Abortion should be made illegal in the United States.
My stance is that abortion should not be made illegal. The first argument is the acceptance.
FORWARD: This is my first debate, so any tips on layout or structure would be appreciated. Thanks!
First and foremost, any argument surrounding the topic of abortion ultimately leans towards a religious argument. However, as our government clarifies multiple times, religion must be separated from the state, and thus all arguments using religion as it's foundation are immediately refutable due to the United States' opinion on church and state.
Contention One - Abortion is not Murder
Many pro-life supporters use the term "murder" in comparison to abortion, however there is a clear distinction between the two. Murder is killing without consent. Abortion is not murder for the same reason that suicide is not murder, all consenting individuals have agreed to the consequences. A fetus, regardless of whether you consider it alive or not, is not able to consent. Thus, it is the mother's responsibility to make decisions for the baby. This can be as simple as choosing what foods to eat or as complicated as choosing whether or not to have an abortion. You will notice that every decision that a mother chooses impacts her and the child, as the two are one functioning unit. So, should the mother decide that an abortion is the best decision for her and her child, it is not murder.
Contention Two - Abortion is a Choice for the Mother and Should Not be Decided by the State
As I stated in my last argument, the mother and fetus are one single unit and thus the decision to have an abortion should be a decision left towards the mother. The fetus, being inside the woman's body, should be treated like that woman's organ. It is a piece of her body and therefore all decisions made about that fetus ought only to be decided by the mother. Outlawing abortion would take away that mother's right to control her own "organ", and I use this term because it is an object made of tissue inside a woman's body that, while displaying signs of life (just as the heart or lungs do), cannot consent or feel.
Contention 1: Self-Awareness
One of the arguments for abortion is that the fetus is not self-aware, but the fetus becomes fully aware during the 24th week of Pregnancy, which is why many abortions in the 3rd Trimester are illegal.  Many people believe that is the qualifications for the starting of a FDH (fully developed human) is when the creature is self-aware, but this has many flaws. One being that in cases of sleep and in cases of comas. Under these situations the person is not self-aware, does this mean that they are no longer a FDH until they have awoken? However the personâ€™s ability to be self-aware is irrelevant to their personhood as it is an inherent capacity for self-awareness.
Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, was the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down syndrome. Dr. LeJeune testified to the Judiciary Subcommittee, â€œafter fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being.â€" He stated that this â€œis no longer a matter of taste or opinion,â€" and â€œnot a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.â€" He added, â€œEach individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.â€"
You can see here that this further my point as one can see that life begins at conception and throughout the child's life is concidered a human life. The moment of conception is when life starts. This is because this is when you start being and because you are beginning to being. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), created a movie that showed the realities of abortion to inform Americans. In his movie Silent Scream he stated, "â€œModern technologies have convinced us that beyond question the unborn child is simply another human being, another member of the human community, indistinguishable in every way from any of us." Here the founder of an Abortion Rights group showed that modern technology shows us that the unborn child is indeed another human being and a valued memeber of the community though he is still unborn. (Bernard Nathanson, Aborting America (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1979).
"In fact, philosophers often use the terms self and person interchangeably: a capacity for self-awareness is necessary for full personhood.â€" 
If that is true then we can see that itâ€™s degrading as different levels of self-awareness would vary across the board. Meaning that certain people like that of â€œspecialâ€" peoples and those in different medical conditions would not be considered FDH and be up for â€œabortionâ€" depicting as such in the Unwind Trilogy by Neil Shusterman. Meaning that they would also be considered less of a person than the average American. With the quote bellow we can see that people are people because they are human, not due to something they gain nor loose in their lifetime, so this can work all across the board in this debate.
"Humans have value simply because they are human, not because of some acquired property they may gain or lose in their lifetime." (Scott Klusendorf, "Advanced Pro-Life Apologetics" Biola University lecture notes)
By accepting the legality of abortion we can see that we are endorsing that a human life is disposable as Pope Francis called it the â€œThrow away culture.â€" We get rid of the unborn like they are unwanted pickles on our Hamburghers from McDonaldâ€™s and just imagine the horror of never getting to see the light of day? When we look at our stages of life we can see that from it was you there at conception and youâ€™re the same now (though taller and more mentally developed) and we can see that it was you at birth and you are here debating me, so we can see that it was you in the womb, not the body of something that would later become you. This means that once you were fetus, if it is wrong to kill you now, then it was wrong to kill you then. 
In the end we can see that at the least a fetus has the same FDH levels that of a person in a coma or asleep.
Every organism must be able to maintain a consistent internal environment. This is often seen done through sweating, excretion and blood plays a major role. There is no set law on how one’s internal environment must be maintained, so long as the organism can accomplish this, it’s performing Homeostasis. The Fetus performs a great deal of Homeostasis through the Placenta. The Amniotic Fluid also plays a large role in maintaining body temperature. The fluid stays slightly above the body temperature of the mother in order to keep the fetus’s body temperature where it needs to be. 
The hormones that help maintain Homeostasis are produced in the Placenta. The Fetus must maintain glucose homeostasis, body temperature, and body fluid homeostasis.
Every organism must require Metabolism, the transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and the decomposing of organic substances (catabolism). The energy is used to vastly support homeostasis and other phenomena.The fetus maintains a good deal of metabolism on its own. Many primary hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, don’t pass through the placenta. This means the hormones are produced within the fetus. The mother’s own hormones play a minor role in the fetus’s Metabolism. 
There are many who believe that life starts with a heartbeat, or some who argue that it’s about being self-sustaining. Neither is correct. Life has nothing to do with a heartbeat, or self-sustainment. This is an issue of flawed Cause and Correlation. That because someone is alive because he has a heartbeat, when in reality he has a heartbeat, and brain signals, and digestion… because he is alive. We can measure if you die by using your heartbeat, but it’s not because of your heartbeat that you are a living creature. Your heartbeat just keeps you alive. A tree has no heartbeat, nor does jellyfish, but even they are alive.
In all reality, a heartbeat is merely a side-function of Respiration, the true character of life.
Self-Sustainment isn’t used to measure life either. The idea that humans are self-sustaining is far from reality. Humans depend on bacteria to live, if we lost the trillions of microorganisms and bacteria in our bodies, we would simply begin to die. 
There are many humans who can’t live on their own, some using iron lungs, and others in comas. Being able to live is required; being able to do it independently for this very reason is not. It should also be noted that parasitic creatures like the Candiru, or the tapeworm also fall under this category and we still concider them alive. While this seem less than humanly, living isn’t about how pretty or desirable the creature is.
My opponents first contention surrounds the idea of proving a fetus to be a living, independent "human" due to a fetus's ability to become self-aware, and he uses the metaphor of comparing a fetus to the states of sleep and coma. However, this is a flawed comparison. To recap the metaphor, my opponent states that since a fetus has the inherent capacity of self-awareness that it (though it may not demonstrate it until later in the pregnancy, when abortions are often prohibited), in turn, must be treated as a living person. He continues this point by comparing it to someone who is asleep or in a coma and, thus, has no self-awareness but still contains the capacity of self-awareness.
However, despite the capacity for self-awareness, the fetus is still completely dependent on the mother and thus, all decisions involving the fetus, are up to the mother. Returning to my opponents example, if someone is stuck in a vegetative coma in which the likelihood of he or she ever waking up is slim to none, it is up to the surrounding family to determine whether or not to pull the plug. Self-aware or not self-aware, human or not human, in both of these cases the ability to have consciousness is irrelevant, as the lack of ability to consent and take responsibility for the organism is the main component of this debate.
While my opponent may have made a good argument as to why a fetus is alive, this is simply unrelated to all of my arguments and thus refutes nothing, as all of my points still stand and are not influence by any of his arguments.
Secondly, my opponent stresses for a majority of his first contention on the importance of human life. Like I previously stated, the living status of a fetus is irrelevant to the main point. However, I will refute this point as well, as human life seems to be the theme and value of his entire case.
Human life has no essential purpose and the evolution of human life was nothing more than an accident. For millions of years conditions were not favorable for life and eventually, when our solar system grows old, the sun will cool, our planet will be covered in ice, and the conditions necessary to maintain life will no longer exist. Man, like many species before him, will become extinct. Life, even if it is a value, is not the most important value to consider in this debate since there are numerous justifications for termination of life. Pain and suffering, at some level, renders valueless human life. Finally, the interests of society and country have long been recognized as more than sufficient to justify the termination of life.
Continuing on to my opponent's second contention, he uses ethics as his main value. However, as I will prove throughout this debate, the most ethical choice is to negate the resolution.
Any topic with an emotional appeal is often argued on the terms of morals, so it is interesting that my opponent chooses ethics as his course of contention.
To clarify the difference between ethics and morals, I will quote grammarist.com, a notable website that discusses the grammatical differences between misused words.
"Morals are the principles on which one’s judgments of right and wrong are based. Ethics are principles of right conduct."
Morals are used in what is right and wrong. Ethics are about what is correct and incorrect.
My opponent phrases his arguments using emotionally powered words such as "abusing certain people... the least advantaged are not only being manipulated...", which appeals to the sense of morals. However, if you read his contention looking for ethical arguments, you will be left unsatisfied, as he does not supply many.
His first sub-contention, revolving around the Veil of Ignorance, can immediately be ignored as it assumes the stereotype with unsupported evidence that those seeking an abortion are in a state or irrationality. Such a stereotype should not be placed in an argument that, "one's creed, race, sex, religion, political views, and generation does not matter," as a majority, if not all of the preceding biases result in stereotypes. Thus, my opponents entire argument falls the Veil of Ignorance and thus is unethical, as it refutes itself.
Continuing with that argument, even if a patient were in a state of irrationality, it would be nearly impossible to prove in an objective manner that the patient is irrational. As Ray Bradbury once said, "Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage." This simple yet wise quote emphasizes the fact that insanity, irratoinatlity, and reality are all entirely subjective. Reality, in which a rational person is required to be in touch with, differs from person to person and from country to country. A child, who's reality consists of an imaginary figure sliding down chimneys to deliver presents, is different than that of a child who practices Jewish holidays. Clearly, it is not in my opponents ability to determine whether or not a patient is irrational.
The second sub-contention, the Ethics of Care, revolves around the idea that abortions are destroying the possibility of families and future generations. However this argument can easily be refused with simple logic: every time a woman experiences a menstrual period, she is losing an egg and thus the possibility of a family and a future generation. If you follow my opponents logic, every month, for a majority of woman on this planet, they are unethically destroying the potential of future life! Thus, it is self-evident that this argument is invalid.
Thus, all of my arguments have remained unrefuted because my opponent's first contention is irrelevant to all of my arguments, and his second contention falls entirely and refutes itself.
As brought up in the comments section, this round is only for refutation of your opponent's arguments only, so I shall spend this round discussing them.
Rebuttal 1: Abortion is not murder.
Before we dive into the argument let's look at some definitions.
1st Degree Murder- the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victimor anyone who gets in the way)
2nd Degree Murder- Second degree murder is such a killing withoutpremeditation, as in the heat of passion or in a sudden quarrel or fight.
Quickening Murder- Death of an unborn child who is "quick" (fetus is moving) can be murder, 
We can already see here that if the unborn child is killed who is quick it could be interpereted as murder. This in itself disproves my opponent's own argument. We can also look to see that my opponent is unspecific in her definitons, so I can easily select something that is the latest form of abortion and show that it should be illegal and win the debate via semantics. My opponent brings up that everything the mother does affects the baby which is an automatic statement that they are awhere of what they are doing, so if they do drugs or get crunk, then they can easily kill the child. Under my opponent's logic, they were aware of this and had thus, killed the child and committed murder. There's also intent to kill the child when you head to the abortion clinic or try an abortion at home. This is another case of murder as it shows that there was intent and it was even premeditated, this is another sign of murder.
Contention 2: Abortion is Choice
The evaluation of life, as defined by Biologists, is done by locating Signs or Characteristics all life possess. While no full list is accepted on a universal scale, at least twelve characteristics are generally used in Biology, often in lists of five or seven. They are as followed:
Organization: Defined as composing of cells.
Genes: To consist of DNA and RNA.
Adaption: Changing to match the environment around it.
Homeostasis: Maintaining a consistent internal environment.
Metabolism: Sometimes called Thermodynamics, it’s the transformation and use of energy.
Response: To react to stimuli or to the environment around it.
Reproduction: To be able reproduce or bear children.
Growth: To grow in size, usually referred to as Cell Growth.
Excretion: Removing wasted from the organism’s body.
Respiration: The intake of gases needed to live.
Feeding: The consumption of resources to live.
Movement: The ability to move that even plants have.
It is well known among biologists that the fetus responses to external stimuli. At what week it begins to react is not known, and no estimates are universally accepted. 
In the study mentioned in the prior segment, the researchers used noise to test the fetus, and found that the fetus would stop responding. It adapted to the noise through habituation or sensitization. These are primitive forms of memory, but the fetus did nonetheless adapt to and remembered the noise. There is other research that suggests the fetus adapts to stress. This adaptation usually involves increased maturation in the Brain and Lungs. 
Last round I have already posted many of these reason on how the fetus is alive by adding on to it as they help prove this point. The fetus does not breathe through its mouth, but through its umbilical cord. The Mother inhales, and the oxygen is sent to the fetus through the placenta. The placenta then transports the CO2 back to the Mother via the same means.  This would call us to ask whether this counts as Respiration. The answer is simple. Yes. As mentioned in the criteria, respiration is not about means and ways. It’s about bringing in a gas to live, and Fetus does bring in gas. While it doesn’t ‘breathe,’ it does require and take in oxygen. It should be noted that the heart begins to beat just 10 days after implementation, during the first and second week.  This is around the time it’s begins receiving nutrients and oxygen from the Mother. As discussed in the prior sections, once the placenta is finished forming, the fetus begins receiving oxygen and nutrients (same as the last source). By receiving nutrient from the Mother by week 1-2, the fetus fulfills the criteria needed for Feeding. As stated, it is not a matter of means. The fetus need not eat much the same as an adult. It need only require and take in nutrients. The fetus does this via the umbilical cord.
Prior to conception, the two human Gametes, Sperm and Egg, each contain one pair of Chromosomes, for a total of 23 chromosomes each, or 46 pair together. During fertilization, the two sets merge, forming 23 pairs of Chromosome. After Fertilization, the diploid cell, a zygote, that is formed contains a full set of 46 human Chromosomes.  Even at conception, the zygote contains Genes.
My opponent offers multiple definitions of murder, but I offer a more reliable definition from Cornell Law, rather than an Internet dictionary. It states that "At common law, murder was defined as killing another human being with malice aforethought." One could also use the Pennsylvania Method, which is the overall term for murder that is divided into various degrees (first, second, and third). Title 18 U.S. Code 1111 defines first degree murder as such: "Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree." Second degree murder is defined as "An unpremeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Second degree murder is different from first degree murder, which is a premeditated, intentional killing; or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape, or armed robbery."
As one can see, abortion is not murder under the common law because it does not come from malicious or evil aforethought. It is also not murder under the Pennsylvania Method, as it again does not involve malicious thoughts and is not unpremeditated. My opponent may try and make the argument that abortion is child abuse, but this is simply not the case. In fact, the National Institute of Health discusses the most common motives for mothers to have an abortion. They state, "The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman's education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%)." All of these reasons are for the best interest of the child. Without proper education, work, ability to care for dependents, lack of money, or inability to care for the child on their own, these mothers did not have the ability or circumstances to care for the child. While adoption may be an option, when a woman is raped or molested and resulted in pregnancy, carrying your murderer's child and giving it away can be a lifetime traumatic reminder of the abuse.
So, while abortions are intended and premeditated, they are not done out of malicious motives and thus do not fall under the category of murder. Furthermore, it is also not child abuse because, as statistics prove, it is done out of selflessness for the good of the child.
My opponent continually provides evidence that fetuses are living. I am not disagreeing, nor have I disagreed with it at all in this entire debate. He spent a majority of his second rebuttal proving the life of a zygote, however he only uses a quote from Locke to support his idea that a fetus is human. However, if we were to remove an organ from you (like that heart) and place it in the right scientific environment (a fetus is in the proper enovironment of the womb), it would display enough of my opponents requirements of life to qualify as life. However, is a heart a person? No. It may be a piece of a person, it might have the same DNA as a person, it may be "alive", but a heart is not an entire person and does not deserve human rights. Thus, while Locke's quote is genius, it falls when used as a defense for my opponent.
In conclusion, abortion is not murder on a logical scale (it is done with consent of the mother, who has full responsibility and is the decision maker of the child. My earlier argument described a comparison to that of a person in a vegetative state and their family) or on a lawful scale, as it does not fall under any law definition of murder. Secondly, while a fetus may be alive, it is not a human, much like while a heart separated from a body is alive but not human.
Clearly you must negate this resolution. As I have proven throughout this debate, abortion is not murder and is done for the good of the child. Even if one does not agree, the fetus cannot consent, so it is the mother's responsibility to choose the right decision regardless of your political or religious beliefs. While aborting a fetus is never the easiest or wanted choice, many mother's find that this is the best option for their child and themselves, thus is should remain legal.
I would also like to thank my opponent and congratulate him on a great debate!
lannan13 forfeited this round.