupresocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro conceded, and roe vs wade makes it pretty clear that abortion is legal