The Instigator
Stephen_Hawkins
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
TheBaldKnobbers
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion should be legal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Stephen_Hawkins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,174 times Debate No: 17932
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

Alright, the motion I am carrying is that Abortion should be legalised for all. Seeing as the motion is simple and straight forwards, I shall just post my argument now. Feel free to reply and rebut instantly. Message me with any questions on the topic.

Simply, my argument is as follows : Abortion is the termination of cells. Cells are not alive. Therefore, Abortion has no real impact. If abortion has no real impact, then everyone should be able to have it as an option.

First, let's define Abortion: The cessation of pregnancy or fetal development. So an abortion is simply halting a process. I am sure the honorable gentleman will refer to the "child" being "alive", but it is not. A fetus cannot love outside the mother until the very end of the third trimester: This is not abortion. When a child is existent, they are no longer a "fetus". A fetus is an embryo after the eighth week of development until birth. This means a child only becomes a child when it is removed from the body via birth. The idea that the fetus is alive, which I am sure will be the main point of my opposition's argument, is unnecessary and flawed. A fetus is not developed as a person: It cannot live independently. It cannot "learn". It cannot "feel" for most of its life. Remember, I am not saying disallowed for all circumstances, but for all people. Everyone should be entitled.

Abortion is not used as a form of contraception. Pregnancy can occur even with responsible contraceptive use. Only 8% of women who have abortions do not use any form of birth control, and most say they don't use it as a form of contraceptive. (http://www.infoplease.com......)

Also, removing the right of a woman's choice to her own body is removing civil rights, and is wrong at a human rights level. It is just wrong to say that only specific people may have abortions, obviously. And saying that someone may not do something because it stops something from being alive? Not killing something, fetuses are not alive, they are a clump of cells, but it is just stopping the possibility. There's a slippery slope forming.

American Psychology association also found no psychological harm caused by abortion: There is no real side-effects.
(http://www.apa.org......) Also, the chance of death from complications is 1 in 50,000. This is the same as the general use of anaesthesia (http://journals.lww.com......) or the chance of anyone anywhere on the coast dying from a tsunami (http://www.livescience.com......). The risk of death associated with childbirth is about ten times higher than that associated with abortion.

I think that is enough on the medical and socio-economic factors, but let's move onto the moral factors: Is a group of cells alive? Well, the average human mouth has over 400 species if bacteria, their combined populations total to billions and billions of distinctive organisms, (Stevens J. It's a jungle in there. BioScience, 1996:46:1-5). Do we count these as the same quality of life as human beings? Of course not! I am not saying we should go out of our way to terminate fetuses, but to simply give people the choice.

I am sure the honorable gentleman will bring up how people will "abuse" the system. I think they fail to realise that people do not use abortion as contraception (read prior references), nor is there any incentive over abortion as a contraceptive rather than a condom, or IUD, or equivalent. I am English, I enjoy a free healthcare. And with the free healthcare system, I have the right to free medical procedures. The idea that women should not get help is a poor one.

Let's go through some hypotheticals: What if the woman was raped to pregnancy? What about if the woman gave birth, she would be killing herself, and the child would probably die as well? What if the woman who was pregnant was in poverty?

It's quite simple, really, at least, I think so. Socio-economically, abortion is a reasonable option. Morally, restricting someone's choice is terrible. Scientifically, a clump of cells aren't "alive". I await the response, thank you.
TheBaldKnobbers

Con

1. My opponent needs to define value criterion for "should"

2. Nuking Japan is the termination of cells. Cells are not alive. Therefore Nuking Japan has no real impact. If Nuking Japan has no real impact, than everyone should be able to have it as an option.

As the readers can clearly see the syllogism fails at "Abortion is the termination of cells". It's not merely the termination of cells. It is the termination of a live being with certain human potential.

Similarly if your father lapses into a coma, doctors say he will fully recover in 9 months with no damage, but he has a 1 million insurance policy and your mother decides to pull the plug, it's not legal, it's not an option that should be available to everyone. It's murder.

My opponent backwardly defined life as the ability to live without the help of another. If this is truly his definition, then my opponent must live in a sad society inhabited by the walking dead as many infants if abandoned on the streets would die of starvation. Many children would as well. My opponent also must classify the retarded, handicapped, paralyzed, those using oxygen tanks, coma victims, etc. as all amongst the zombies.

My opponent has yet to cite any significant change the fetus undergoes before and after birth. Fetuses can live outside of the womb much and much earlier due to advances in technology. Does my opponent then purport that technological advances can make the difference between an individual's humanity?

"A fetus is not developed as a person: It cannot live independently. It cannot "learn". It cannot "feel" for most of its life. Remember, I am not saying disallowed for all circumstances, but for all people. Everyone should be entitled."

1. A fetus can learn, recognize it's mothers voice

"The research suggests that while still in the womb, our brains were learning speech patterns and laying the groundwork for language acquisition."
http://abcnews.go.com...

2. The human body is not fully developed until puberty, the brain until the late 20s

"A National Institutes of Health study proposes that the part of the brain that restrains risky behavior, including reckless driving, and thinking skills is not fully developed until the age of 25.

Jay Giedd, the psychiatrist leading the study, told MSNBC earlier this year that this finding came as a surprise to him because he used to think that the brain was fully developed by the age of 18. "

http://www.academic.marist.edu...

Additionally the USFG recognizes a fetus as a human by the innate definition of murder and The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, commonly known as "Laci and Conner's Law" was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush on April 1, 2004, allowing two charges to be filed against someone who kills a pregnant mother (one for the mother and one for the fetus). There are numerous legal precedents using the aforementioned law.

My opponent uses misleading statistics. Here is the full study:

Of women having abortions,

46% did not use contraception during the month they became pregnant
8% never used a method of birth control
47% have had at least one previous abortion

http://www.contracept.org...


Pregnancy can hardly ever occur when birth control is used by both sexes.

(1 - 0.999) (Birth Control) * (1 - 0.850) (Condom

.001*.150 = 0.00015 = Probability

307,006,550 * 0.00015 = 46,051 Abortions

Actual Number of Abortions in the US: 827,000

Number of Abortions due to not using birth Control = 827,000 - 46,052 = 780,950

http://www.plannedparenthood.org...
http://advocatesforyouth.org...
http://www.mathgoodies.com...
http://www.google.com...
http://www.cdc.gov...


"Let's go through some hypotheticals: What if the woman was raped to pregnancy? What about if the woman gave birth, she would be killing herself, and the child would probably die as well? What if the woman who was pregnant was in poverty?"

  • 2.8% Risk to maternal health
  • 2.1% Other
  • In 2000, cases of rape or incest accounted for 1% of abortions.
http://www.infoplease.com...
http://www.guttmacher.org...

0.05 * 827,000= 41,350

I look forward to whatever innaccurate and fallacious arguments my opponent will doubtless raise in the next round.
Debate Round No. 1
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

The opposition brought up no new arguments, and simply criticised me or my arguments, so I shall simply reply to his comments.

should = Used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions.

"A fetus an recognise its mother's voice". A scanner at work can recognise when someone puts something in that needs to be scanned, and starts the scanning. This actually does something productive to the recognition, but will there be a moral objection when it is replaced for something better? I hope not. Recognition is not a characteristic of use. As you later mentioned, we keep recognising things up until 25. In the document, it mentions how we discriminate against language sounds, as well as other things. Let me mention that animals and plants do this as well (http://www.globalanimal.org...)(http://www.dailygazette.com...)(http://timesnews.net...). Recognition of sound is irrelevant, and recognition as a whole is near universal.

Also, this argument can also be applied to all forms of life; when I kill a fly flying about in my room, is it murder?

"My opponent's backwardly defined life as..."

Well, seeing as he is ignoring most of what I have said and is rewording it for his own purpose, I'll just state it again. ALL that abortion is is the termination of cells. Yes, killing a human being is a termination of cells. Just as, say, this computer produces heat. There are other things involved in its process. A human being is a productive member of society. A computer is a useless tool.

"if your father lapses..."

The argument is fallacious: When you give birth to a child, they are not fully fledged men/women, productive in society, able to fend for themselves, and not causing a problem for the carers. It would be more like for the first nine months you have to look after them, at the cost of your own life and future, then for the next 18 years after that you must keep caring for them, which would cost, according to the "mommy tax", around 1 million (http://life.familyeducation.com...) or a quarter of your [b]lifetime[/b] income (http://shine.yahoo.com...). Compare this to the low-income threshold. The latest year for which household income data is available is 2008/09. In that year, the 60% threshold was worth: �119 per week for single adult with no dependent children; �206 per week for a couple with no dependent children; �202 per week for a single adult with two dependent children under 14; and �288 per week for a couple with two dependent children under 14. These sums of money are measured after income tax, council tax and housing costs have been deducted, where housing costs include rents, mortgage interest (but not the repayment of principal), buildings insurance and water charges. They therefore represent what the household has available to spend on everything else it needs, from food and heating to travel and entertainment. In 2008/09, 13� million people in the UK were living in households below the 60% low-income threshold after deducting housing costs. This is around a fifth (22%) of the population. Thirty per thousand women have an abortion. Using some fancy mathematics, this makes roughly 6 million women below the income threshold. 5% of these people will give birth to a child between the age of 15 and 19 (http://www.unicef-irc.org...). This makes 300,000 people who will be drastically pushed below their means. This puts another 300,000 people inside the poverty line. This makes 300,000 more drains on society; people with no productive value at all. The opposition also rests on the laurel that humanity has an intrinsic value. This needs to be justified before trying to rebut this point.

Your mathematical explanation lacks any citation, therefore, I shall recreate the mathematical proof:

http://womenshealth.about.com...

0.15 * 0.09 = 0.0135(1-condom rate)*(1-pill rate)

http://www.google.co.uk...

307007000 (population of America) * 0.0135 = 4 144 594.5 abortions per year. http://www.abortionno.org... shows that there is 1.37 Million abortions a year in America. This makes MINUS 2 million, give or take a little, abortions due to not using birth control. The maths is flawed. Amazing.

I also want to bring up the fact that the opposition did not bring up anything in a slightly larger degree of depth :
When he said I need to define "should", he did not himself. I wonder if that is because it is simply a diversion to take up space. I am wondering whether I shall be asked what "be" means: If you want to talk about semantics, please explain why, or it just seems as a waste of time. Usually, I would query someone about their understanding of English, but I shall move on. He also gave no definition of "life", saying mine was wrong, giving a false dichotomy as a response, and even a strawman. Ironic, for his final comment of saying he'll point out my fallacies, yet mentions none.

"My opponent... classifies the retarded, handicap...as all amongst the zombies."

I could cry strawman, but I feel my opponent would ignore me, bearing in mind the previous paragraph was a strawman also.

He states that a live being with certain human potential encompasses a clump of cells. "Potential" is not an argument. It has the same potential to find the cure for a supervirus than it has to create one. "Potential" is an argument used when you realise that a feotus has no use. Combine this with the fact that many will grow in poverty, this just makes my argument stronger.

"Reducing teenage births offers an opportunity to reduce the likelihood of poverty, and of its perpetuation from one generation to
the next." Is a quote from UNICEF. (http://www.unicef-irc.org...) Fig. 5 shows that economically, the majority of teenage mothers in the UK, my home country, have less than upper secondary education. It is also an average rating. Over half are not working, meaning inactive and claiming unemployed benefits, so NOT in school, as my opponent may bring up without checking the table. Almost half have neither them nor a partner working, while 4 in 10 do not have a partner. Finally, more than half are in the bottom 20% bracket of income for the household. Limiting abortion is destroying lives, not saving them. You talk of potential, look at how much potential limiting abortion is destroying.
TheBaldKnobbers

Con

I am aware of the definition of should, my opponent offers no value criterion for which the voters can judge who sufficiently the debate. My question is why should the government the government. My opponent has offered no criterion to narrow the scope of the debate. For example if I prove late term abortions should be illegal do I win the debate and negate your criterion? If I prove that a fetus is alive do I win the debate? There is no value criterion for which voters should judge who really won. I propose that the criterion be whoever argued most effectively since no particular aspect of abortion has been focused upon.

My opponent stated that: " It cannot "learn". It cannot "feel" for most of its life."

I have proved this assertion to be incorrect and my opponent agreed that the evidence was sufficient and that other intelligent animals learn by listening to sounds as well: "Let me mention that animals ....do this as well"

As the reader can clearly see my opponent agrees that a fetus can and does learn through sound as is a universal (I assume my opponent refers to worldly as we are not in contact with alients just yet).

"if your father lapses..."

The argument is fallacious: When you give birth to a child, they are not fully fledged men/women, productive in society, able to fend for themselves

My opponent ignores an unemployed father who does not have enough in savings to pay for the machines which keep him alive. My opponent fails to recognize that most men/women on the planet do not have so much in savings and that others must foot the bill for the life sustaining machines. Therefore the logical syllogism is perfectly analgous. My opponent has previously defined non-life as: "cannot live independently" He therefore must define life as "living independently". Anyone who depends upon machines is not alive and should be allowed to die without any consequences. People in coma's cannot learn, they cannot feel, and so a wife of a coma victim has the right to pull the plug on her husband even if he has a certainty of living in 9 months. I will repeat the example which my opponent has failed to refute.

If your father lapses into a coma, doctors say he will fully recover in 9 months with no damage, but he has a 1 million insurance policy and your mother decides to pull the plug, it's not legal, it's not an option that should be available to everyone. It's murder.

My opponent has not shown what part of this analogy is not analogous. He has called it fallicious but has failed to provide a fallacy.

My opponent attempts to redefine life this time as "being a productive member of society" Bizzarely enough he calls a computer a useless tool which makes no sense at least to me?

If this is truely his defintion then he expands the realm of zombies in his imaginary world to anyone who does not pay taxes or give to charity, which is most of the country.

He attempts to give a justification that the cost of a human is reasoning to abort them. If this is his criterion then my opponent must also expand his legalization of abortion to a legalization of murdering those who take more tax dollars than they receive as they are a detriment to society.

My opponent uses an uncited about.com article as a source for the failure rate of birth control marking the effective rate at 91%

This is incorrect as the correct rate is 99.99%

"Women take the pill by mouth to prevent pregnancy, and when taken correctly, is up to 99.9% effective."

SOURCE: http://www.webmd.com...

I agree with his failure rate for condoms.

It is this incorrect number that artificially inflates his final figure by millions.

307,006,550 * 0.000015(.0001*.15) = 4,605 Abortions

My numbers were off but actually in the opposite direction which was due to being conservative and not including the extra .09 in the numbers

About.com does not overturn WebMD on medical matters.

Actual Number of Abortions in the US: 827,000

I also pose the question to my opponent how it's a strawman to clearly show how ridiculous his definition of death is?

My opponent throughout the course of the debate has provided bogus facts, skewed studies (where he only provided a part of the evidence to lie)[1], and dubious sources[2]. He has completely ignored some points[3] while he has accused an argument of being fallacious/not analogous when it was not so[4]. My opponent has shown that his only real criterion is to eliminate the poor by killing them.[5] He has not proved that a fetus alive and his definition of life would classify most of the humans on the planet of being not alive[6]. My opponent has been proven wrong on his incorrect conjecture that fetuses cannot learn[7]. My opponent has been proven wrong that it is incorrect to classify life with the development of the body as it continues developing for 20 years after birth[8] I have proven that life with certain potential is still life[9] He lied and accused my mathematical proof of having any citation when it had 5[10]

Sources:

1. Opponent: "Only 8% of women who have abortions do not use any form of birth control, and most say they don't use it as a form of contraceptive. "
Real Survey: "46% did not use contraception during the month they became pregnant
8% never used a method of birth control
47% have had at least one previous abortion"

2. http://womenshealth.about.com...

3. Defining abortion as a termination of cells when murder can be defined by the same definition R1

"2. Nuking Japan is the termination of cells. Cells are not alive. Therefore Nuking Japan has no real impact. If Nuking Japan has no real impact, than everyone should be able to have it as an option."

4.

ANALOGY:
Similarly if your father lapses into a coma, doctors say he will fully recover in 9 months with no damage, but he has a 1 million insurance policy and your mother decides to pull the plug, it's not legal, it's not an option that should be available to everyone. It's murder.

"The argument is fallacious: When you give birth to a child, they are not fully fledged men/women, productive in society, able to fend for themselves"

A. Fails to provide a fallacy
B. Attempts to justify the murder with the cost of caring for the child while ignoring the cost to sustain the father which will be just as expensive
C. Fails to overturn the analogy based on my opponents condition of life: mental state and independence (of which the coma victim has neither).

5. "This makes 300,000 more drains on society; people with no productive value at all. The opposition also rests on the laurel that humanity has an intrinsic value. This needs to be justified before trying to rebut this point."

6. "ALL that abortion is is the termination of cells. Yes, killing a human being is a termination of cells. Just as, say, this computer produces heat. There are other things involved in its process. A human being is a productive member of society. A computer is a useless tool." AKA paying more tax than taking tax money.

A. Includes most children under the age of 16-18, mentally retarded, 50% of families in the country paying no tax, coma victims, senior citizens living off of social security.
B. As the top 10% pay 70% of the taxes which are spent mainly on the lower 90%, then 90% of the country is unproductive
http://www.heritage.org...
C. Does not name the "other things" or come to any definition of life or definition of humanity.

7. "A fetus cannot learn"
"The research suggests that while still in the womb, our brains were learning speech patterns and laying the groundwork for language acquisition."
http://abcnews.go.com...

8. The human body is not fully developed until puberty, the brain until the late 20s

9. Coma analogy, proving that under my opponent's definition of life, a fetus is alive as it can both learn and development is constantly occuring

10.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org......
http://advocatesforyouth.org......
http://www.mathgoodies.com......
http://www.google.com......
http://www.cdc.gov......

Real citations above in R1 under the large bolded number 780,950
Debate Round No. 2
Stephen_Hawkins

Pro

I shall conclude now quickly to conclude the debate:

My opponent has not concluded that a fetus is an alive human being. He has only provided definitions which encompass animals and plants as well, in one case including non-life. Now, ignoring how my opponent anthropomorphised the government, there has not been a case in which a few week old feotus could live independently of the parent. Saying independent meaning not relying on them, being self-reliant for life. The quality of life is not of consequence under this definition, just the ability to survive. Because of this, my first contention of a bunch of cells not being alive is secure, and explain why:

I shall repeat the argument is a strawman; it is taking a morphed viewpoint of my position, possibly from a lack of understanding, possibly from lack of will to understand, that the father being an emotional tug, and the father being a person which is productive. Let's rewrite the analogy to include the points that a) a child is not productive until the age of 16 and b) the child is a drain on costs c) this horribly reduces the life quality of the parent d) the parent is of the large minority stake (over 25%) of mothers who become pushed over the income threshold. and e) the doctors will not look after your father; you will have to. Oh, and remove f) because it is a an emotional tug based on morality of doing things for monetary gain, and no other use (it is opportunity cost lost by a parent, rather than actual money):

If your father lapses into a coma, doctors say he will fully recover in 9 months with extreme damage, which will take another sixteen years for him to fully recover, where you will have to feed him, bathe him etc. and do everything for him, including work. This will drastically cut your income, and you will have to downsize, if not to a council flat, and not be able to give your child a good education. Oh! And we're not going to look after him: it's your problem. Bye!

Is it really the responsibility of the mother to sacrifice herself and the son/daughter because the daughter is deemed as "potential"? That potential is completely wasted by the socio-economic implications.

I shall reexplain how a computer is a useless tool; without an enforcer, or someone to write a program to be run when inputs are made, the computer does not make outputs. A computer needs inputs to output. A human being does not have an I/O system as such, because it is proactive as well as reactive. A fetus has an I/O system, and does nothing unless has a command given to it, equivalent to a command on a computer.

I shall reiterate the socio-economic iterations however; the status of the fetus is a peripheral issue. Regardless of whether a fetus is a human being or has rights, women will have abortions anyway, even if it means breaking the law or risking their lives. Even women who believe that abortion is murder have chosen to get abortions, and will continue to do so (Medical World News. 1987. Abortion Clinic's Toughest Cases. pp 55-61. March 9, other citations given previously).

"That's why we should leave the decision up to women's moral conscience, and make sure that they are provided with safe, legal, accessible abortions. Because ultimately, the status of a fetus is a matter of subjective opinion, and the only opinion that counts is that of the pregnant woman. For example, a happily pregnant woman may feel love for her fetus as a special and unique human being, a welcome and highly anticipated member of her family. She names her fetus, refers to it as a baby, talks to it, and so on. But an unhappily pregnant woman may view her fetus with utter dismay, bordering on revulsion. She cannot bring herself to refer to it as anything other than "it," much less a human being. She is desperate to get rid of this unwelcome invader, and when she does, she feels tremendous relief. Both of these reactions to a fetus, and all reactions in between, are perfectly valid and natural."(Joyce Arthur) My opponent is pushing the idea that an embryo is scientifically and factually life, and has not justified it, except by attacking my argument and using rhetoric. I fear the false politican and the statesman of Gorgio would be an apt explanation of the situation.

The opposition's mathematics is flawed:
A -- fallacious, a flaw in logic. For example, misleading vividness, or a strawman.
B -- This is a turn. The cost to the father justifies MY position further, thank you.
C -- You fail to accept it.

5 -- Humanity's intrinsic value is not required to be proven; rather, it needs to be proven to exist in fetuses, which has not been done.

6 -- A drain is, in this metaphor, something that takes without giving; this is a point that has value once we accept that we have to reason to defend a clump of cells.

Point A is an argument from inability to read, I'll be honest, you've just been bluntly insulting me. I specifically have been referring to British citations, and using seperate citations to clarify US figures. If you cannot comprehend a country different from the US, then please, go outside it.
i) mentally retarded, coma victims etc. is misleadingly vivid. The number is so minimal, it is negligible.
ii) point two is so ridiculous once you've realized that the reason 50% of people don't pay tax is because they don't earn enough; this is making things WORSE. Explain how adding a catalyst to poverty is good in a community where so many people are on their earning threshold.

Point 10 has no citation for the birth pill figure, which was disputed. The citation is a vague website, after checking said site for ten minutes, I decided that it would be easier to google the statement and make a cross-reference. I also included, unlike my opponent, clerical failures, that is, people "doing it wrong". Also, the mathematical citation on how to do it was referring to an invalid technique (Conditional probability means the two events are true, where one is already given as true. If you actually used the technique cited, you'd have realised that.)

I have given substantial proof to the point that Cells are not alive. I have disproven the statement that abortions have no impact; a lack of legal abortions have a truly horrific impact on a community, and finally the lack of negative impact meaning it is a legal option has not been challenged. Thank you, vote for choice.
TheBaldKnobbers

Con

TheBaldKnobbers forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by jharry 5 years ago
jharry
I thought you had your own super awesome smart people only website? Seriously bro, you are not wanted here. Find somewhere else.
Posted by dougfunny2 5 years ago
dougfunny2
Since my account was banned I will post the final round within the comments section
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
Stephen_HawkinsTheBaldKnobbersTied
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
Stephen_HawkinsTheBaldKnobbersTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeits