The Instigator
YYW
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
CAPLlock
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion is societally beneficial.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
YYW
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,798 times Debate No: 17200
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

YYW

Pro

First round will be for acceptance. I thank you. You thank me. Everybody's a happy family.

Round 2 will be for opening arguments. I say a whole lot of stuff to support one side. You say a whole lot of stuff to support the side I'm not supporting. Debate commences.

Round 3 will be for refutation and case reconstruction. I tell you what is wrong with your case. You tell me what is wrong with my case. We debate. Clash happens (ideally).

Round 4 will be for closing arguments.

Some ground rules:

1) I am more a rhetoric guy than a source guy. Your sources don't impress me. Your thoughts do. Sources are a means to an end in argument, not the end themselves. Use them as such. In this debate I will use some sources, and you can too but don't overly rely on other people's thoughts.
2) If you use evidence, don't use it as a contention, point, sub-point, etc. Use it to support what you like.
3) This is going to be more a philosophical debate rather than an empirical one. I just like that style more; and it's a great way to avoid a source-war.

Some topic-specific ground rules:

1) Present original arguments as best you can. Don't cite what you heard someone else say.
2) No profanity, slurs, derogatory terminology, etc. Let's keep it professional.
CAPLlock

Con

*Cues epic music*
Debate Round No. 1
YYW

Pro

Abortion is societally beneficial.

The resolution requires the pro to establish that abortion yields benefits to society. This is not a debate over rights of the fetus (if fetuses have rights), nor is it a debate over wether abortion is murder. Even if abortion is murder, it can still be societally beneficial. This is similarly not a debate about morality. Something does not have to be morally sound to yield benefits to society as a whole. As such, no arguments of that nature may be entertained. To prove that something is beneficial it must simply cause more good than it causes harm. I accept that there may be some negative aspects of abortion; I am only obliged to prove that society benefits greater from abortion than the alternative -the consequences of not having abortion.

Women who get abortions are more likely to be unprepared to be parents. Parenting is no easy task. Kids who are ignored, neglected, or raised in bad home environments are more likely to grow up in foster care or the welfare system and not only consume a disproportionately high volume of limited societal resources, but grow up to harm society in a variety of ways -ranging from engagement in criminal syndicalism to leeching welfare and governmentally provided health care. Good citizens work, produce more than they consume, and do not commit crimes.

Kids who grow up in foster care are more likely to become addicted to and deal drugs (and harm society), be uneducated or undereducated (and not contribute to society because they can not or will not work a job), and commit violent crimes (and disrupt society or worse). Kids who are adopted do, generally, fare better than kids in foster care -but there are simply not enough parents who wish to adopt to care for every unwanted child. Freakonomics (Levitt, Dubner) makes a candidly pragmatic observation to this end.

I would love to live in a world where all kids who were unwanted were adopted and grew up to be good, productive citizens -but such a world is impractical. Because of the disproportionate number of children who need to be adopted (even in a system where abortion is legal) a world where all children had to be adopted would cripple the already weak infrastructure of the overburdened Department of Social Services.

However, this is not to say that every unwanted child should be aborted. The Department of Social Services does the best they can, but they are constrained by the limitations of bureaucracy, politics, and policy that (though intended to ensure procedural adoptions) generally only hinders the process and precludes parents who wish to adopt from actually adopting -or at least adopting at the rate that would maximize the utility of adoptive parents as a societal resource.

If the object then is to maximize societal utility, flooding the adoptive system with kids who won't grow up to benefit society or at least are more likely to harm society makes no sense whatsoever.
CAPLlock

Con

" murder, it can still be societally beneficial."

How so? Resources being wasted? Killing off all disabled people would save resources. Is that right?

"health care. Good citizens work, produce more than they consume, and do not commit crimes."

A GOOD citizen who cares about his/her country should help the poor. The fetus will still be taken care of to the point where there are safe home.

Kids who grow up in foster care are more likely to become addicted to and deal drugs (and harm society), be uneducated or undereducated (and not contribute to society because they can not or will not work a job), and commit violent crimes (and disrupt society or worse). Kids who are adopted do, generally, fare better than kids in foster care -but there are simply not enough parents who wish to adopt to care for every unwanted child


I cannot take this. I need numbers. Besides theres people who do drugs and crime who were born in better times.

I would love to live in a world where all kids who were unwanted were adopted and grew up to be good, productive citizens -but such a world is impractical. Because of the disproportionate number of children who need to be adopted (even in a system where abortion is legal) a world where all children had to be adopted would cripple the already weak infrastructure of the overburdened Department of Social Services.

In most cases, some do well. The point of my round is that some problems you brought up can be solved by other extremes. Like killing all the druggies. Or killing disabled people. The answer? No. Killing Fetuses? No.


Debate Round No. 2
YYW

Pro

We aren't here to talk about killing off disabled people. Moreover, I am not saying that abortion is acceptable or societally beneficial in every case to everyone -only that it is beneficial to SOCIETY as a WHOLE.

I didn't want to get into a source war, but you demanded numbers. Let's talk about "good citizens" though. "One of the strongest predictors of criminal activity, and the externalities that result, is family background." (1) Where childhood family background is not conducive to a structured environment criminal activity is more likely to result. Kids who are adopted are more likely to commit crimes of all types than kids who are not adopted (1). The chances of kids even getting adopted isn't even favorable. What happens when they age out of the system? They can't find work. They can't go to college. The overwhelming majority doesn't enlist in the military. (2) Where does that leave them? Homeless; and harming society.

Even those children that are adopted face a litany of trouble, ranging from increased criminal activity to sociopathic tendencies. That is not to say that every kid that is adopted is going to turn sour, but the research is irrefutable (3).

As far as societal benefits across the board are concerned though, I cite John Donohue of Yale University and Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago. (4)

"We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization. The 5 states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime."

(1) http://www.mit.edu...
(2) http://www.npr.org...
(3) http://www.amfor.net...
(4) http://papers.ssrn.com...

John J. Donohue III
Stanford Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Steven D. Levitt
University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation
CAPLlock

Con

CAPLlock forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
YYW

Pro

It appears that my dear opponent, Capllock is no longer with us. Tragic, really. Perhaps he is off to benefit society, and is helping perform abortions... or picketing an abortion clinic to engage in more active social protest than engaging in an online debate with someone who is entirely apathetic to the matter. I shall take this time then to cover the topic a bit more comprehensively.

The question of reproductive rights has been a central issue of virtually every presidential election since the 1970s. The first major appearance of the argument of reproductive rights came with the case of Grizwold v. Connecticut which legalized usage of birth control. Roe v. Wade soon followed with the outright legalization of abortion, the adoption of the trimester framework, and the hell-storm that ensued. Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania v. Casey came subsequently in 1992 and abandoned the trimester framework, replacing it with the question of viability; which is about 22 weeks (Planned Parenthood of PA v. Casey).

Politicians have manipulated the issue of abortion since it's legalization in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe. Feminists have paraded the issue as one of women's rights, and exclusively women's rights without taking into account the role of the male (without whom the woman would not have been impregnated to begin with, short of immaculate conception which hasn't happened in a little over two millennia). But all hyperbole aside the only aspects in this country that are relevant to any reasonable discussion of abortion in the United States is the law, which has been consistently been defined by the Supreme Court upholding a mother's right to do away with her big mistake.

Every time I hear an annoying child crying in a movie, or crying in a restaurant I am more convicted that abortion is the way to go -especially considering that the parent's lacked the foresight to use a condom. Thankfully, most people that just shouldn't be reproducing aren't having kids anyway (because they are too repulsive to the opposite sex to even be considered as a potential playmate), but in those instances where some people just get too frisky and can't think five minutes (if they even last that long) into their future, there is but one solution. Many have and still do considered abortion murder; when in reality that debate is really about as relevant as a debate over the proper way to pronounce the word "tomato." You say tomato; I say abort! Roe v. Wade is here to stay, despite the best efforts of Reagan and Bush the Second.

The Supreme Court's decision in Grizwold created a "right to privacy" which was derived from the first amendment's right to free association clause, the third amendment's protection from the quartering of soldiers, the fourth amendment's protection of unreasonable searches and seizures, the fifth amendment's self-incrimination clause, the retention of "other rights" by the ninth amendment, and the incorporation of these rights under the due process and equal protection clauses of the fourteenth amendment (Grizwold v. Connecticut). Within a few short years, Roe was heard which declared firstly that the Texas statute which banned all abortions was unconstitutional because the right to privacy protects a woman's right to have an abortion. Secondly, the holding from Roe established that in the first trimester of a woman's pregnancy that she had the strongest interest in having an abortion, but by the third trimester the state had a more dominant interest in protecting the life of the child (Roe v. Wade).

The question however that determines the legitimacy of abortion itself is simply, from a legal standpoint: when does the fetus/child/whatever you wish to call it get constitutional rights? If the woman's interest was dominant in the first trimester, and the state (fetus's) interest was dominant in the third semester, what happens in the second? Roe left this question largely unanswered and it caused a tremendous deal of controversy until 1992, when Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania v. Casey was heard abandoning the ambiguousness shat out in Roe, and replacing it with a concrete deadline. The 22 week deadline (or lifeline, if you will) is the time at which during a normal pregnancy a fetus is viable -that is, it could live on it's own or with the assistance of modern science independent of the mother's womb. Regardless of pro-life rhetoric, Sandra Day O'Conner's opinion is more important than any vitriolic nonsense a pro-lifer would have to say on the matter.

It is difficult to consider a world without abortion. If it weren't safe and legal it would still be a less-than-rare occurrence, just instead of in a doctors office -it would be far more likely to happen in a back alley. However, in the United States, despite the efforts of Republicans and Blue-Dog Democrats abortion is still legal, and always will be. It just hasn't merited federal funding -yet.
CAPLlock

Con


You know I just got bored with this debate so

Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
I enjoyed this debate. I was a bit younger, and more apt to quarrel when I wrote it.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I like the crime arguments, Lott and Donahue disagree, just like on CCW laws lol
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
YYWCAPLlockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
GMDebater
YYWCAPLlockTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited.