The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Abortion should be legal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 689 times Debate No: 69471
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Outlawing abortion will not stop abortion, but make it less safe. As high as 1.2 million people died attempting unsafe and illegal abortions between 1880 and 1973, and thousands more were injured. Abortions are going to happen no matter what, so if anti-choicers really care about pregnant people, they had better simmer down and let abortion be. Even if you believe that abortion kills a baby " something that not all people believe " it is true that septic abortion kills both mother and fetus. Currently, septic abortion kills about 70,000 women a year, worldwide. That"s with abortion being legal in the United States! Can you imagine how high that number would climb if it were illegal? You can shout and yell all you want about protecting the unborn, but you will not stop abortion by making it illegal. Which is more important to you: shouting about ethics and ensuring that both mother and fetus will die, or facing reality and saving at least the life of the mother? If abortion is made illegal, wealthy women will continue to have safe abortions by traveling to other places where abortion is safe, or by bribing real doctors to perform the task. Only poor women will have septic abortions. Making abortion illegal will harm poor women more than it will harm rich ones. It basically will not harm rich people at all.
Given the fact that many rapes are unreported and/or unbelieved, the only way to make abortion available on demand consistently to rape survivors is to make it available on demand to everyone. (And if you honestly think that rape survivors should be forced to go through with a pregnancy, one that will physically change their bodies permanently, and cause lasting emotional and psychological scars, when they've already suffered an invasion of their body worse than anything that anyone should go through, then I"d like to force you to donate a kidney to the next person who asks. It probably won"t kill you" right? And the other person would die without it. Give the person your kidney, you murderer!)
Many women have already died by being denied medically necessary abortions, the only way to make abortion available to those women who will simply die without one, IN TIME TO SAVE THEIR LIVES, is to have no legal restrictions on what constitutes a "medically necessary" abortion. If you know the statistic that shows that countries in which abortions are illegal are often those ones with the highest abortion rates, then you know that making abortion illegal doesn't stop it.
Many anti-choicers claim that legal abortion in the First World is dangerous, which is not true. Not only is legal abortion safe, here are some things that are unsafe: inducing miscarriage with drugs without physician discretion, placing foreign objects up the vagina to induce miscarriage, douching with harsh chemicals, ingesting chemicals to induce miscarriage, and self-inflicted trauma to the abdomen caused by punching/falling/etc. (all methods of abortion pre-Roe). Many doctors agree that surgical abortion by the cut-off date is easier than wisdom teeth extraction, and very early abortions are more difficult to mess up than a tooth extraction. Pregnancy and childbirth are actually more dangerous than legal surgical abortion. Every minute in the US, at least one person dies from a complication related to pregnancy/childbirth, which is 287,000 a year. Even more get sick or injured from these complications, about 10 million per year.
Approximately 400 people have died from abortion since Roe v. Wade ruling, which means 400 people in 40 years dead from legal abortion compared to approximately 11,767,000 dead from pregnancy/childbirth. Pregnancy/childbirth has killed over 27,000 times more people than legal abortion.


Thanks for opening this important debate. I hope to have a respectful discussion.

No debate format was specified, so I will issue a brief opening argument and some initial rebuttals.

== Argument ==

P1: If abortion terminates human life, then it should be illegal.
P2: Abortion terminates human life.
C: Abortion should be illegal.

No one would deny that abortion kills a living thing. The key question is whether that living thing is human. Let's examine the facts:

At the first second of conception, the zygote has unique and completely human DNA. Humans have 46 chromosomes with DNA specific to the Homo Sapiens species. All 46 chromosomes, as well as the human specific DNA that comes with them, are present the moment fertilization occurs. According to the book Human Embryology & Teratology, "fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. [1]".

Even if an abortion happens immediately after pregnancy can first be confirmed (4 weeks), the embryo has already begun developing its own unique brain, spinal cord, fingerprints, and heart. By week 6, the arms, legs, eyes, and bones develop. The heart also begins beating [2]. The brain and spine of a fetus do not belong to some separate sub-human species. They are genetically fully Homo Sapien - just at an early stage of development.

Logically, in order to call an embryo "non-human," then there must be some point at which it does become human. This distinction is very difficult to make unless you draw it at the moment of birth. But even drawing the line at birth presents philosophical problems. Is a baby really not human until the second it leaves the womb? How about 30 seconds before? 3 hours? 3 days? What about 3 weeks AFTER birth, since the baby is completely dependent on others and its brain is still not developed? I'm interested to hear where my opponent draws the line of human life and why.

Finally, American law already recognizes an unborn fetus as a human with individual rights at every point in pregnancy. In 2004, the federal government passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it illegal to harm (either intentionally or unintentionally) an unborn child. The law defines "unborn child" as follows: "the term 'unborn child' means a child in utero, and the term 'child in utero' or 'child, who is in utero' means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." [3]

Incredibly, this means that if a pregnant woman on her way to the abortion clinic gets hit by a truck, survives, but loses the baby, the truck driver can be charged with manslaughter. This remains true whether the mother is 4 or 40 weeks pregnant. However, if she safely arrives at the clinic then it's perfectly legal to kill the baby. This contradiction borders on the insane. It essentially says a fetus has human rights in every instance except when the mother chooses to take them away.

I am not going to address cases of rape or life of the mother. The fraction of total abortions performed for these reasons is so comparatively minute that including them is almost a Red Herring. To have a real discussion about this issue, we need to focus on the bulk of abortion cases.

Assuming my opponent agrees that intentionally ending human life is wrong, then it must follow that abortion should be illegal. In order to refute this, Pro must show why an unborn child is not human.

== Rebuttal ==

Pro makes two central arguments:

1. Making abortion illegal will not stop it, so why bother.

2. Since both abortions and childbirth cause death, it's sensible to choose the option that causes fewer deaths (400 vs. 11,767,000).

Let's look at the first argument. The obvious question to this point is: does making ANY behavior illegal stop people from doing it? Murder, theft, rape, and fraud are all illegal, yet these activities still occur all the time. Therefore, according to Pro's logic, we should also legalize and regulate murder, theft, rape, and fraud. People's unwillingness to avoid certain behaviors doesn't justify making them legal.

Pro's second argument seems reasonable enough - if faced with choosing between 400 deaths and 11,767,000 deaths, surely we would want the lesser of two evils, right? The only problem is that Pro leaves out one crucial statistic: the number of children abortion kills each year. Since 1979, the number of annual legal abortions in the U.S. alone has been around 1 million [4]. That means, somewhere in the ball park of 36,000,000 children have been killed since Roe v. Wade (and that's a very low estimate). So it seems it's not a choice between two evils, but three. I'm not even sure why Pro includes childbirth mortality rates, because it's an unrelated issue - are they suggesting that everyone should get abortions because it's too risky to have children? That certainly wouldn't bode well for the continuation of the human species.

Finally, as a side note - if the next person who asked me for a kidney truly would die unless I donated mine, then I would happily do so.

That's all I have for now. Sincerely looking forward to the next round.

[1] O'Rahilly, Ronan and Muller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 8-29



Debate Round No. 1


drarson forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


drarson forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by sengejuri 3 years ago
Why did you forfeit?
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Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture