The Instigator
johnwooding1
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
Raisor
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

Abortion should be allowed

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  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,799 times Debate No: 1480
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (17)

 

johnwooding1

Pro

Abortion is the right of an individual woman. Whether they choose to get one or not it should always be an available option. It is not the right of myself or anyone else to deny that woman her rights to an abortion. If you do not wish to have an abortion than don't get one but why strip others of that right. A woman should be able to decide what she does with he own body. Every child born should be wanted. The consequences of not allowing abortion in a steryl place would result in women going into back-alley abortion clinics.
Raisor

Con

I interpret the Resolution to mean, "Abortion should be LEGALLY allowed."

Next I will remind voters that they should vote based on the arguments made and not their personal opinions. If I were judging this debate, I would have no idea which side to vote for prior to finishing reading all the rounds.

First I will address your arguments:

1) You say the woman has the right to treat her body as she chooses.
I agree with this 100%. However, in a civil society, we must recognize that rights regularly conflict. This conflict means we must critically evaluate the priority and nature of individual rights to determine the most just course of action. An easy example: Nearly everyone agrees that people have the right to free speech. However, this right is curtailed when it endangers the safety and well being of another person, such as in the case of yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded movie theater. Simply stating that woman has the right to her body doesn't necessarily guarantee the right to an abortion. Critical analysis of conflicting rights must be done.

2) You say that people who oppose abortion should still allow the woman her choice in the matter.

This would be a legitimate point if abortion were not a case where multiple people's rights conflict. The conflict of different person's rights means that other people need to get involved in order to preserve justice. For instance, people can't simply sit by and allow a thief to steal if he chooses because he is violating other people's rights.

3) You say every child should be wanted.

Again, no one will disagree with you on this. However, this normative statement does nothing to impact the abortion debate IF abortion is indeed in conflict with a fetus' right to life. If a fetus has a right to life, then there is no difference between killing a fetus and a two year old. It is obviously unjustified to say that killing a two year old is legit because "every child should be wanted" and that particular two year old isn't. The only relevant issue is the right to life and woman's right of body.

4) You say if abortions were made illegal, more back alley abortions would occur.

This is an argument we cannot take into consideration. If women chose to endanger themselves in that matter, it is their own choice and they bear responsibility for it. Many agencies exist that aim to help young women dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. These agencies did not exist prior to Roe v. Wade and would work to make back alley abortions less attractive and less likely. There is also no way to weigh this issue. No one knows how prevalent back alley abortions would be or if they wouldn't even be used at all. The complete absence of compelling informative statistics means that this is an issue we simply are unable to consider.

While we do not know what the prevalence of back alley abortions would be, there are statistics documenting the deaths caused by illegal abortions. In the 1960's the number of deaths caused by abortion was around 200-275 per year. This number pales in comparison to the 1 million plus abortions that occur each year. Furthermore, "back alley abortions" were usually performed by licensed doctors who chose to break the law. When one looks at the decline in deaths cause by abortion, the most obvious correlation to the decline is advances in medical practices NOT the legalization of abortion.

Once again the issue of rights trumps this issue. Rights must be protected no matter what the consequences.

Now for my own arguments:

1) The right to life outweighs the right to privacy.
The most valuable thing a person can have is his or her own life. Life is a thing of ultimate value and thus its protection should be of the highest priority.

Other rights depend on life. In order to have a right to privacy or the right to one's own body, one must have life. The right to body and privacy inherently presupposes the right to life. Once you are dead you do not have a body to have a right to, you do not have a life or interests to hold private.

2) The value of life is so high that we must err on the side of caution.
If a fetus does have a right to life, over one million people are being legally killed each year. This evil is so great that we should err on the side of caution. If the legal system is wrong, we are killing people on a magnitude comparable to Hitler and Stalin. As a society, we should do everything in our power to avoid being responsible for such a horrendous act. The sheer magnitude of the possible evil of abortion is so great that it overwhelms the inherent uncertainty.

Lets imagine a button that, if pressed, has a .001% chance of nuking New York. Even though there is only a small chance that any harm would actually be done by pressing the button, the magnitude of the disaster overwhelms uncertainty. No one should ever press that button.

3) A fetus has a right to life.

i)A fetus has the potentiality to become a full grown human. A fetus relates to an adult in the same way that a two year old relates to an adult. Neither is fully-grown, but both will become an adult, barring death.

ii)What makes murder wrong? The great evil of murder is that it deprives us of our future. It prevents all the experiences of happiness, pleasure, love, and success. If murder did not deprive us of our futures, it would not be wrong. Thus we can determine if an action is murder or is unethical on the same magnitude as murder by evaluating if the action deprives a thing of a future like ours. A fetus undoubtedly has a distinctly human future, a future where it will smell flowers and listen to music and swim. Depriving the fetus of that future is unethical on the magnitude of murder.

iii)The pro-choice defender must demonstrate a morally relevant difference between a fetus and an adult if they are going to assert that a vast moral difference such as absence of a right to life exists between a fetus and an adult. Furthermore, they must explain HOW that moral difference means that the fetus doesn't have a right to life.

Again I would like to emphasize voter impartiality.
Debate Round No. 1
johnwooding1

Pro

I have to disagree with the following statements you mentioned earlier:

1) If the legal system is wrong, we are killing people on a magnitude comparable to Hitler and Stalin.

First of all 20 000 000 people died under Stalin's dictatorship only 1,800,000 unborn Fetuses are terminated. Under Hitler the Estimated Death Toll: 6 million Jews, 5 million others including 500,000 Gypsies, 6 million Poles, 5,000 to 15,000 homosexuals. Once again Only 1,800,000 unborn Fetuses are terminated. Note that Stalin and Hitler's death tolls were imposed on actual living and breathing people. People who could actually feel, physically and mentally, the pain that was put on them. Henceforth I find that statement politically incorrect.

2) Thus we can determine if an action is murder or is unethical on the same magnitude as murder by evaluating if the action deprives a thing of a future like ours. A fetus undoubtedly has a distinctly human future, a future where it will smell flowers and listen to music and swim. Depriving the fetus of that future is unethical on the magnitude of murder.

In most abortion cases the Mother cannot handle the responsibility of motherhood. If a mother cannot handle motherhood the child will most likely be neglected or abused sometimes even both. If you think a child born from a mother that cant raise him/her lives in a loving home you are horribly mistaken.

3) Simply stating that woman has the right to her body doesn't necessarily guarantee the right to an abortion.

But indeed it does. The Fetus is inside her body it is not yet even developed enough to live out of the womb. The Fetus is part of her body. henceforth it does guarantee the right to an abortion

For my own Defense:

This country was founded on choices. We have the choice to a religion, we have a choice to public school or private school. Our rights and freedoms are based off choices. Being Pro-choice is a good thing because without choices we wouldn't be where we are today.
Raisor

Con

Again, I will begin by responding to your arguments:

1)The ANNUAL figure for abortions has been above 1.5 million since the 80's. Simple math shows that the number of abortions in the past 20 years is indeed on the same magnitude as Stalin and Hitler.

You claim that Hitler and Stalin killed "Actual living and breathing people." Please note that my comparison was conditional. The comparison stands only if fetuses have the right to life, and my position is that a fetus is an "actual" person.

On a related note, your comment that the people killed by Hitler and Stalin could "actually feel…pain" does not impact this debate unless you can show how those characteristics are morally relevant and affect whether or not the fetus has a right to life. Furthermore, there is a lot of evidence that suggests that a fetus DOES feel pain. It is certainly able to react to stimuli.

2) Your argument equates to saying "it is justified to murder someone if they don't have a good life."

There is no way to know whether or not a fetus will have a future. I contend that no person has the right to take away the future of another thing. No one has the authority to deem another person's future worthless. I would also like to point out that you have not offered any way to quantify the number of abortions that are carried out by mothers who would be unable to support a child. There is no way to quantify how many of these abortions fit into this category. The point remains however, that even if it is true that many abortions (this is something you have NOT demonstrated) involve a mother or household that would be inappropriate for a child that does not legitimize stealing a thing's future.

I will point out that you did not address my analysis in my offense argument

#3. You did not address my point that:

i)A fetus is potentially a full grown human and there is no difference in the relation between a fetus and adult and a toddler and an adult

ii)Depriving a thing of a future like ours is ethically equivalent to murder

iii)YOU must provide a morally relevant difference between a fetus and an adult if you are going to claim a moral difference like the absence of a right to life.

By ignoring these points, you have functionally conceded them in this debate. YOU HAVE FAILED TO PROVIDE A MORALLY RELEVANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FETUS AND A FULL GROWN PERSON. This means that you cannot claim that a fetus does not have a right to life! This point remains uncontested in this debate.

3) You ignore all my analysis on the way rights conflict and the necessity of weighing rights. You did not explain how rights in conflict should be evaluated or how they relate to this issue. I am winning on this point because you have not responded to my points. You are merely parroting that a woman has a right to her body, which is something I agree with. My point is that a fetus also has a right to life and abortion is a point where rights conflict. Again, you have not provided any response to my points.

4) I admit that choices are good things. However, some things we should not have a choice over. For instance, we should not have the choice to steal. We should not have the choice to lie in court. We should not have the choice to throw large rocks at random passer-bys. The question of abortion is not "are choices good?" but is rather "is this something people should have a choice about?"

Now I would like to restate my points that my opponent has not addressed and has thus functionally conceded:

1)Rights conflict and we must engage in a critical analysis about how to deal with conflicting rights. Abortion is an instance where this is the case. This means it is not enough to just say, "a woman has a right to her body" because there are other rights that conflict.

2)Abortion is not simply a matter of personal choice because it is an issue of justice. Protection of rights is an issue that requires involvement of third parties. The fact that multiple people's rights are in conflict means that it is an issue of justice.

3)The issue of a child being wanted is not relevant in the face of a right to life. The only relevant issues are the rights involved.

4)You have effectively conceded the back alley abortion issue. Reference my R1 to see why my opponent loses on this issue. He has made no rebuttal to my points.

5)Right to life outweighs privacy. My opponent did not dispute this. Life is the most valuable thing a person can have and thus life is the ultimate right. The right to life presupposes other rights and so trumps other rights.

6)We should err on the side of caution. My opponent never disputed my analysis here or any of my claims. He only disputed the issue of the magnitude of abortion. All my other claims stand. The magnitude of the evil of abortion if the fetus has a right to life overwhelms the possibility that abortion is ethically acceptable. On this point alone I have won this debate.

7)A fetus has a right to life. Again, my opponent didn't dispute, blah, blah…. The point is, my opponent has dropped nearly all my points including the most important one, whether a fetus has a right to life.
For these reasons I am winning the debate.

PLEASE VOTERS, BE NEUTRAL IN VOTING ON THIS DEBATE!!!!
Debate Round No. 2
johnwooding1

Pro

I must disagree and with the following things you said:

1) Your argument equates to saying "it is justified to murder someone if they don't have a good life."

No it does not. I am implying that it is justified to have an abortion if the baby would live a horrible neglected life. I have never and will never think that we should kill adults and children that are already born into their life situations.

2)I contend that no person has the right to take away the future of another thing.

My question is that if you feel so strongly and believe a fetus is a human why would you refer to it as a 'thing'.

3)A fetus is potentially a full grown human and there is no difference in the relation between a fetus and adult and a toddler and an adult.

Like you said yourself 'There is no way to know whether or not a fetus has a future'. In that case there is a difference in the relationship between a fetus and an adult and toddler. That difference is an adult and toddler have a future no matter what happens.

Now I will answer what you want me to explain:

1) The difference between the rights of a fetus and the rights of an adult:

The rights to life of the fetus should automatically go to the mother since the fetus relies on her body. The rights to life of an adult are his/hers since their body can take care of itself. Same goes for a toddler.

My Closing statement:

By comparing those who support the right to an abortion to Hitler and Stalin my opponent is making a vast oversimplification of a debate that cannot be summarized in black and white terms. There is a huge gray area on whether abortion is right that my opponent is ignoring when he makes simplistic, and what I find offensive, assertions.
The debate of abortion is a very sensitive matter. My opponents comparison of Pro-choice supporters to Hitler and Stalin was insensitive and morally unethical.
The Debate is over an ethical issue and my opponents tactic of hurling insults at his opponent is not a viable tactic and will not help the debate. Henceforth he should not be the victor
Raisor

Con

At the top I would just like to say that I have won this debate without needing to post a R3. Throughout the debate opponent has consistently avoided any analysis of my arguments, frequently picking out incidental points while avoiding the overall structure. He has continued this trend into R3.

I have won this debate because:

1)My opponent never demonstrated the morally relevant factor that is the cause of a fetus lacking a right to life. He never disputed that this was his burden of proof, so if he hasn't don't this, we must accept that a fetus has the same rights as an adult.

2)My opponent never disputed my argument that the right to life trumps all other rights. This means that if the fetus has a right to life then it outweighs a woman's right to body and abortion is unethical.

3)My opponent never disputed that abortion is a justice issue and thus third parties have a duty to get involved.

4)Finally, my opponent never engaged my argument about the magnitude of the possible evil of abortion overwhelming the possibility of error. He merely challenged my math (my math was actually correct) and says I am "oversimplifying." In fact it is he who is oversimplifying. I will go into this in more detail later.

Together these points demonstrate that I have won this debate. These points were all more or less ignored by my opponent. These points demonstrate that a fetus has a right to life, that the right to life makes abortion unethical, that abortion is a justice issue that warrants third party intervention, and that even if we aren't certain that abortion is unethical we should err on the side of caution.

Now I will briefly address my opponent's arguments, although I contend that it is not necessary for me to win this debate. I will use my opponent's numbering.

1)You need to engage in analysis of how depriving a fetus of the right to life because of a poor quality future is different from depriving a toddler of the right because of a poor quality future. Unless you do this, there is no difference and you are justifying murdering someone if they don't have a good life. You do not explicitly do this, but you seem to imply the being born is the morally relevant difference. However, being born is just a change of location (inside/outside the womb) and it is difficult to see how the change of location is morally relevant. You might say that the difference is that post-birth the woman's right to body isn't a factor, however, I have already shown that the right to life outweighs right to body, so pre-birth deprivation of right to life is still unethical.

2)First of all, you have no idea that I "feel so strongly and believe a fetus is a human." This isn't even an argument; it only amounts to questioning my convictions. I am simply arguing to promote deeper understanding of the issue and the joy of competition. My convictions don't necessarily relate to my arguments. I cal a fetus a "thing" because my future argument does not necessarily exclude non humans- the point is that the use of one word doesn't hurt my argument.

3)Toddlers and adults do not "have a future no matter what happens." If a toddler or an adult gets killed, they do not have a future. Adults, toddlers and fetuses all have futures, barring loss of life.

His second 1) The fetus may rely on the woman's body, but that doesn't invalidate its rights. Having a body that can function independently is not a prerequisite to rights. If that were true, then anyone on life support does not have a right to life. Anyone in need of a heart or kidney transplant does not have a right to life (because their body is not functioning independently, it isn't functioning properly at all).

Furthermore, very few adults are fully independent. Nearly all adults rely on other people, whether its farmers who produce grain or their employers/employees. This dependency isn't a physical dependency, but you haven't provided any reason why a direct physical dependency is more morally relevant.

The fetus still has a future, and so it is still ethically equal to murder to deprive the fetus of a future.

Rebuttal to closing statement:

Here I will address the issue I touched on in my #4 from this round. My mention of Hitler/Stalin was not an oversimplification that ignored gray area. In fact, the purpose of that argument was designed to deal with gray area! The argument is an analysis of the factors involved with abortion and the conclusion tells how we should treat gray area or uncertainty.

I DID NOT COMPAR PRO-CHOICE SUPPORTERS TO HITLER AND STALING. This is a misrepresentation on the part of my opponent. This is my exact quote: "If the legal system is wrong, we are killing people on a magnitude comparable to Hitler and Stalin." No one is being compared to mass murderers. I provided a CONDITIONAL statement describing the actions of SOCIETY.

Finally, I am embarrassed over my opponent's final lines. I do not know what insult I "hurled" at my opponent. Quite frankly, I would be incredibly surprised if my opponent's charge was correct. If any judges or my opponent finds one of these alleged insults in this debate, please post it and the round on the comments. Otherwise, I am innocent until proven guilty.

AGAIN: VOTER NEUTRALITY
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by johnwooding1 9 years ago
johnwooding1
Raisor,

Although we do not agree on abortion, I must say you are a very worthy adversary. You definitely know how back up your opinion. Anyways I enjoyed debating you.

johnwooding1
17 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
johnwooding1RaisorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:00 
Reasons for voting decision: wow
Vote Placed by creationtruth 2 years ago
creationtruth
johnwooding1RaisorTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not address Con's main arguments. Pro failed to support his case with substantial arguments. While both debaters were heavily opinionated, Con' arguments were more logical and thought through than Pro's.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
johnwooding1RaisorTied
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: Counter VB
Vote Placed by iholland95 5 years ago
iholland95
johnwooding1RaisorTied
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:07 
Vote Placed by griffinisright 9 years ago
griffinisright
johnwooding1RaisorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by rich89 9 years ago
rich89
johnwooding1RaisorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by robizzle 9 years ago
robizzle
johnwooding1RaisorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Avalonjohn44 9 years ago
Avalonjohn44
johnwooding1RaisorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by DeATHNOTE 9 years ago
DeATHNOTE
johnwooding1RaisorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by johnwooding1 9 years ago
johnwooding1
johnwooding1RaisorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30