The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Abortion on demand is morally and ethically wrong as well as currently overused

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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: 7/27/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,934 times Debate No: 36056
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Abortion is wrong because think about the objective of an abortion. It is to stop the development and therefore LIFE of the fetus from progressing to independent viability from the mother. As to whether or not the fetus feels any pain while being torn to shreds during an abortion, well there is no way to really know for sure, but they do know that they withdraw from touch and other stimuli. There is also a photo in circulation of a ten week old fetus's perfectly formed hand holding on to a Dr's finger. I could go on. On my other point abortions are overused. What happened to contraception? There are a lot of women that are getting more than one abortion, some more than 3. That is ridiculous. Women do have a right to choose. A right to choose whatever form of contraception works for them. When used properly and consistently contraception is very effective.


I would like to thank PRO for setting up this debate; I look forward to a productive and civil exchange.


PRO has claimed that abortions are "morally and ethically wrong," however his justification for this are that a fetus responds to stimuli. This argument fails; both bacteria [1] and plants [2] respond to stimuli, should we afford them the same protections as PRO suggests we give to fetuses? Also, PRO has not explained why his argument is tied to morality.


PRO also claims that abortions are overused. How was this determined? At what point do we reach the threshold of "overuse?" There were 784,507 abortions performed in the United States during 2009 [3]. That means that only 1 person in 400 had an abortion, or about .02% of the population. How does PRO classify this as overuse?


PRO has made a pretty strong claim, but he has failed to back it up with anything other than his own opinion. Perhaps he will be able to strengthen his arguments in the next round.

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank CON for accepting this challenge.

Having said that, CON sites my statement that the human fetus "withdraws from touch and other stimuli" and responds with "both bacteria and plants respond to stimuli, should we afford them the same protections as PRO suggests we give to fetuses?" To this I respond to CON I do believe that a human is a more complex organism than either bacteria or plants. When speaking of the developing human and whether or not they can feel pain, " The developing neural elements may be immature but they are not inactive. They .......................and begin to synthesize neurotransmitters shortly after DNA synthesis stops, at time intervals corresponding to the first trimester of human development"[1] As far as affording the bacteria and the plants the same protection that I think fetuses should have. Many, many plants in this country are protected by federal and/or state law [2]. The sad fact is that it seems as though in this country we value our plant life, in many cases, more than we value the lives of our unborn. And the responding to stimuli. From the same paper as quoted above, " Fetuses undergoing intrauterine invasive procedures, definitely illustrative of pain signaling, were reported to show coordinated responses signaling the avoidance of tissue injury"[1]

On the issue of overuse

CON states that there were 784,507 abortions in 2009. This total, however was taken from the reporting of 45 out of the 52 required areas for completely accurate figures. Those non-reporting areas include CA, the abortion capital of the country. I can't speculate what the total number of abortions would be had the numbers for these 7 additional areas been included But that's neither here nor there. Out of the total 784,507, 36.6% of the women had 1 or 2 previous abortions and 8.1% had 3 or more previous abortions[3]. I have to apologize that I don't have statistics from 2009 on this particular matter but I do for 2008. In 2008, 54% of the women that got abortions did use contraception, however 46% did not.[4]

My point is this, these numbers might not seem all that large but when you put it in perspective,784,507 (or more) is a pretty large number if you look at it in terms of taking the lives of 784,507 innocent people. Also when you have women getting an abortion because it is not a convenient time in their lives to have a baby, that is bad enough. But when they get to be repeat customers at the Planned Parenthood and they are not using contraception, then yes, abortion is being overused. As for morality, I think it is definitely immoral to think of a human fetus as anything but exactly that just to justify in your mind the act of getting an abortion just so you don't experience any inconvenience or detours in the course of your life because of a choice that you made. I believe it is ethically wrong to terminate innocent human life no matter what stage of development they are in for the same reasons I previously mentioned.

In conclusion

I think CON posed some good points and I look forward to round 3




I thank PRO for his arguments; I will address them presently.


PRO initially claimed that abortions are wrong because fetuses respond to stimuli. I then pointed out that this is an absurd claim unless bacteria and plants are afforded the same protections. In response, PRO notes that many plants are protected. This is irrelevant because they are not afforded the same protections PRO wants to extend to fetuses.

PRO also points out that fetuses show evidence of pain avoidance behavior. Cows an many other animals show similar pain avoidance activities [1], they then require the same protections according to PRO. If we accept the claim that fetuses feel pain, then what? Why is causing a fetus pain immoral?

Setting that aside, PRO has still not shown why we abortions are wrong in moral context. PRO wrote in Round 2, "I think it is definitely immoral to think of a human fetus as anything but exactly that (a baby) just to justify in your mind the act of getting an abortion." This is an opinion and possibly an argumentum ad passiones [2], a logical fallacy. Either way, PRO has still not tied his arguments to morality; his point still fails.


PRO has brought some interesting statistics to bare in this round, but has still not defined "overuse," so any discussion regarding this prong of his argument is just running in circles in the mud.


PRO has certainly strengthened his arguments regarding fetal pain, but he has not tied it to morality, so that prong of his argument fails. Regarding the overuse prong, PRO has not even defined what overuse is, so we cannot even have an intelligent discussion on the matter. As a final note, as PRO tied both of his prongs together, both need to be demonstrated for PRO to meet his burden of proof. So far, said burden has not been met.

Debate Round No. 2


Ok CON I look forward to your round 3 response

It's been real,

Synonyms for "immoral"- WRONG, shameless, and, bad. Also,

Immoral is a SUBJECTIVE term. It is OPINION based.

Let me just start by answering an invalid question that CON posed in round 2. Do cows require the same protections as the human fetus according to PRO? Well the reason this is an invalid question is that CON is trying to compare the humane treatment of a person to the humane treatment of an animal. I am all for animal rights but if your asking me to prioritize then the person has to come first.

I don't see how it is that CON compares developing human life to livestock, vegetation, and micro organisms. I will entertain this topic on the issue of fetal pain, yet again. If CON had read the document that I referenced in round 2 there was documentation of not only pain conduction in the brain of the developing person, possibly as early as the first trimester, as well as stress chemical production and stress response to pain in the developing person. So let me make it as clear as I can I think that all abortions are wrong, shameless, bad, and immoral because they do cause pain to a developing person and ultimately the death of that person. It would be considered immoral to do such things to any other person. I don't see the difference.

As for the issue of overuse of abortion. CON wants to know at what point does it become overuse? That is simple, in my eyes at least. Remember we are dealing with a living human being. Also, we have available to us today the Emergency Contraceptive Pill. I think that any abortion that is done for anything other than serious medical condition in the mother should be considered overuse. According to the numbers in 2009( referenced in round 2) so many of those abortions were because of women not using contraception or not using it consistently + a lot of the women were having 2 or more abortions. I think this is immoral, bad, shameless, and wrong because these little people paid the ultimate price because their mothers were irresponsible.

Now I have a little comparison for CON,

It is not as good as comparing a developing human baby to livestock but here it goes,

A developing Human Baby is not conscious, cannot survive without the constant support of their mother, has some brain activity, can move, if given enough time in the uterus they will be born and will no longer depend on the mother's body for survival.

A coma patient that is on total life support is not conscious, cannot survive without the constant support of the life support machines and humans caring for them, they have some brain activity, they can usually move, after an undetermined amount of time some will wake and no longer be dependent on their life support.[1]

And yes, PRO would like very much for developing babies to have the same rights and protections as other people, even if they are dependent on their mothers for their life.



I thank PRO for his final arguments.

Cows, Bacteria, and Morality

Getting to the actual points, I think PRO misunderstands my comparison of a fetus to bacteria, plants, etc. Those comparisons were based on PRO's own criteria. In Round 1, PRO argues that we are not justifying in terminating a pregnancy because the fetus responds to stimuli, while in Round2 he makes pretty much the same argument based on pain-avoidance behavior. I was making the comparisons I did to point out that these behaviors alone (stimulus/response, pain avoidance) do not offer sufficient justification to prohibit the termination of pregnancy, unless we will similarly offer such protections to other forms of life that exhibit the same behaviors. If we are basing an argument solely on a behavior, we have to expand it to anything that exhibits that behavior. In Round 3 PRO has explicitly stated that "the person has to come first," suggesting that humans deserve preferential treatment over other life forms. PRO has not provided reasoning why this should be so.

PRO's final argument regarding morality is to claim that abortions are immoral because they cause death, and because they may cause pain to the fetus. However, causing pain and death are not necessarily immoral. A surgeon may cause pain, but (s)he is likely not behaving immorally. Similarly, an anyone may accidentally cause pain, or even the death of another individual, and not necessarily be immoral. Also, if we cause pain or death in the defense of ourselves or our family, we are quite likely not behaving immorally. Since causing pain and death is not necessarily immoral, PRO has not sufficiently made his case.


Regarding overuse, PRO himself has admitted that his arguments boil down to his own opinion. He wrote earlier this round that his points are "simple, in my eyes at least," and he ended with "I think this is immoral." With no objective ruler to measure use vs. overuse, PRO has not established what constitutes overuse, and therefore, he has not demonstrated that abortions are overused.

Coma Patient

PRO's question regarding a coma patient is a red herring, having little or no bearing on his arguments. However, if PRO would like to debate that point in the future, I would be happy to oblige.

Final Thoughts

PRO began this debate with a twofold claim. He claimed that "Abortion on demand is (1) morally and ethically wrong as well as (2) currently overused." In order to meet his burden of proof, PRO needs to demonstrate both of his points. I have shown that he has not sufficiently demonstrated his first point, and that his only argument for point two is a self-admitted opinion. PRO has not adequately made his case.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Piccini 5 years ago
Would like to accept, but criteria is to high. If someone can accept, I believe he would win by proving that abortion is not ethically AND morally wrong, or that it is not overused. I think Con has good chances, if anyone can accept.
Posted by Ragnar 5 years ago
Please define the difference between morals and ethics.
Posted by Fictional_Truths1 5 years ago
Wait derp nevermind
Posted by Fictional_Truths1 5 years ago
Is this debate about the morality of abortion or whether it would be beneficial to make it illegal?
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
I cannot accept the contest, either. The criteria has been set too high. If this was unintentional, these settings can be modified by having the Instigator edit the debate, then make the proper adjustments.

On occasion, an Instigator will set the criteria unreasonably high, so that they may select their opponent from a field of interested parties manually. If this is what has happened here, I would like to accept an abortion debate such as this one.
Posted by dashy654 5 years ago
Why can't I accept?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ameliamk1 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not meet standards for round 2 or 3, but finally got around to effectively responding to con's points in round 4. With that said, pro failed to show abortion was overused by anyone's definition but his own. I will give con arguments, but pro sources in order to give fair points.