The Instigator
superkamal26
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
philochristos
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Abortion should be legal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
philochristos
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,066 times Debate No: 28650
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (8)

 

superkamal26

Pro

Abortion should be legal because if a woman doesn't want to have a child than she should have the right to prevent herself from having one. If the government bans abortion then they would be forcing a woman to have a child. If a pregnant woman doesn't have an abortion then she is going to have a child. So if the government takes away that right then pregnant women will have no choice but to have a child. Adoption is a option that is not used often after a woman gives birth to a child. Most women don't want to put their child up for adoption. If the government bans abortion then some women will have an unsafe abortion. More women will have an unsafe abortion if abortion is illegal. Every year approximately 78,000 women die from unsafe abortion. If abortion is legal then less unsafe abortions will occur. Abortion is a safe medical procedure. 88% of women who have an abortion do so in their first trimester. Medical abortions have less than 0.5% risk of serious complications and do not affect a woman's health or future ability to become pregnant or give birth. The government should make sure that late term abortion is safe. The fetus is in the woman's body so therefore the government should not control their bodies. Banning abortion is bad for women and is anti-women's rights.
philochristos

Con

Thank you for coming to tonight's debate.

Since my opppnent has made himself 'pro' in a debate where the resolution is "Abortion should be legal," I take it that he intends to carry the burden of proof. He did not stipulate that the burden of proof would be shared, so I will not be arguing that "Abortion should not be legal" (unless it becomes necessary in the course of the debate). I will simply offer rebuttals to Pro's arguments. If his case survives my critique, then he should win. If his case does not survive my critique, then he should lose.

With those preliminaries out of the way, let's look at his arguments one at a time. From reading his post, I can discern three arguments: (1) the argument from the right of a pregnant woman to not have a child, and (2) the argument from the dangers of illegal abortions, and (3) the argument from bodily sovereignty.

I. The right to not have a child.

1. If abortion were not legal, then pregnant women would be forced to have children.
2. A pregnant women should have the right to prevent herself from having a child.
3. Therefore, abortion should be legal.


The problem with this argument is that the first premise is just a tautology, and the second premise is a re-wording of the resolution, which means his argument begs the question. Essentialy, he's saying (1) If abortion were not legal, then it would be against the law to have an abortion; (2) it should not be against the law to have an abortion; (3) therefore, abortion should be legal. Pro has attempted to hide the circularity of his argument by the way he worded his premises.

II. Illegal abortions are unsafe.

1. If abortion is not legal, more women will have unsafe abortions.
3. Therefore, abortion should be legal.

Notice that what's missing from this argument is the second premise. Without a second premise, the conclusion doesn't follow, so this is an invalid argument. I could make guesses about what the second premise is, but then I might be accused of the strawman fallacy. In that case, I'll wait for Pro to supply the second premise.

III. Bodily sovereignty

1. The government should not control a woman's body.
2. Making abortion illegal controls a woman's body.
3. Therefore, the government should not make abortion illegal.

This argument is problematic because there is a relevant exceptions to the first premise. If a woman had no other way to feed her child than to breast feed it, then the government would have the right to enforce a law that mothers breastfeed their own children. The alternative is that the government should allow mothers to neglect their own children, leaving them to starve to death. But having a law that expects women to breastfeed their own children means that there is a law that controls a woman's body. So although we might say that in most cases, the government should not control a woman's body, that is not without exception.

Conclusion

The "right to not have a child" is just a rewording of "the right to have an abortion," so the first argument is circular. The second argument is invalid because there's a missing premise. The third argument is unsound because the first premise is false on the basis that there is an exception that is relevant to abortion. So all three arguments fail.

Debate Round No. 1
superkamal26

Pro

My arguments are not false. They make sense. The reason that I stated each of my arguments in more than one sentence is to prove that those arguments are valid.

I want to hear my opponent's arguments against the right to have an abortion. He has not stated why abortion should be illegal.

My opponent believes that abortion should be illegal.
If abortion is illegal than there will be a lot more protests going on.
Women who are pregnant will have no choice but to give birth to a child even if they don't want to.
If that child is not raised well then there will be a good chance that the child will become a criminal.
There will be more unsafe abortions which will cause more women to die as I stated in the previous round.

Besides, taking care of a child is a lot of work. It takes a lot of time and money to do that. There's people who can't afford to take care of a child either because they don't have enough money or they don't have enough time.

Abortion should be completely legal and available for women.
philochristos

Con

I guess we can thank Pro for keeping it short since there are so many rounds.

In the last round, Pro gave three arguments for why he thinks abortion should be legal. I answered all three arguments, explaining why each one fails to establish the resolve. Pro didn't even attempt to defend any of those argument. He just let us know that "My arguments are not false" and that he "stated each of my arguments in more than one sentence" in order to "prove that those arguments are valid." He dropped I and III, and all he did was restate II without defending it against my critique. There's still a missing premise in that argument.

Pro expressed his wish that I would make an argument against the right to have an abortion. Doing that would take up space, though, and as I pointed out in the last round, Pro did not stipulate that the burden of proof would be shared in this debate. I have not agreed to accept the burden of proof, so I'm not going to waste space trying to make a case against abortion unless that's the only way I can refute his arguments.

Pro has introduced some new arguments, so let's look at those.

IV. If abortion is illegal than there will be a lot more protests going on.

I'm not really sure how this is relevant. Whether abortion is legal or illegal, there are going to be protests. If it's legal, pro-lifers are going to organize protests (as they do).[1] If it's illegal, pro-choicers are going to organize protests. So what? This is not relevant to the resolve.

V. Women who are pregnant will have no choice but to give birth to a child even if they don't want to.

I'll probably be accused of a strawman argument, but I'm going to take a stab at supplying the missing premise to make this argument valid.

1. If abortion is illegal, then pregnant women will be required to given birth even if they don't want to.
2. Nobody should be legally rquired to do something they don't want to.
3. Therefore, abortion should not be illegal.

That second premise is obviously false, which can be demonstrated with a reductio ad absurdum argument, like so:

2. Nobody should be legally required to do something they don't want to.
4. Bubba doesn't want to drive under the speed limit.
5. Therefore, Bubba should not be required to drive under the speed limit.

Since it is perfectly justified to forbid Bubba from speeding even though he wants to speed, premise 2 is obviously false.

I suspect Pro will accuse me of making a strawman argument since Pro never asserted 2. But if Pro rejects 2, then he needs to replace it with a different premise in order to make his argument valid.

V. If that child is not raised well then there will be a good chance that the child will become a criminal.

Again, I'm not really sure how this is relevant. What exactly is the argument here? What is the hidden premise? I'm guessing it something like this:

1. If an unborn fetus might grow up to be a criminal, then a mother should have the right to abort it.
2. Any child might grow up to be a criminial.
3. Therefore, all mothers should have the right to abort their young.

This is a strange argument. The mere possibility that the fetus might grow up to be a criminal is no justification for killing it. We don't even have the right to kill people who have already grown up and actually become criminials, so how can we justify killing a fetus who hasn't committed any crimes at all yet? Surely, there's more to this argument than Pro is telling us. As it stands, this argument is fallacious.

VI. Raising a child takes a lot of time, work, and money, which some people don't have

Apparently, if raising a child takes a lot of time, money, and work, it's okay to kill it. Well, I think Pro needs to give us a little more argument before this one will go through. How does it follow that because having a child takes a lot of time, money, and work, that women are therefore justified in abortion? Pro doesn't tell us, so this really doesn't even amount to an argument.

Conclusion

Pro just asserts these things as if he thinks it's obvious that his conclusion follows, but it is far from obvious to me. He needs to tell us how it follows from these various statements that abortion ought to be legal. These statements really don't even amount to arguments. I've done the best I can to turn some of them into arguments, but I've had to make guesses about Pro's premises to do it. But even my best guesses don't salvage his arguments. They all fail anyway.



[1] http://texasrallyforlife.org...
Debate Round No. 2
superkamal26

Pro

I never stated that nobody should be legally required to do something they don't want to. I stated that pregnant women should have the right to choose if they want to have a child or not. Having children should definitely be optional regardless of if the woman is pregnant or not. The government should not force pregnant women to have a child.

If you care about fetuses more than women's lives then you should remain pro life. The fact is that approximately 78,000 women die from unsafe abortions. The number of women who die from unsafe abortions will increase if the government bans abortion. Why should the government protect lives that aren't humans over women? Women's lives are way more important than fetuses.

Fetuses are not humans because the definition of humans does not apply for fetuses.
Source: http://dictionary.reference.com...

In regards to protests, Abortion is currently legal under certain circumstances, There has not been tons of protests because majority of Americans support the right to have an abortion under certain circumstances. If the government bans abortion completely which majority of Americans would oppose than there will be more protests. Look at the abortion polls.
Source:http://www.gallup.com...

In regards to the child, if the child does become a criminal then it may be killed or put in jail depending on the situation. Some criminals gets killed during the crime scene. Criminals are allowed to get killed if they commit murder. You were wrong when you stated that criminals are not allowed get killed. There is a justification for having an abortion if the child might become a criminal. If the child grows up to be a criminal than it effects people. If it is not raised well then it might become a criminal. The child could grow up to be a good person or a bad person. The way the child is raised effects what the child will turn out to be.

In regards to raising a child, It is okay for a woman to have an abortion to prevent herself from taking care of it. Abortion is not killing a child. It's killing a fetus. Like I just stated fetuses are not humans. If you count all the humans in the world you wouldn't count fetuses. If a woman doesn't have enough time or money to raise a child then the best thing to do is either have an abortion or put the child up for adoption. Most women don't want to put their child up for adoption.

Another thing I want to point out is that most pro life people only support the right to have an abortion in cases of rape, incest and when the woman's life is at risk. My opponent probably supports it in those cases as well. Well in cases of rape if a woman has an abortion than that's also killing a fetus. Conservatives talk about why fetuses should have the right to live when they support the right to have an abortion in cases of rape. Conservatives are hypocrites. Abortion is killing a fetus regardless of the case.

I support the right to have an abortion regardless of the case. The government should not dictate what a woman could do with her own body that's abuse of power. My opponent does not believe in women's rights instead he believes that the government should control women's bodies. Banning abortion would be bad for women and is against their rights.
http://www.womenscenter.com...
philochristos

Con

I want to thank my opponent for giving a more substantial response this time.

I and V. The right to not have a child if you don't want to.

In this round, Pro combined I and V into one argument. In the previous round, he had dropped I. That argument was circular, but V had a missing premise. I attempted to provide a premise that would make the argument valid, but Pro rejected that premise. He didn't replace it with anything else, though, so that leaves his argument invalid. He essentially just pounds the podium, and says, "The government should not force pregnant women to have a child," which is the issue under dispute.

II. Unsafe abortions.

In the original round, his argument from unsafe abortions was invalid because there was a missing premise. In the next round, he just restated it without defending it against my critique. In this round, he restates it, but then adds that the government should protect the life of women over that of fetuses. But the problem with this argument is that unless a woman's health were seriously at risk, abortion is optional. The government wouldn't be endagering women by prohibiting abortion. Women who chose to have illegal abortions would be endangering themselves. Moreover, if abortion is a serious moral crime, it doesn't make sense to keep it legal to protect those who choose to do it. Should we make burglery legal so that it will be safer for people to rob homes? Surely not!

IV. Protests.

Earlier, I made two points: (1) that there would be protests whether abortion is legal or not, and (2) this is irrelevant to whether abortion should be legal or not. In answer to 1, Pro doesn't deny that there would be protests either way; he just says there would be more if abortion were illegal. I concede that point. However, it is still irrelevant to the question of whether abortion should be legal or not.

VI. might become a criminal. (I accidentally labled this V in the last round.)

Earlier, I said you can't kill criminals. Pro corrected me by saying you can kill some of them. But that doesn't help his case because my point was that if you can't even kill criminals who are guilty, then surely you can't kill the unborn who are innocent. Even if there are some criminials who it's okay to kill, it doesn't follow that you can therefore go ahead and kill the innocent, too.

He elaborates on how aweful it would be if there were more criminals, but he still doesn't answer my objection. In what universe is it okay to kill the innocent just because they might some day become criminals? That makes no sense.

VII. Time, work, and money (I accidentally labled this VI in the last round.)

Pro neglected in the last round to explain how it follows that it's okay to kill the unborn if it takes a lot of time, work, and money to raise them after they're born. In this round, he still didn't make that connection. Instead, he said the fetus is not a human. Well, that's a different argument altogether. I'll deal with that in a minute, but in the meantime, he still needs to provide the missing premise that explains how it follows that it's okay to kill the unborn as long as raising them takes a lot of time, work, and money.

VIII. The unborn are not human

If the unborn are not human, then that renders all of Pro's previous arguments null and void because if it's not human, then you don't need all these justifications for killing it any more than you need justification for any other elective surgery. A person born with an extra finger doesn't need any justiication to have it removed other than the fact that he wants to.

But his claim that the unborn are not human is plainly false. Does he imagine there's a possum in there? Or perhaps a tomatoe? We know it's a human because its parents are human, it has human DNA, and if allowed to it will go through every stage of human development. He cites an online dictionary to prove that fetuses are not human, but if you click on over, the definition does not actually exclude fetuses from humanity. So his source does not support his argument.

IX. Pro-lifers are hypocrits because they are okay with abortion in the case of rape and incest.

That's true of some pro-lifers, but not all. Anyway, this arguments commits the ad hominem fallacy because he's attacking the character of pro-lifers rather than their arguments. This is the mother of all non-sequiturs. It doesn't follow that because some pro-lifers are hypocrits that therefore the pro-life position is false. And it certainly doesn't support his claim that abortions ought to be legal. We can dismiss this argument as irrelevant.

Conclusion

Pro dropped III in the last round, and he hasn't picked it back up. That's nine arguments so far, and every one of them has failed. I wonder if we'll get some new arguments in the next round. Or maybe he'll patch some of these up a bit. We'll see.


Debate Round No. 3
superkamal26

Pro

In regards to unsafe abortions, if abortion is illegal than more unsafe abortions will occur regardless of if it's optional or not. Regardless of whose fault it is that women have unsafe abortions, more women will still die.

Abortion is not a serious moral crime because it's killing a fetus not a human. If you count all the humans in the world you wouldn't count fetuses. If you don't count fetuses as humans than how are they humans?

In regards to the right to not have a child, Why should the government force women to have a child? Why can't women decide if they will have a child or not? Having a child may not be the best thing to do for a woman. Women know what's best for themselves. Just because the woman is pregnant doesn't mean she should be forced to have a child.

In regards to the time work and money it takes to take care of a child, If a woman doesn't have an abortion than she could either take care of the child or put it up for adoption. Most woman don't want to put their child up for adoption. Adoption doesn't happen often. If the woman doesn't have an abortion and doesn't put the child up for adoption than she will have to take care of the child for a long period of time. Taking care of a child will effect the woman's life. There are some people who don't want to have children. There's a reason why they don't want to have children. Not everyone could afford to take care of a child.

Banning abortion would be controlling women's bodies, that's wrong. Abortion should be legal so that women will have the right to choose what they will do with their own body and if they will have children or not.

Thank you for debating with me. You have one last chance to make arguments. Good Luck.
philochristos

Con

In this round, Pro didn't say much new, so my responses will be short.

II and VIII. Unsafe abortions; fetus not a human

Pro says it doesn't matter whether abortions are optional or not. Women will die if they are made illegal. But I think it does matter. If a person voluntarily does something that is dangerous to their health, that is on them.

I made the point that it makes no sense to make something legal just so it will be safe for peopel to do it when we're talking about doing something that's a moral crime, like burgerly. So the fact that illegal abortions are unsafe is no reason to make them legal.

He responded by saying abortions are not moral crimes because "it's killing a fetus not a human." Pro is making a categorical error here. "Human" is a species, but "fetus" is a stage of development, so they are different categories, but he's treating them as if they're the same category, pretending as if being a fetus means you're not a human. I gave an argument in the last round for why fetuses are human, and Pro ignored that argument.

I and V. The right to not have a child if you don't want to.

Pro just repeats his argument here. The only thing new he ads is that "women know what's best for themselves." Sure, but abortion doesn't just affect women; it affects their young, too. You don't have the right to kill your young just because you think it's good for you.

VII. Time, work, and money

Pro doesn't add anything to this argument, and he doesn't respond to my rebuttal. You don't have the right to kill your young just because they're inconvenient.

III. Bodily sovereignty

After dropping this argument for two rounds, Pro brought it back up in the last round. But he doesn't offer anything new. He repeats his argument and ignores my rebuttal.

Conclusion

Pro dropped IV, VI, and IX. And there we have it. Pro made nine arguments in this debate for why abortion should be legal, but he wasn't able to successfully defend any of them. In most cases, he just made assertions and ignored my responses.

Thank you for coming to tonight's debate. Please vote.

Thanks also to my opponent for finishing this debate. I've gotten a little shy about accepting debates with this many rounds because peope will sometimes drop out. I'm glad you stuck with it.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Pro showed that criminalizing abortion does harm. Con could have argued that legalizing abortion does even more harm, but he didn't bother. Instead, he did little technical straw-man arguments based on his rejection of the principle of charity. (He interpreted his opponent's arguments as weak, in order that he might refute this weaker-than-what-his-opponent-really-meant parody.) Pro pointed out that legal abortions give people freedom to decide whether to have children. Since Con offered no counterbalancing ill effects of legal abortion, Pro wins.
Posted by aidanroy 3 years ago
aidanroy
I am pro-abortion... but Con just annihilated Pro... Bravo.
Posted by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
Woops! I mis-numbered some of those "arguments." Sorry about that.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
superkamal26philochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I strongly disagree with the Con position. But he clearly won the debate here based on the arguments presented.
Vote Placed by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
superkamal26philochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
superkamal26philochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I didn't even have to finish reading the debate to call it. Con obviously won. Pro never made a coherent argument in the few rounds I did read. Plus, his figure that 78,000 women a year die from unsafe abortions is clearly and utterly false. The number of women who died in 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade, was 39. It's inconceivable that 78,000 women a year would die from the same cause. Con gets spelling and grammar, plus conduct for Pro's insane "unsafe abortion" death toll.
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 3 years ago
Chuz-Life
superkamal26philochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's format and efficient use of solid points to counter pros claims was well done. Points for S&G and arguments as well. Congrats to both for great conduct on a very emotionally charged topic.
Vote Placed by The_Master_Riddler 3 years ago
The_Master_Riddler
superkamal26philochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro dropped many args. had somewhat bad grammar which made it a little hard to understand him. he also made bad fallacious args. and called pro lifers hypocrites
Vote Placed by Milliarde 3 years ago
Milliarde
superkamal26philochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's responses were much easier to read, and he used better sources instead of contradictory ones. Con clearly refuted all of Pro's arguments, rendering Pro's case torn down.
Vote Placed by Wishing4Winter 3 years ago
Wishing4Winter
superkamal26philochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con responded to all of Pro's arguments and pointed out Pro's logical fallacies and dropped arguments. Con clearly won 'convincing arguments' due to his substance and analysis of all the facts presented in today's round.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 3 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
superkamal26philochristosTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pretty easy vote, all things considered. Pro raised argument after argument, but Con demolished all (nine?) of them thoroughly.