Abortion should be legal
Debate Rounds (3)
I see many people arguing against it which saddens me to see, because is it not the right of a woman to have control over her own body? Is it not her choice to decide what to do with it?
In the US, a survey was made asking the American people what their opinions on abortion was - 51% thought that it should be legal in mostly all cases, while 43% opposed, thinking it should be illegal (1). These stats have remained relatively stable and of course, the fact that 51% thinks it a positive thing, there is still 43% remaining.
This does not even include what the people think is morally right and wrong. Only a meek 15% thinks that it is morally right! (1)
To me, this is almost outrageous. Especially religious people seem to think that it is morally wrong to have an abortion, which makes me wonder. As a Christian, I see God as an important figure in my life too. But I think He would not wish for some to be oppressed and to be in pain for something they do not wish.
The pain goes to both the pregnant woman and to the child! Why should she suffer 9 months to give birth to a child that she would not want? Is it being said that it is better for a child to be left to die, rather than to lose it's life before it becomes a conscious being, thus not inflicting harm? At the best in the cases where the woman have the child despite her wishes, they might be left in an orphanage to wait, possibly for many years in our already crowded homes for orphans. At worst, they will be left to die.
Recently, the issue is brought up again which is a start and we are moving in the right direction. However, I think it wrong that all the states of the US have not yet collectively decided that this is an actual issue, because it is. Many people get abortions - And they will continue to, even when it is illegal! The only difference is, that since it will then have to be done in secret or with the fear of being found out, it will be much more dangerous for the woman. If medicines, and medical students and doctors cannot offer what they need to help and give the correct procedure to the patient, it could cause permanent damage, perhaps even death to her.
So, Con, I am open to hear your arguments - Whatever you have to propose, I am listening.
In all respect, I disagree with your opinions and reasoning for legalizing abortion and I hope by the end of this debate you will see and understand my position and maybe even think again about what you have written.
First of. I am of the opinion that sex is a sacred act between a woman and a man. It should not be degraded to simple orgasms, only for lust and pleasure and losing all sainthood, because this is sadly what it is becoming those days in our society. God designed sex for us to make life, not just to gain pleasure. Sex is something sacred and it should be done only by loved and preferable married couples. Pre-marital sex is a quickly done mistake nowadays, and many people including the youth and adolescents may be tempted to it because of the easy universal access to contraception.
But this is only my opinion and I know it is heavily religious, like you already pointed out. For me life is sacred, given by God and an abortion is the act of murdering a being that cannot defend itself. It is forbidden and a sin, already said in Exodus 20:13 "You shall not murder".
How can a human touch the sanctity of life? How can you people think you have the right to touch something this beautiful, this unique? Something God gifted us with?
How can you accept a mother to kill her own child, but punish others that kill? How can you know when a life starts? When a soul is there? Is it there after what - 2 Weeks? 10 weeks? After the child is born? Do you think God comes knocking on your "womb-door" after 12 weeks and says " oh all right, this child in here is ready to be considered a human now, so I will give it a soul?
Furthermore - how can you blame a child, an unborn, defenceless human being for your irresponsibility? When you have sex, there is a risk of pregnancy. When you are incapable of protection, how can you take that out on that unborn child? Every person has a right to life, but you are taking that right away, ripping it out of your womb, because of your mistake, brushing off the responsibility by saying "it is not a person yet"? It is only a cell? How can you dare take the right to decide this?
This is, of course, only the moral side of what I think. It is religious tinted, I will not even deny this.
So, let me try to explain this in a scientifically way as well, because maybe this will help you understand why I am so saddened by people like you.
The "classic" arguments from your side are collapsing under the weight of science. "No one knows when life begins" and "It's a blob of tissue" are frankly on the wane, especially in the context of surgical abortion, which is how the vast majority of abortions are done today.
At the moment when a human sperm penetrates a human ovum, or egg a new entity comes into existence. "Zygote" is the name of the first cell formed at conception, the earliest developmental stage of the human embryo.
Is it human? Is it alive? Is it just a cell or is it an actual organism, a "being?" These are logical questions.
The zygote is composed of human DNA and other human molecules, so its nature is undeniably human and not some other species.
The new human zygote has a genetic composition that is absolutely unique from itself, different from any other human that has ever existed, including that of its mother.
This DNA includes a complete "design," guiding not only early development but even hereditary.
It is also quite clear that the earliest human embryo is biologically alive. It fulfils the four criteria needed to establish biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.
Finally, is the human zygote merely a new kind of cell or is it a human organism; that is, a human being? Scientists define an organism as a complex structure of interdependent elements constituted to carry on the activities of life by separately-functioning but mutually dependant organs. The human zygote meets this definition with ease.
The zygote acts immediately and decisively to initiate a program of development that will, if uninterrupted by accident, disease, or external intervention, proceed seamlessly through formation of the definitive body, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, and ageing, ending with death. This coordinated behaviour is the very hallmark of an organism.
Thus, the scientific evidence is quite plain: at the moment of fusion of human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive, and an individual organism - a living, and fully human, being.
And you say that child in your womb is not a person "yet"?
"Not a person" is a decidedly unscientific argument: it has nothing to do with science and everything to do with someone's own moral or political philosophy. We're either persons or property. So is this unborn child only property? But I disagree, young lady. This unborn child is NOT your property.
First of all, as opinion on sex, whether regarding pre-marital, pleasure or procreating varies in such a wide spectrum, your argument is not supported by anything else than opinion, and you also very well say that this is just your own. Everyone is entitled to their own, of course; However, regarding a national view, you cannot claim that sex is exclusively for creating life and that pre-martial sex is a mistake without any evidence to support this as an argument.
You refer now to Exodus 20:13 as your argument, stating indeed that God said that one must not murder. This I wholly agree with. When we deal with abortion, however, I disagree to calling it murder.
Firstly, to respond to you with a biblical reasoning: In the book of Exodus, (chapter 21:22-23) it is, in fact, also indicated that a fetus is of a lesser status than a human being. It states that if a man pushes a pregnant woman and she miscarries, he is required to only pay a fine - Which is much less than what the punishment would have been if the fetus were considered a 'full' person, so to say.
We can look up the noun 'murder' in a dictionary.
"Murder: The killing of another person without justification or excuse, especially the crime of killing a person with malice aforethought or with recklessness manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life."
Now, we can break this into bits. Firstly, a part of the definition for murder is to kill another person without justification or excuse. This, abortion does not do. Abortion is a medical procedure that is taken when a woman does not wish to have a child; She is the host, you could say, the carrier. The fetus is unable to support itself without the woman in mention and it is not independent. If it is inflicting harm upon her or exists within her body (over which only she has the full control and right), she also has every right to have it removed. It is not without reason that this happens. In fact, it is with very good reason and I would say that the justification is perfectly in place. It can be justified by the fact that it is HER body. Not the fetuses.
Without creating a misunderstanding that I am comparing an unborn child to a stranger, the example can be having someone walk into your house without you knowing. It is your property - You decide whether they can stay or have to leave and if it is someone uninvited -alas someone you have not allowed to be there from the start - it is in your right to ask them to go if you would wish it.
Secondly, abortion is not done as an evil deed. It is of one of protection towards the woman from something unwanted.
There is a significant difference between a fetus and a child. Take this example:
Imagine that you stand with an egg in one hand, and a chicken in the other. Now, picture that you have no choice but to drop one of them to the floor. Which one did you save?
My guess is the chicken.
You see, I understand that one cannot point to an exact time and say 'now the fetus is alive'. But that is not the factor in question. Once again using the egg and chicken: A chicken inside of an egg will still be considered an egg until it hatches and the chick is indepentently existing.
It is the same for a fetus. One cannot consider it an independent, living, conscious human if it cannot exist without the woman.
However, instead of continuing on this argument, I will stop it here and my reason is this: Biology, science, chemistry nor society as a whole has come to an agreed point in which a fetus can be considered living. This means that you cannot scientifically prove that a fetus is alive from the moment of consumption and I am thus not required to prove the opposite.
Regarding this particular part of the discussion, it is more moral than scientific and it can depend from person to person. What I will tell you instead is this: Who are you to deny women safe abortions? This debate is about whether it should be legal or not in the US. The fact is, that no matter what the moral view is, women will continue to have abortions when they have no other choice, whether it is legal or not. As I said in my starting argument, the only difference is, that if it is legal, it is safe and we are not risking any more lives or unnecessary medical complications towards the woman getting an abortion.
"When you have sex, there is a risk of pregnancy." This, I can hardly deny. What you forget to take into consideration, is that there are many sorts of sex. For instance - What will you tell rape victims? Is it their own fault that they are sexually assaulted and become pregnant in that process?
People who use protection can be failed by this. Condoms can break, putting the two people in a great dilemma if it results in unwanted pregnancy. Despite your own opinion, other people do have sex for their own pleasure and sadly, this can go wrong even it is obviously not intended and especially if the people are young, this can be a big problem. Are you going to force a 16 year old who goes to school and tries to educate herself to drop out to be the mother of a child she did not wish to have?
And even if it is the plan to have a child, there is such a thing called regret. It is unfortunate, but things can change much within one pregnancy. Complications within family, health, living conditions and many other factors contributes to the conditions a child needs, and the parents can offer.
And truly, I said 'it is not a person yet'. I see that this can be misunderstood - What I meant is that there is no scientific support that it is an independent being that is aware of its surroundings.
I beg to differ to your statement that my arguments falter under science, for there is more to support it than it just seems. Yes, as soon as human sperm penetrates the egg, there will be a new entity. However, claiming this to be a full human being, I disagree with. Just because I argue for abortions to be legal, does not mean it is without limits. An abortion can be made within 24 weeks of pregnancy, but ideally 12 weeks into it. The brain does not start to develop until week 3-4 and it takes much longer to fully be created. By week 12, the fetus is only starting to look like a little human: However, the neural circuits that gives the fetus conscious awareness are yet to develop. We can also find that conscious responses to, for instance, pain will not develop until around the 30th week of pregnancy: By which the time for abortion has already passed in the majority of cases. (1)
"Not a person" is a decidedly unscientific argument, that is true: But I will point out to you that "It is a person" is equally unscientific. It is a being - But it is not conscious enough to be qualified as an independent Homo Sapiens.
An unborn child in the stages as a fetus, where it is acceptable for the already legal abortions to happen, is still technically the property of the mother. Since the fetus is 100% dependent on the host to exist, it is the host's choice what should happen to it, until it has the ability to decide on its own.
I would also like to add that I am personally pro-choice. This means that I am for the idea of women being able to have the ability to decide what is the best for themselves, their families and their lives and not have to risk unsafe procedures.
By the end of all of this, I have one more thing to add: This is a debate discussing the legalization of abortion and while I have contributed arguments to it, it is not regarding the topic of whether a fetus can be considered a human being. Therefor, voters may ignore these arguments as relevant for the topic.
I now pass over the debate to my opponent!
First of all, I agree that my religious reasoning's are not based on statistics or facts, but simply on beliefs. So seeing you seem to like statistics a lot, I will change my way of arguing from a ethnically point of view to one more fitting for this debate.
Seeing that 61% of Americans say abortion should be illegal after the fetal heartbeat has begun,which occurs in the first month of pregnancy, I think I am not alone in my beliefs, whether they may be religious or morally or ethnically.
72% of Americans say abortion should be illegal after the first 3 months of pregnancy.
86% of Americans say abortion should be illegal after the first 6 months of pregnancy.
Only 6% -17% of Americans (depending on how the question is asked and by whom) believe abortion should be legal at any time, in all circumstances.
I am not quite sure if you are one of those 6-17%, but if you are, you are a minority in the USA and that with reason.
I can agree that taking the bible into account is risky for a debate. Of course when people refer to something as essential like the ten Commandments, other like to go on and quote quite unfitting verses like woman should not be allowed to wear clothes of different fabrics to go against it. Yes, we all know that there are many quite debatable verses and rules in the bible, it is an old book, written by many, but the ten Commandments are pillars of moral and ethnically ways of living and I think one should be allowed to refer to them without being ridiculed for it by being answered with random quotes just to let the bible appear like a silly, old book.
Sadly, even if the dictionary part of your argumentation is quite refreshing, I have to disagree here. There is none to little justification or excuse for abortion nowadays and this is based on a statistic from the Institute Guttmacher:
In the last 25 years Guttmacher has conducted two major studies asking women why they chose abortion and their answers have remained basically the same: Only 7% of women report that their abortion was because of a health reason or a possible health problem with the baby, and less than half a percent report that their abortion was because they became pregnant as a result of rape.
92% of abortions in America are purely elective"-- done on healthy women to end the lives of healthy children.
So sadly almost 100% of Abortions are done because of selfishness. Because of irresponsibility or simply because a child would not fit into their life (at the moment).
I do not exactly know what to do with your comparison to breaking and entering. I find it horribly disrespectful and slightly disgusting to compare a foetus, a pregnancy to something like breaking&entering. But, I will try argue in your spectrum here: We are talking about a being, about a child. Did it wish to 'enter' your home? No, you decided to let it in. You let the 'door' wide open, because you wished to have unprotected 'party' and then the child is being left in your floor. And you notice it after your 'party' and decide to take a sharp scalpel to scratch the child attached to your floor from it and kick it out of your door, because franky, you have no time or gusto to nourish it and take care of it.
This very colourful and picture-heavy argumentation can be quickly used against you, so I would not advice to continue with it.
I will not argue further about eggs and chickens here with you. I do not think that you can compare an egg with a foetus in your body. Or any kind of animal with a human being. Furthermore I will refrain from going more into detail about the question of weighing one life with the other. This is, like you are reminding me here, not up to debate.
I do not think you quite understand my point of view yet. Yes, a woman should have the right to seek for medical care, I cannot disagree with you, when an abortion is needed because of her health. But because of other reasons, like the ones you just used? Because they are not ready yet? If you are not financially ready?
So, you think it is morally justifiable to deny a 'being' (since you refuse to call it human being) to live, because the parents have sex, unprotected (or, like you pointed out, even with protection, but it failing,) and the woman gets pregnant. This is a point I would like to further discuss, because I think that this is the core of it.
Young people nowadays brush off responsibilities. Nowadays young people think they cannot afford a child.
And who can blame them with the industry and politics offering them all kinds of ways for it? Of course, if abortion is legal, if contraceptives are given out without valid reasons, people lose themselves in irresponsibility, in careless behaviour. They do not think: "How will I be able to live with this new addition to my life, to this change?" - No, society makes them think: "What is the easiest way for me to avoid responsibility for what I have done?"
And we cannot even fault them completely for it.
Nowadays children are expensive, yes. Nowadays one job barely covers your own costs. Nowadays the concept of family, of life and children and the sainthood of it.
So I think rather than legalizing abortion, we should educate our children, our young generation. Instead of shoving abortions, contraceptives or other medical exits at young woman, telling them that they should carry on careless and without regret about consequences " we should try to educate them on healthy family dynamics, we should use money on helping them arrange a life with a child. We should educate them about how to earn and use money the right way, we should not go: Okay, this woman cannot afford a child, kill it when it is still in the womb and does not cost anything.
No, I beg to differ! We should ask: "Why?"
Why is this woman so desperate, so uneducated, so careless about the life growing in her womb? Why does it not matter to her? Why does her child not matter to her? Why would she rather kill it, or erase it, than carry it out?
"Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women." --Feminists For Life
That is why.
This here is why we should not legalize abortion but rather try find the core of the problem. Do not say: Let us give them even more opportunities to continue this kind of life, to be careless and afraid of responsibilities. Say: Let us give them the needed education to be ready for it. Let us give them the help, the money, the support. Let us change so the woman does not need abortion.
Let us not take the easy way out. Not when there are life"s, potential human life"s on stake.
Zogby International Poll, April 15-17, 2004.
 Humphrey Taylor, "The Harris Poll #18," Harris Interactive, Inc., March 3, 2005.
 A recent Marist Poll/Knights of Columbus survey found that only 6% of Americans believe "abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy." See "Abortion in America," Marist Poll/Knights of Columbus, July 2009, accessed March 16, 2011, http://www. kofc.org/un/en/news/releases/detail/548612.html. Another survey found that 17% believe "abortion should be legal in all cases. See "Religion and the Issues: Results from the 2010 Annual Religion and Public Life Survey," Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, September 17, 2010 (17% believe "abortion should be legal in all cases"), accessed March 16, 2011, http://pewforum.org....
Lawrence B. Finer et al., 113-14. This survey shows women have abortions for the following reasons:
25% "not ready for a(nother) child/timing is wrong"
23% "can't afford a baby now"
19% "have completed my childbearing/have other people depending on me/children are grown"
8% "don't want to be a single mother/am having relationship problems"
7% "don't feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child/feel too young"
6% "other" (this category had no further explanation)
4% "would interfere with education or career plans"
4% "physical problem with my health"
3% "possible problems affecting the health of the fetus"
-0.5% "husband or partner wants me to have an abortion"
-0.5% "parents want me to have an abortion"
-0.5% "don't want people to know I had sex or got pregnant"
-0.5% "was a victim of rape"
Cana-banana forfeited this round.
mderteufel forfeited this round.
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