The Instigator
Canidae
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Dan4reason
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Abortion should be legal in the United States

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Dan4reason
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,372 times Debate No: 49266
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
Votes (2)

 

Canidae

Pro

5 rounds
72 hours
10,000 characters

I will be arguing, clearly, that abortion should be legal in the US. Con will argue that it should be illegal.

Distinctions such as in the case of rape or life endangerment, etc., are flexible. I only ask that you argue against abortion, in some cases, immediately after conception. It would be a less interesting argument if all we were debating was late-term abortions.

Thank you, and I'm looking forward to some fun, some practice formulating a solid argument, some learning and some widening of both of our views on this topic!
Dan4reason

Con

I accept this debate. I look forward to hearing my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Canidae

Pro

Canidae forfeited this round.
Dan4reason

Con

Extend my arguments to this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Canidae

Pro

Canidae forfeited this round.
Dan4reason

Con

My arguments against abortion:
Abortion is killing a fetus. A fetus is human and alive therefore it is a human life. Killing an innocent human life is murder. Murder is wrong. Therefore abortion is wrong.
The right to life is more important than the right to end a pregnancy.
The right to life is more important than convenience to the mother.
Adoption is a great alternative that does not involve killing.

Fetuses develop quickly. For example, in 8 weeks the eyes, nose, mouth, and tongue have formed. Electrical brain activity begins at week 6. By week ten the fetus can make bodily movements. The heart begins to circulate blood at day 22. We can establish that fetuses being aborted have the basic features of a human life [1].

Lack of development is not an argument for abortion because a newborn is far less developed than an adult but has the same right to life.

1: http://frc.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Canidae

Pro

Canidae forfeited this round.
Dan4reason

Con

Hello everyone. This debate is still going on and you can find my opponent's arguments for this round in the comments section. I want to address some of her arguments.

Abortion is Safe

I agree with my opponent that abortion is safe.

Ability to feel Pain

My opponent argues that the fetus has very little ability to feel however according to her own words, "The evidence is not absolute, though, and it is very likely we simply do not know enough at this point to tell." Now, while we don't know, it is best to err on the side of cation because what if it turns out that he pain for a fetus is hideous? Even if they can't does that mean they don't have a right to life? If you lost your ability to feel pain, would killing you be morally acceptable? No, of course not.

Adoption

According to my opponent adopted kids can be very socially dysfunctional and jump from foster home to foster home. I actually got to experience this personally because my Aunt adopted six Russian children and teenagers. These kids had problems with drinking, drugs, and teenage pregnancy. However some of them eventually turned out all right, especially the younger ones.

As it turns out, the younger you are when you get adopted, the more functional you are because you spend less time in an orphanage and more time with a family. From the article sourced, there are too few babies to be adopted, so giving your baby for adoption will likely get them to a family quickly (1).

However, even if my opponent is right about the adopted children, emotional scarring is still better than being put to death. In fact lets take a poll of all adults in the US who were adopted as children and ask them whether they would have preferred that their mothers had aborted them. I wonder what the results will be?

The Mother

This is the main argument for abortion. Women are often left taking care of children as single parents and this can damage their careers and lifestyle. However this is still better than killing a human being. In the last round I argued that a fetus has just as much as a right to life as an adult because your development stage doesn't affect your right to life because if it did infants would have less of a right than adults. Also fetuses gain the major human characteristics in a matter of weeks. These arguments went unchallenged.

My question to anyone is lets say you were in this bad financial situation my opponent mentioned, and killing someone you knew could get you out of it. Would you do it? No. What if that person was the child you were taking care of? Again, even though the child is causing this lifestyle, the child's right to life supersedes your desire for a more comfortable lifestyle. The only difference between this and abortion is that the child is inside the woman's belly.

So this brings up the right to not be pregnant vs. the child's right to life. The right to life is greater. if you poll women and ask them whether they would rather go through a pregnancy or die? We all know what the answer to that will be. The right to life is more important. One doesn't have the right to kill someone to end their pregnancy and improve their financial situation. The reason murder is the greatest crime is because the right to life is the greatest right we have.

Also, as mentioned before abortion is a great alternative. The argument from financial problems associated with child care is irrelevant because children and infants can be put up for adoption.

Criminalization Makes Abortion Worse?

Imagine if I was arguing for murder and claimed that since murder is criminalize it is far more dangerous to do. Lets say I also argued that many people get away with it anyway so it should not be criminalize. Crazy huh? Yet that is what my opponent is trying to claim about the murder of fetal infants. If you suffer harm in the process of trying to kill someone else, I really don't feel any sympathy. However, most of these abortions were not dangerous and it is estimated that 9 out of 10 abortions were done by licensed doctors (2).

Even if few aborters are caught at least we know some are being caught. If something is wrong and should be illegal, then we should make it illegal no matter how well we can enforce it. If we were not able to catch child pornographers, I would still support making that disgusting practice illegal.

Contraceptives and Abortion

My opponent states that 5% of unintended pregnancy happen when people take birth control correctly. If this happens, adoption is a great alternative if necessary. Again, killing a life is worse than financial inconvenience.

I will end with a quote from Susan B. Anthony a major figure in women's right:

"No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime! (2)"

1: http://hamptonroads.com...
2: http://frc.org...
Debate Round No. 4
Canidae

Pro

Canidae forfeited this round.
Dan4reason

Con

My opponent against posted her arguments in the comments section. She included many new arguments in this round so I am forced to do the same. I wish I was able to bring these arguments up before, but my opponent forfeited several rounds. Anyway, lets go over these arguments. I will summarize them below:

If it is wrong to kill a fetus because it is alive, it should be wrong to kill a pig, and wrong to kill bacteria ... You might then argue that it"s because it"s human, and then to avoid a circular argument, you would have to explain why being human is different than being anything else ... you would explain that there are several things that make humans unique and, apparently, superior...

To argue why humans can never be killed, or why certain groups of animals can never be killed, but others can, you would need to pinpoint one or more characteristics that defines the difference and make a good case for why it makes sense to use that as a measuring stick. I have never heard of one...but a fetus itself doesn"t even possess the characteristics that you could try to point to to make the distinction...

You would then argue that it WILL eventually have them...People are generally not afforded things until they have reached a certain point, even if it is certain they will get there... Our sense of morality is an evolved trait, as seen in precursors and necessary components in other species. It evolved because it was practical.


Our sense of morality is an evolved trait and yes, humans don't have any more of a right to life than any other species just because we have human traits. The sense of morality I will be arguing for is more practical. Since we are discussing morality from a legal perspective I will argue the morality of murder from a legal perspective.

A Legal Argument Against Murder

The purpose of a government is to benefit its citizens and to get us to do thing together we might not do separately for the common good that benefits everyone as a whole. Societies where human life is respected tend to do better than ones where it is less respected. In many places in Africa it is OK to go around killing people because you don't like them and look at these places.

In the ancient world it was acceptable to attack another city because you simply wanted their money. Because of that life was dangerous and miserable. Entire cities were killed or enslaved, and many of these were previously the ones doing the enslaving. When human life is respected, we can go about safely and have a high quality of life without spending a lot of money on personal security.

Killing Animals

This principle cannot be extended to all lifeforms because then we would have no way of eating. Also, animals won't cause any excessive trouble for us if we do kill them. So you can have a great human society while killing animals.

Killing in Self-Defense

If someone is trying to kill you then it is all right to kill them because that person has broken our pact to respect human life and that pact doesn't apply to them. Also, if we are not allowed as a society to kill in self-defense , then there will be less reason for others to keep the pact and will ruin it.

Killing the Weak

I argued that we can kill animals because they can't make human life miserable if we do. One may then try to say that killing newborns, people with Down Syndrome, or fetuses can also be ethical. The problem with this thinking is once we believe it is OK to exclude some humans from the right to life, some societies may try to exclude some humans for wrong reasons.

For example, the Nazis believed that there were some reasons to kill innocent humans, they took this reasoning too far and made life miserable for millions. Pretty much the whole benefit of not murdering was canceled out. Saying that all innocent humans cannot be killed and drawing a solid line there helps prevent us from making excuses to kill other people.

We also don't kill weak minorities like fetuses, infants, or mentally impaired people because we love many who are in this situation and want them to be protected so it makes sense to ensure that these whole classes of people are protected. Plus we will become like this ourselves when we get old. Really old people cannot fight back when they are attacked. So it makes sense to protect all innocent human life and allow all of them the right to life.

Abortion and Murder

So in the case of abortion, if we decide that fetuses can be killed then we will have to logically say that other groups of humans can be killed too. This is the way a society begins to rationalize murdering and cause misery for itself. We need a strict policy that innocent human cannot be killed.

Religious Morality

The argument I have given may not seem very moral because it is completely based on self-interest. Personally I don't believe in abortion for moral reasons as a Buddhist. In Buddhism enlightenment is a perfect state to reach and this cannot be achieved when it is in one's nature to harm others. Empathy and morality creates real happiness for all and that is why it is better than evil. However, I don't want to try to prove Buddhism to you, so I hope this amoral argument I have given is sufficient.

Is a fetus Human?

I have shown that human beings should not be killed and that this is murder. Some may argue that fetuses while genetically human lack many of the traits that make them human and therefore should not be considered human legally. However as explained before they do gain basic human traits very quickly in the developmental process.

Also lack of development cannot be cited because babies and youths have the same right to life yet also are undeveloped. Infants lack the basic intelligence adults have that is characteristic of humans. They are not even nearly as smart as a dog even when they become toddlers (2).

My opponent's Inconsistency

My opponent's arguments may have seemed to be clever but really they come from desperation. Since my opponent has argued that abortion is acceptable, and that no one animal group has any more of a right to life than any other then according to my opponent it seems that there is nothing wrong with killing anyone including babies, pregnant women, or grandpa.

"Opponent mentions only difference between fetus and baby is that the fetus is inside the mother"s belly, which is correct, but fails to acknowledge that this is significant because the former violates the mother"s rights but the latter does not."

If you read my opponent's statement below, she seems to believe that babies have a right to life and wants a moral separation between a fetus and an infant. Yet she argues that there is no proof any human has a right to life.

Too Many Adopted Babies?

My opponent argues that every baby that is saved from abortion and adopted will mean that another child won't be adopted. However adoption can cost from $5,000 to $40,000 within the United States so if we have a excess of children to be adopted, just lower the cost (1). Also, the right to life supersedes the right to a more comfortable life.

This is the last I will say about this subject. It has been a pleasure debating here and it has been fun listening to my opponent's thoughtful argument even if they all were in the comments section.

1: http://costs.adoption.com...
2: http://www.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
Adoption

I"m aware that babies are very likely to be adopted and are the definite preference of almost everyone looking to adopt. However, this means that for every baby put up for adoption, they get a great home and parents who love them, and that opportunity is removed from another orphan. From a utilitarian perspective, I don"t see this as a win.

Fetal pain

While inconclusive, it is very unlikely the fetus feels emotionally-charged words like "hideous" or "excruciating" pain. These words are essentially for emotionally convincing purposes. For an organism still undergoing extremely rapid development, with undeveloped cognitive ability and limited conscious awareness, it is not likely it feels a great deal of pain. The origin of physical pain is to keep us away from things that pose a threat to us. Fetuses can"t do much in the way of choosing different behaviors to avoid the pain. Reflexive movements seen are about the only thing it could do to avoid the stimulus, but apart from that, unpleasant conditions would most likely be manifested in stress hormones being sent to the mother, to prompt HER to alter behavior to protect the fetus. By FAR it is more likely that the fetus does not actually experience any pain first-hand.

Mothers making a choice between their life or the child"s

My opponent beings up the idea of a poll, and assumes a mother would always choose the child"s life over her own. I do not agree with the assumption. I think it very likely depends on the individual. It is also likely that the mother has additional children depending on her support, and might choose to end the pregnancy to continue to be there for her children, husband, and family.
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
OTHER:

Opponent mentions only difference between fetus and baby is that the fetus is inside the mother"s belly, which is correct, but fails to acknowledge that this is significant because the former violates the mother"s rights but the latter does not.

Opponent proposes the idea of killing an individual to get themselves out of financial hardship, but does not recognize the different consequences of those actions. Abortion causes people little or no suffering, while murder causes intense grief among many different people who are acquainted with the victim. It is not practical at all. It causes much more experienced harm than it resolves, and is as such not a good option in almost any circumstance.

Morality and Murder

Again, morality is a very tricky subject. In essence, it"s opinion. It"s a gut reaction that has evolved to help us work as a cooperative group (negative reactions towards harm helps a group stay together and reduces conflict), and after the advent of language, reason evolved and those gut reactions were translated into principles and values. Sometimes they are practical, sometimes they are hindrances. [3]
Right or good decisions are not as black and white as principles portray them as. It may be wrong to murder, but it can make sense, when you are being violently assaulted and may feel in that moment that you have little other choice. It may be wrong to lie, but can be practical when you want to praise a child and promote positive self-esteem. It may be wrong to steal, but can be practical when you are a homeless individual. It can be right to cause small harm for the greater good.
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
Furthermore, abortion is not murder. Murder is the killing of a person. The two logical inconsistencies in the pro-life repertoire are the life argument and the murder argument. The life argument is flawed because plenty of things are alive, and if we cannot kill one that we should not be able to kill another. If it is wrong to kill a fetus because it is alive, it should be wrong to kill a pig, and wrong to kill bacteria. If it is quite okay to use antibacterial soap, you must admit that something other than being alive makes it wrong. You might then argue that it"s because it"s human, and then to avoid a circular argument, you would have to explain why being human is different than being anything else. Without citing a religious text, you would explain that there are several things that make humans unique and, apparently, superior. These are our higher cognitive abilities. Self-awareness is shared by other animals, and so is not among these. The ability to take another"s perspective is also seen. The ability to form grammatical and novel sentences is there. Empathy and the ability to experience and understand another"s emotions is seen [1]. You would need to find a process that is present only in humans, and you very well can, but then the challenge is to make a case for why having that ability means that it can be killed under no circumstance, and why not having that ability means you can be.
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
For example, to current knowledge, while many species use tools, only humans combine tools to fulfill multiple functions [2]. Why does that make it wrong to kill them, but not wrong to kill other animals? To argue why humans can never be killed, or why certain groups of animals can never be killed, but others can, you would need to pinpoint one or more characteristics that defines the difference and make a good case for why it makes sense to use that as a measuring stick. I have never heard of one. Any claim that it is okay to kill one but never the other appears to be derived from a gut reaction we have evolved; it makes no sense to care for other species because they can be used to our advantage, while caring for our own species allows us to work in cooperative groups and better survive. Caring is practical, not logical. Logically, there is no difference, yet we would still kill bugs because it"s easier than putting them outside and we see this as okay BECAUSE it does not bother us.

Our sense of morality is an evolved trait, as seen in precursors and necessary components in other species. It evolved because it was practical. Presently, some of our evolved gut reactions are no longer practical in every situation. I believe abortion is one such situation.
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
For one thing, if you believe killing humans is wrong but killing animals can be okay, you are drawing the aforementioned arbitrary line. Of course, you could try to point to things that appear to be differences, but making a case for why they give only humans a constant right to life would be difficult. Further, not only is a distinction between humans and non-humans arbitrary, but a fetus itself doesn"t even possess the characteristics that you could try to point to to make the distinction. It is not well-enough developed. You would then argue that it WILL eventually have them, but you"re standing on already pretty shaky ground. Does someone who has the potential to be something get the same treatment as someone who already is? Even if it is certain they will be? It"s much more common to see the opposite. People are generally not afforded things until they have reached a certain point, even if it is certain they will get there. People can"t drink until they become 18, even though it"s virtually certain they will. Why? My point all along: Practicality.

Anyhow, at that point you are probably drawing a line in the sand that isn"t really there based on gut reactions (not entirely your fault, you evolved to be that way, as was I), and anthropomorphizing a fetus to some degree. This is not a sound argument. That would not be an issue, however, if it did not violate rights and create harmful consequences for both individuals and society. There is not sound basis for claiming that killing a fetus should be unlawful and is wrong in every instance. The removal of potential from something that is unaware it had any in the first place, is, I think, a small wrong that has potential to create much good in the lives of people who have chosen it.
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
On a side note, you could, of course, be consistent and logical and make the case that abortion actually IS always wrong and should not happen, and follow through with those beliefs and avoid eating any meat, killing any bugs, using antibacterial soap, etc., but you would be unsuccessful and find that you either cannot prevent the death of life around you, or that you get ants in your house and need to bug bomb them, and would find that sometimes it apparently killing can, in select circumstances, be a good thing. Killing, of course, would also be the producer of many things we have today that we appreciate on a regular basis, like caffeine, developed by plants to paralyze and kill ants.

Conclusion: While we have an evolved aversion to harming our own species, but not others, because it was practical at the time, this does not mean that killing is wrong in every circumstance. It can have positive implications for the lives of many, and can actually make the world a better place.

Citations

[1] De Waal, Frans. "Morality and the Social Instincts: Continuity with the Other Primates." The Tanner
Lectures on Human Values. Nov. 09, 2013. http://courses.washington.edu...
[2] "What is the cognitive rift between humans and other animals?". ScienceDaily.com. Feb. 22, 2008.
http://www.sciencedaily.com...
[3] Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind. 2012, Pantheon Books. ISBN: 978-0-307-45577-2
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
Darn it, I never learn. Round 5 on its way.
Posted by jessica1234 3 years ago
jessica1234
I want to consider for a moment the idea that abortion should be legal in the U.S. . I guess the real question is at what point does human life become valuable. Most Americans who support abortion refer or categorize themselves as pro choice. As Americans we are entitled to constitutional rights like for instance a pro choice favorite the right of privacy. However if we think about the case of Roe vs. Wade 9 supreme court justices decided for 320 million Americans the value of humanity and where it begins. 9'judges that we didn't directly vote for decided for us the value of our humanity. How does this logic make sense. You are entitled to basic human rights, but are not allowed to decide the value of humanity? That's like saying you have the right to breathe but your not allowed to have lungs. Or your parents give you a car tell you are are aloud to drive but hold the keys from you. Abortion shouldn't be legal because Roe v s. Wade should be overturned because it should have never been the job of t he Supreme Court to decide for Americans when human life becomes valuable.
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
To start off, I want to specify that I am arguing that abortion should be legal. I realize a deep-seated sense of right and wrong is an important consideration for most people, but regardless of whether abortion appeals or upsets some peoples" internal sense of what should or should not happen, I am here to argue that legalizing it is the best, most practical, and most correct course of action, based on a holistic consideration of its effects.

==> Abortion is safe

It is sometimes said that abortion is not safe because it is surgery, and there are several incorrect things about this claim. It is a minor surgery, as is dental surgery to remove a tooth, and complications are few and far between. Not only that, but abortion comes in a pill form as well, so invasive surgery, however minor, is not actually needed in most cases and is used less frequently than the pill counterpart. The most relevant statistic here, though, is that legal abortion is about 10 times safer than childbirth [10].

As for other safety concerns, while there is disagreement on both sides, the most prominent and valid sources of information contributing has concluded that abortion does not increase risk of breast cancer, including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the American College of Obsteriticians and Gynecologists, and that it does not affect future risk of fertility or birth complications. [9]
Posted by Canidae 3 years ago
Canidae
==>Abortion is frequently the least harmful option for all parties involved

For the fetus, there is a lot of disagreement about its ability to register pain, and there are groups on both sides of the debate claiming diametrically opposing opinions. Much evidence from unbiased and authoritative sources points toward fetuses having immature neural development that could not allow the fetus to feel pain. It seems that, as it stands, fetal experiences of pain are assumptions and anthropomorphizations that are extrapolated from evidence that itself does not signify the experience of fetal pain. For example, there seems to be a lack of recognition of observations as what they actually are. Reflexes and reactions observed in a fetus or any organism that responds to stimuli does not mean it is actually aware of or perceiving it. The evidence is not absolute, though, and it is very likely we simply do not know enough at this point to tell. I also am not a medical doctor and have a very limited understanding of fetal development and the perception of pain. I am not an expert on this controversial issue, and I think an expert or the most recent textbooks and meta-analyses are what you would need to draw any sort of partial conclusion on this topic. Again, though, from what I have seen so far, it is too soon to tell.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by CheeseFries 3 years ago
CheeseFries
CanidaeDan4reasonTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF by Pro
Vote Placed by Imhellspawn2 3 years ago
Imhellspawn2
CanidaeDan4reasonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I have no choice but to vote for the con as the pro was not here for most of the rounds But for the conduct part of it i will leave it tied because the con plaugrisezed