The Instigator
Jack212
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mikal
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Abortion is morally permissible, even if the pregnancy would pose no threat to the mother's life.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mikal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 998 times Debate No: 36557
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

Jack212

Con

Opinion on abortion varies, but most agree that it's acceptable when continuing the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother's life. So this aspect of abortion is not the subject of the debate.

What I dispute, because I'm yet to hear a convincing argument for it, is the idea that abortion should be allowed for non-life-threatening reasons. I've heard several arguments that I'm going to address in advance, before letting Pro make their case for why abortion is morally justified.

1. "Having the baby of an abusive partner traps her in the relationship."

There are things called "women's shelters" for a reason. If her partner is abusing her, she should seek legal action against him. It doesn't justify killing the child.

2. "The foster care system is lousy."

So fix it. It needs to be done anyway, and is a far better alternative than terminating pregnancies.

3. "She was raped."

Will having an abortion un-rape her? Will it punish the person responsible? Is it in any way the fault of the child? The answer is no.

4. "A woman can do whatever she likes with her body."

That's true, but it doesn't follow that she can do what she likes with the fetus's body.

5. "It will solve crime/overpopulation."

This has never proven, and the theory criticized as fallacious ( http://en.wikipedia.org... ). Hard evidence would needed to back up this claim, and even so it doesn't mean that abortion is therefore right.

6. "She can't afford to look after the baby."

If she's that poor, she can leave the baby at a convent or fire station. Or find other ways to support the child.

7. "It will wreck her body."

Abortion wrecks the fetus's body. Somebody suffers either way, but only abortion is guaranteed to kill somebody (remember that this debate is about non-life-threatening pregnancies, which are obviously a separate issue).

8. "He can disappear without paying child support."

A deadbeat dad doesn't justify an abortion. Many women raise children without input from the father.

9. "Fetuses are not people."

This is begging the question, as whether or not fetuses should be considered people is tied to the outcome of the abortion debate. It's also irrelevant, as something not being a person is not in itself a justification for killing it.

10. "Pro-Lifers are misogynists."

That's an ad hominem and completely untrue. While there are misogynist pro-lifers, there are also many pro-lifers who love and respect women or are women themselves.

I have refuted 10 possible arguments for abortion. I now await Pro to make their case for why abortion is morally acceptable. Don't type "accept" this time, please go straight to your argument.
Mikal

Pro

I am going to jump straight into this seeing as how I was challenged. So I will use the first round to get straight to the point.

We are debating

"Abortion is morally permissible, even if the pregnancy would pose no threat to the mother's life."

So we can conclude that if abortion is morally acceptable in any other means than one that would threaten a mothers life, my adversaries claim is incorrect. He is claiming that abortion is only morally acceptable in circumstances where it could take a mothers life


So let us look at his argument.

(1) He makes a long list of reasons and gives examples of each as to why they are not morally acceptable or have alternatives.

This is irrelevant. For him to argue from this perspective, he must offer a valid reason to every possible circumstance that could warrant an abortion. This is psychically impossible to do. He would have to list millions of reasons because different people want abortions for different reasons and each scenario is different. So making a long list of reasons and why he considers them to be immoral is not proving a point. He is just demonstrating why he thinks they are wrong. He then says out of all of the other possible reasons, the only one that is permissible is that if it could possibly save a woman's life. Thus his opening contention is invalid. For him to meet his BOP he must show that abortion in "every", circumstance other than one that could threaten a mothers life is immoral.

Now I will offer some contentions, and I am limited to a small character restraint so I will have to be short.

Contention 1 : How do we gauge morality.

For him to say that abortion is morally wrong in every circumstance other than one that could take a mothers life, he must then find a way to gauge what is moral. To even hold to this claim, he would have to define what can we gauge morality by.

Example A : A woman needs an abortion because she is not ready to have the child and it could mess up her chances of college and any type of future. She doesn't want to go through the emotional pain of having the child and giving it away so she opts an abortion

By my logic this is morally acceptable, by his it is not. What makes one of us right and the other wrong. For this assertion to be correct he would have to define what is objective morality and how can we gauge it. Morality is directly dependent on the situation, and what is moral to one person may not be moral to another.

Example B : Sleeping with your girlfriend before marriage is acceptable

Again by my logic I think this is acceptable, and by others logic it is not. Again i reemphasize the point, for this statement to be true and abortion to be wrong in all circumstances other than ones that are life threatening, he must show how it is possible to gauge morality. With some of the examples he gave I consider them to be morally acceptable, thus his argument saying it is immoral is invalid because I have shown that in some peoples eyes it is acceptable. This counters his initial stance.


Contention 2 : Rape


If any reason other than one that could take a mothers life is a valid reason, this is one.

He claims

"Will having an abortion un-rape her? Will it punish the person responsible? Is it in any way the fault of the child? The answer is no."

This argument got me so frustrated I wanted to slap myself in the face in the hopes it would go away. In some states the person that rapes the woman can then petition for visitation rights. This is not considering whether the woman is at a stage where she is ready for a Child, or even if her or her spouse want a Child. Not to mention the emotional distress she would have to go through.


Contention 3 : Is a fetus a life

This is debatable and varies by states. If i was not restricted to around 4k words, I would go more in depth. In short there is no way to say that a fetus is in fact a life. Different studies produce different evidence and support the cause in which they support. Meaning pro lifers will present tests and studies that show it is a life, pro choice supporters will show evidence that it is not a life. There is evidence for each and both sides are strong.

In closing

For Pro to meet his BOP, he must show that abortion in every other circumstance other than one that is life threatening is morally wrong. This is an impossible task, because he is only applying his own worldview and using that to define morality. Also he would have to account for every situation other than one that is life threatening.

We can conclude he will not and has not met his BOP.


PS: While I was looking up some sources to support my view point of whether or not a fetus is a life for the future rounds, I found this picture and it made me giggle. Some people will laugh at it and some will hate it, but I think it highlights a lot of peoples thought processes and demonstrates a common line of thought. I loled alot


http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org...



Debate Round No. 1
Jack212

Con

You are Pro, I am Con. I was under the impression that shifted BOP to you, but maybe that other guy was just messing with me. Does DDO actually have a rule about this? I can't find anything in the FAQ.

I refuted the reasons I've heard on the forums, in case you were going to use them.

1. In that case we're both screwed. You can't prove that abortion is right, and I can't prove it's wrong. The best I could do is go by the moral/legal framework we generally use in society (i.e. humans have rights, including the right to life, and rights cannot be violated without just cause), but that would be an argument from popularity/authority.

If we use "People have a right to life" as a given, then you need to justify why fetuses are not people, or why their right to life shouldn't be protected.

2. If the Law gives rapists visitation rights, then it needs to be changed. It doesn't follow that abortion is justified.

In other words, see my counter-arguments for 1, 6 and 7 (7 could just as easily apply to mental damage instead of physical).

Using "she was raped" as justification for abortion is like saying "she was raped, therefore she gets to kill something". If that "something" is her rapist then I would be all for that. But it is generally understood that mental anguish doesn't give somebody the right to take an innocent life, which the fetus definitely qualifies as. Personhood doesn't make a life innocent or not, nor does it automatically give you the right to kill it (otherwise we could butcher our pets with no consequences).

3. A fetus is most definitely alive. Sperm and egg are alive. Bacteria are alive. Ants and wasps are alive. In the biological sense, fetuses are alive. The question is whether they qualify as people, which is a moral/legal issue and not a scientific one. Science can only provide evidence by which we can base our moral decision.

The picture's point doesn't work, because sperm and fetuses are different. Sperm are single cells with no brain or heart, while fetuses are multicellular and have organs.
Mikal

Pro

A BOP would be taken by the instigator of the debate in most circumstances. It is with your essential claim. You state that abortion is morally permissible, even if it poses not threat to a mothers life. You are saying you are opposed to this statement, and have instigated the debate. Thus you have to show why it is not morally permissible in any other circumstance. Most people will claim a shared BOP in the topic, or specifically reference that the opposition is left with the BOP. When you are claiming something to be something, it is on you to show why that stance is correct. It is my job to undermine and show why that stance can be wrong or could be considered wrong.

Now I will offer rebuttals.

Rebuttal 1

morality

1. "In that case we're both screwed. You can't prove that abortion is right, and I can't prove it's wrong. The best I could do is go by the moral/legal framework we generally use in society (i.e. humans have rights, including the right to life, and rights cannot be violated without just cause), but that would be an argument from popularity/authority."

The point in this was not to claim it to be right nor wrong. It was my attempt to show that abortion can be justified in certain situations by some peoples standards. We have objectivity about morality within our society as a hole. We think murder is wrong, and that is commonly accepted and placed within the law. Thus this is an objective fact, that is dependent on where we live.

My initial statement about this was to show that anyone can justify anything in certain situations. If there is no gauge for morality, then anything is permissible. Thus making abortion morally acceptable in every circumstance. I was not saying that I believe this is the case, but showing that it could be a possibility. Unless you are able to find a way to gauge morality, your argument that it is immoral is invalid. Meaning morality can be subjective or have moral relativity tied to it. The most logical way to argue this is to find a way and a standard by which we can determine what or what is not moral. My perspective is that it is directly relevant to culture and society. Meaning morality is directly dependent on what is objective within that society at that point. It is a mix of experience, culture doctrines, and fundamental laws that help us define what is moral.

This is where you adopt the logic of "murder is wrong". The obvious counter argument would be that a fetus is not a life. With both sides having no iron clad proof either way, it is safe to assume it is a logically acceptable premise. If some study where to come out that hands down showed a fetus was in fact a life, at that point abortion would be considered objectively wrong. Until that is the case, we can only operate under our on personal assumptions on the situation, which can make it morally permissible if the situation requires it. This also in turn shows that it can be morally acceptable dependent on certain situations.

Rebuttal 2

Rape

"Using "she was raped" as justification for abortion is like saying "she was raped, therefore she gets to kill something". If that "something" is her rapist then I would be all for that. But it is generally understood that mental anguish doesn't give somebody the right to take an innocent life, which the fetus definitely qualifies as. Personhood doesn't make a life innocent or not, nor does it automatically give you the right to kill it (otherwise we could butcher our pets with no consequences)."

For this to be a coherent statement, you would have to show a fetus is an actual living being. By life i do mean human. At this point neither side has been able to do so. So if it is not considered a human and abortion is accepted as an option. It is entirely possible to construe this a morally permissible act. To say any different, you would have to demonstrate with iron clad certainty and proof that a fetus is in fact a living human being.

To operate further under this assumption. You state that it is okay and morally permissible to kill a fetus if it endangers a mother life. With the line of thought you are operating under, you are trading a life for a life. If murder is morally wrong by your standards, your argument is counter intuitive. Then you would have to evaluate which life is held above the other.


Rebuttal 3

A fetus is alive

I am sorry you misunderstood this. By alive i mean an actual person. We can say most things are alive, but that is not the question. It is whether or not we are actually killing a living being. I have shown a source and provided logic to support that it is just an embryo and has no qualities of a human. To demonstrate this point further, you then have to show what qualities a human has and show a fetus also has it. Ex conscious, senses, etc. A fetus has none that we know of and can not be shown to.

In closing

The resolution has not been met. He has not shown that death of a mother is the only morally acceptable circumstance.

Debate Round No. 2
Jack212

Con

Right, thanks for the info. It's a bit late for me to delegate BOP now, but I hope you'll fight tooth and nail all the same.

1. Let's suppose the fetus is not a person. Why would that give us the right to kill it? I see no logical connection here.

2. Sometimes you do have to choose between one person's life or another. If you choose not to save the mother, you may as well be killing her. In this case, you kill somebody regardless, either directly (abortion) or indirectly (inaction).

3. Your cited article ( http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org... ) blatantly states, "Biology, medicine, law, philosophy, and theology have no consensus on the issue." It then goes on to use logical fallacies to justify the pro-choice stance.

We give the benefit of the doubt to women... why?

Fetuses and newborns are both dependent on a woman to survive. Fetuses need a womb, while newborns need milk, care and protection. Technology is changing this in both cases.

The section dealing with fetuses and legal rights uses a slippery slope fallacy. Giving them the right to life doesn't mean we have to assign them a social security number, name or certificate of any sort before they are born. It just means you're not allowed to kill them.

It also uses the old "pro-lifers are misogynists" argument, which doesn't hold because it's demonstrably false, and also because we limit the freedoms of everybody in some way or another regardless of gender, race or creed. Women get pregnant and men don't, that is just biology. It doesn't mean that forbidding abortion is a crime against women.

"Life is a crap shoot" is completely irrelevant to the abortion debate.

4. There is physically no way that anybody can prove the morality/immorality of abortion in every possible scenario, because we don't have access to every possible scenario. We must make do on what we have available.
Mikal

Pro


Rebuttal 1

" Let's suppose the fetus is not a person. Why would that give us the right to kill it? I see no logical connection here. "

If the fetus is not a person, you would have to then classify what it actually is. It can be construed as a parasite by some because of how it leeches of the nutrients of the mother. This is not the full case, and just an example but we would still have to classify it. If it is just an embryo with no feelings, thoughts, or conscious it would be the same as cracking open a egg. At that point we would conclude that it is not a life, but has the possibility to become a life. The possibility to become a life, is not a life within itself. It just bears potential.

Rebuttal 2

" Sometimes you do have to choose between one person's life or another. If you choose not to save the mother, you may as well be killing her. In this case, you kill somebody regardless, either directly (abortion) or indirectly (inaction)."

I think you missed the point I was trying to make. If this where the case, then you would have to value one life over the other. Hypothetically if your logic is correct, and we act under that logic you have committed murder either way. If you then operate under the pretense that murder of a fetus is objectivity wrong, you have countered yourself. If you then admit that morality in that situation is directly relevant to the issue at hand, then you concede to my argument. Either way you are stuck.

Rebuttal 3

" Your cited article ( http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org...... ) blatantly states, "Biology, medicine, law, philosophy, and theology have no consensus on the issue." It then goes on to use logical fallacies to justify the pro-choice stance."

Most of these issues will state that it is a woman's right to her own body, and with the fetus not being considered a life it is her choice to chose. Much more in depth but that is the basics of every argument you will see. It goes on to say that theology have no reason to dictate and control that choice, because it is an ethical option until the fetus can be shown to be a human being. Other wise you are not committing murder.

You then say

"The section dealing with fetuses and legal rights uses a slippery slope fallacy. Giving them the right to life doesn't mean we have to assign them a social security number, name or certificate of any sort before they are born. It just means you're not allowed to kill them."

It goes way more in depth that just that. It is more than just giving them a social security number, but defining what life actually is. As i state it would be have sense, conscious, breathe, feel pain , etc. Just because something has the potential to bear these in the future, does not make it a life. If you used that line of logic, anything could be labeled as a human because it is alive. What makes a human a human and when does it become so? Even some pro choice people say by the third tri-mester it has met the requirements of what we consider life or a human. Anything prior to that would still be justifiable however. Your stance is that it is wrong in all situations other than one that can cause death.

Let me break it down

For you to say the fetus is a living human, you would have to do one of the two.

(1) Show that it is alive from the moment of the conception. Like the moment sperm is released and goes on to form the egg it would be considered a living human. You would have to show this sciteificaly and provide facts to support it which you have not done

or

(2) You would have to show at what point it becomes an actual human and is considered to be alive. At this point, you would then have to accept in abortion prior to that point is morally acceptable. Which you have not done either leaving your BOP unfulfilled.

If you want to use basic logic, you lose either way. If you admit to the first, you will soon realize this is impossible to prove. If you admit to the second you concede that you are wrong, because abortion prior to when it develops would be justified.


Rebuttal 4

"There is physically no way that anybody can prove the morality/immorality of abortion in every possible scenario, because we don't have access to every possible scenario. We must make do on what we have available."

Agreed but again you lose by saying this, because of your stance. Even if you were to go with this argument, you would have to consider every possible situation in which an abortion has occurred and show it was morally incorrect. If even one of those situations would be deemed as necessary, your resolution has not been met

In closing

My adversary has claimed something that is impossible to prove. He claims that abortion in every circumstance that can cause death to a mother is morally wrong. This is impossible to back with facts and show as truth. Thus he has not met his BOP.

Bear in mind I am not for or against abortion. I am undecided. I just wanted to show how illogical his stance is.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
God people are so uptight with these topics and it is kind of amusing. Read the debate and you will understand the point I am trying to make. "Life" is subjective, to claim abortion is murder you would have to how it has traits of a human.

To say that is perfectly clear is stupid. If it was perfectly clear it would be illegal across the board. I can cite 100s of sources to show that it is not a developed human at the moment of conception.

You are arguing 30 seconds after the moment of conception, the fetus is considered a human. That is illogical. Plants are "alive", the food we eat was "alive" but non of these things bear the characteristics of a human. For abortion to be murder you would have to show at what stage it starts to develop these.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
God people are so uptight with these topics and it is kind of amusing. Read the debate and you will understand the point I am trying to make. "Life" is subjective, to claim abortion is murder you would have to how it has traits of a human.

To say that is perfectly clear is stupid. If it was perfectly clear it would be illegal across the board. I can cite 100s of sources to show that it is not a developed human at the moment of conception.

You are arguing 30 seconds after the moment of conception, the fetus is considered a human. That is illogical. Plants are "alive", the food we eat was "alive" but non of these things bear the characteristics of a human. For abortion to be murder you would have to show at what stage it starts to develop these.
Posted by TheUnapologeticTruth 3 years ago
TheUnapologeticTruth
@Mikal...

That woman with the sign is about as bright as you are.. it proves that you guys don't have a little thing called logic...

Why? A blowjob CANT be cannibalism because a sperm cell is not a being. It only has one half the required chromosomes and does not if left alone, develop into a person now does it? However, you are completely wrong and ignorant of science. Science and every medical book tells us that life begins at conception. It is a living growing organism with both sets of chromosomes from the male and female parents and has complete DNA. THe fact that it doesn't "look" human doesn't make it so... I suggest you get educated.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
I addressed that contention in the debate.

Most things could be classified as "alive", but to call abortion murder you would have to prove a fetus is a human.

You would have to show at what stage human traits are actually developed, such as feeling, pain, etc. Most people think its begins around 26 weeks, which is why third tri-mester abortion is illegal in most states. To say it is alive at the time of conception, you would be arguing the egg is actually a human life. This is incorrect because it merely bears the potential to become a life.

The actually point at which it develops the traits that would classify it as a human is impossible to say. If it was abortion would either be illegal/legal in every state. It is very subjective, but most studies put the line around the third tri-mester.

As i also stated either side will have studies to support their cause. This is why it is impossible to ban/approve abortion on a federal level. There is no evidence to show it entirely either way.
Posted by GlobalThinker 3 years ago
GlobalThinker
Excuse me Mikal I have a question for you
When you say Fetus what period of Fetus is acceptable to be aborted?

there are 1 to 16 weeks
17 to 25 weeks
26 to 38 weeks
and a full grown baby.

So could you justify what period of Fetus is acceptable to aborted?

To answer your argument about life, life means when it exist. If a fungus exist it is a life. If a seed exist it is a life. If a fetus is alive and have possibility to grow as a full grown baby, it sure alive. You talk about pains or feelings that humans feel but not fetus, thats not something we both know is it? Truth is whether it feels pain or not in our moral standard YOU DON'T kill a life form. No further argument is needed for that. You can't say its moral to kill a life. Everything we do and accept in our society is already morally wrong in many standards. We are born with a sin thats why religion is such complicated topic. The question that you should have is 1. What phases of fetus do you claim to be acceptable? 2. If a Fetus have organs and features of human form then are you going to say its wrong to abort it?? 3. In your way of thinking, anything that is fully grown can be taken away if we want to? Isn't that sort of claiming humans have power to kill or live a life form? I fear if thats what you believe that will cause destruction in our moral standards and we will be inconsistent with our beliefs of justice and equality of human rights. IN addition, i think you should also consider then if cells are alive and if organs are alive. If they are dead i don't think humans ourselves can survive don't you think? If they are alive as a life form but not HUMAN according to your words we can remove them if we feel like to do so right?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Oromagi 3 years ago
Oromagi
Jack212MikalTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I am generally opposed to abortion as a resolution for pregnancy, but I also believe that the destiny of the fetus remains the natural responsibility of the mother during gestation. Paired with that responsibility is the natural civil right to abortion. So my opinion was not influenced by either side. I give points to Pro for making an argument that there are moral ambiguities beyond the mother's health. Con made no argument, but set up 10 straw men and knocked them down in a cursory and non-illuminating fashion.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
Jack212MikalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro gets conduct point because he argued more professionally. He did this by making points bold. His argument looked neater and more readable that way, too.