The Instigator
dancerxx2
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Contradiction
Con (against)
Winning
61 Points

Abortion needs to stay legal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,720 times Debate No: 16591
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (11)

 

dancerxx2

Pro

Abortion is a woman's right. Before it was legal, woman would do things that they could die from to get an abortion. We have the technology to do abortions safely so why take it away? No one is forcing an abortion on anyone, so you don't have to have one. It is just there for people who have made a mistake. Some people are not meant to have kids. There are so many teenage pregnancies and they deserve to have the choice of abortion. Girls get pregnant from rape with some creepy man. They shouldn't have to go through with that. If a woman wants to have an abortion, she should be able to.
Contradiction

Con

Suppose that one day I am doing the dishes when my four year old runs behind me and asks "Daddy, can I kill this?" Before I answer, I first have to know what "this" is. If "this" refers to an insect, then sure. If "this" refers to his baby sister, then no. The point of all of this is that before we can settle the question of whether we have to a right to kill the unborn, we have to ask "What is the unborn?" If the unborn are valuable human persons like you and I, then one does not have the right to kill it.

I will be arguing for the position that elective abortion is prima facie immoral -- in fact, the most immoral out of all possible alternatives, for it involves the murder of an innocent human being. For the purposes of this debate, elective abortion is defined as the voluntary termination of a pregnancy by killing the unborn fetus/embryo. I use the term prima facie because I do grant that there are situations (Although rare) in which abortion is morally permissible, such as cases in which the life of the mother is directly threatened. My argument is as follows [1]:

1. The unborn entity, from the moment of concept, is a full-fledged member of the human community
2. It is prima facie morally wrong to kill any member of that community
3. Every successful abortion kills an unborn entity, a full-fleded member of the human community
4. Therefore, every successful abortion is prima facie morally wrong

So, What is the Unborn?

The unborn have the same rights as you or I. The acronym "SLED" will be useful in illustrating this point, as there are no crucial differences between the unborn and any other human being.

S: Size

The unborn is of course smaller than a fully grown human being, just as I am shorter than an NBA basketball player. But, to base moral personhood on size is absurd, for it would imply that some people have more moral value than others simply on the basis of being larger. So size cannot be a valid criteria.

L: Level of Development

Compared to a grown human individual, the unborn is quite underdeveloped. But, so is a child or teenager compared to an adult. Does it follow therefore that the children or teenagers have less moral value or are more human than adults? Obviously not. Simply being more developed has no moral bearing whatsoever. Criteria such as mental function are degreed properties. If significant mental functioning is what makes the unborn valuable, then it follows that some people are more valuable than others because they have a higher capacity for cognition. But this is rightly absurd.

E: Environment

"Where one is is irrelevant to who one is.... The fact that a child may be in her mother's womb is a geographical fact not a moral judgement." [2] How does it follow that simply because the unborn is located within the womb of the mother that it is not a moral subject? Moreover, how does a journey of a few inches turn a non-valuable tissue blob into an intrinsically valuable human being?

D: Degree of Dependency

Simply because the unborn are dependent on their mothers' care does not make them any less valuable than others. Infants and toddlers, for example, are dependent upon their parents in order to survive, but simply because they are more dependent does not make them any less valuable than a teenager who is able to care for himself. "I am not less me because my body may be in a state of greater dependency than at another time." [3]

Since none of these criteria are morally relevant in determining the personhood of the unborn and because there is no real distinction apart from the aforementioned between the unborn and a fully grown human being, it makes sense to say that the unborn are full-fledged members of the human community, and that their elective termination is immoral.

As we've seen, there are no morally relevant differences between an unborn and a fully grown human being. As such, they deserve the same rights as we do. There is therefore no "right" to electively kill them.

I now turn it over to my opponent.
_______

Sources

1. Francis J. Beckwith, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press: 2007) xii
2. Ibid, 160
3. Stephen Schwarz, The Moral Question of Abortion (Loyola University Press: 1990) 17
Debate Round No. 1
dancerxx2

Pro

dancerxx2 forfeited this round.
Contradiction

Con

Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 2
dancerxx2

Pro

dancerxx2 forfeited this round.
Contradiction

Con

Arguments extended, my opponent has forfeited. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by KeytarHero 6 years ago
KeytarHero
Roy, if you would like to debate the legality of abortion, feel free to issue me a challenge. I would be willing to take it up. (To be clear, I would debate that abortion should be made illegal.)
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
If you would like to debate the arguments Pro left unanswered, post a challenge to me.
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
dancerxx2ContradictionTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
Zarroette
dancerxx2ContradictionTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits
Vote Placed by jewgirl 5 years ago
jewgirl
dancerxx2ContradictionTied
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Reasons for voting decision: F.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
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Reasons for voting decision: And Con steams ahead.
Vote Placed by SkepticsAskHere 6 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
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Reasons for voting decision: FORFEIT
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: win by forfeit leaving arguments unanswered
Vote Placed by Dimmitri.C 6 years ago
Dimmitri.C
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Reasons for voting decision: Con won as a result of argumentation. Pro lost as a result of forfeiture.
Vote Placed by Raisor 6 years ago
Raisor
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit