The Instigator
zarul
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
mjg283
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Abortion should be made legal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,134 times Debate No: 3366
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

zarul

Pro

I will start off by saying that abortion should be made legal.

While I dislike it from a moral standpoint, my morals also convince me that abortion should be made legal.

I reserve the right to add further benefits of making abortion legal (if you disagree, don't accept), however, I will deal with what I think is perhaps the single most important argument for now. There may be more after the response.

A. Banning abortion in all cases is bad.

1. Banning abortion in all cases is ridiculous, there are several cases in which not allowing an abortion would be unethical and unhealthy.

2. Women whose health is put at risk by child birth should be allowed an abortion.

3. Women who have been raped should be allowed an abortion, it would be immoral to force her to keep a symbol of her rape for her whole life.

B. Exceptions should be made at least in the cases above.

C. If you are to accept this, pragmatism forces us to make abortion legal.

1. Any women can claim that childbirth will hurt her. This can all be easily forged with some doctor's writing, ultimately, that means that anyone can claim for an abortion.

2. Rape must be proven in court. It takes more than 9 months for someone to be proven guilty without a doubt, and thus, we are forced to grant an abortion before a conviction. Also, a women could claim to have been raped and not have proof, so ultimately, she must also be granted an abortion. Anyone could claim rape, and this means that we would be having people lie for the sake of having an abortion. Ultimately, this is another reason to legalize abortion.

D. Abortions will happen anyway

1. Abortions will not be stopped, only driven underground.

2. It's better for the country for abortions to be done legally and safely than in an ally with a cloth-hanger.

E. Vote AFF, it would be a wicked thing to deny abortion in all cases, and these exceptions force us to allow abortion in all cases.
mjg283

Con

First, let's get the parameters straight here. NOBODY that I know argues that abortion should be illegal in ALL circumstances. For the purposes of this debate, let's assume that the con abortion should be illegal except in situations where the mother's life is on the line (just as it is permissible to kill another human being in self-defense) or where giving birth would place the mother in danger of grave physical harm. These are situations where killing even a live human being would be justifiable and excused in a court of law.

The difficulty with this debate is that it all depends on when "Life" begins, which is a moral and philosophical question that doesn't really lend itself well to logical reasoning. If life begins at conception, any abortion after that point constitutes an unjustified killing of a human life, even in cases of rape or incest. A child born of rape (symbol or not) is no less of a human being than a child born under normal circumstances. If you got to know somebody who was born as a result of rape, would you really tell that person that their life was worthless, that they'd be better off dead? And the fact that rape is often difficult to prove (as you point out later) would, if anything, counsel AGAINST a rape exception, would it not?

I'm not sure how broad the "health" exception you mention is meant to be so it's difficult to debate that. I do agree that no woman facing a serious, reasonable threat of severe physical harm should be forced to carry a baby to term. It's not that easy to "forge" this type of information, especially if sworn affidavits are required. No doctor wants to sacrifice his reputation or face potential jail time for either perjury or violation of whatever statute mandates that the health exception be legitimately serious.

"D. Abortions will happen anyway."

This argument is always amusing. All crimes continue to occur even after the conduct is made illegal. Should we decriminalize murder or larceny simply because making them illegal doesn't drive them away completely?

"2. It's better for the country for abortions to be done legally and safely than in an ally with a cloth-hanger."

That's only true if you believe that abortion itself is morally acceptable and worthy of society's endorsement.

Some people might very well believe that it is far better for the country to lower the amount of abortions that occur overall even if the price for that involves some people resorting to unsafe procedures.
Debate Round No. 1
zarul

Pro

I'll start off with a line-by-line on the important issues here. *" denotes something my opponent has said, "* denotes the end of my opponents line.

*"The difficulty with this debate is that it all depends on when "Life" begins, which is a moral and philosophical question that doesn't really lend itself well to logical reasoning."*

This is wholy irrelevant in this case, conception is not the subject of this debate.

*"If life begins at conception, any abortion after that point constitutes an unjustified killing of a human life, even in cases of rape or incest. A child born of rape (symbol or not) is no less of a human being than a child born under normal circumstances. If you got to know somebody who was born as a result of rape, would you really tell that person that their life was worthless, that they'd be better off dead? And the fact that rape is often difficult to prove (as you point out later) would, if anything, counsel AGAINST a rape exception, would it not?"*

It would not, essentially the only argument I've ever heard against abortion is that "they're paying the consequences for their actions and they can't kill a baby". The important part of the argument is that the child is seen as a consequence of one's actions, however, if you think rape victims should be blamed for their rape, then you have some f***ing twisted logic. The woman in a case of rape has not had a choice, she has had it forced upon her. Can I force a woman to bear my child?

This isn't about a child from a rape being less human, that is not the argument at all. The argument is that a women should not be forced to bear a child of another man, forced upon her completely (a woman has no choice in rape, she did not choose to have sex). If a woman wants to bear the child, all good to her, there's nothing wrong with it, however, if she does not want to bear her raper's child, that should be allowed as well.

No abortion for rape victims fundamentally violates liberty and the right to choose. One can argue that those who choose to have sex have chosen their fate (though I disagree), however, there is no chance for you to argue that in the case of rape victims. This places men above women (men can do as they please, and women must bear with it) in society, this is oppression, and it should not be allowed.

Basically, you conceed the fact that if an exception is to be allowed on rape, then we must grant it to all women (though you argue that an exception not be given in cases of rape).

*"I'm not sure how broad the "health" exception you mention is meant to be so it's difficult to debate that. I do agree that no woman facing a serious, reasonable threat of severe physical harm should be forced to carry a baby to term. It's not that easy to "forge" this type of information, especially if sworn affidavits are required. No doctor wants to sacrifice his reputation or face potential jail time for either perjury or violation of whatever statute mandates that the health exception be legitimately serious. "*

You conceed an exception based on health. It would be difficult to prove perjury as well, the files would say there is a medical problem, so there would be no way to disprove it. Really, in this day, it's not hard to forge anything, period. I will explain further why this exception must be made universal in the overview.

*"This argument is always amusing. All crimes continue to occur even after the conduct is made illegal. Should we decriminalize murder or larceny simply
because making them illegal doesn't drive them away completely?"*

You equate murder and larceny with abortion. The fact is, we can decrease the negative impacts of abortion by making it legal, we cannot do so with rape, so your analogy fails. Furthermore, it is an example of a logical fallacy, you cannot compare two unlike things.

*"That's only true if you believe that abortion itself is morally acceptable and worthy of society's endorsement.

Some people might very well believe that it is far better for the country to lower the amount of abortions that occur overall even if the price for that involves some people resorting to unsafe procedures."*

Not necessarily, if we recognize that abortions cannot be stopped by making a law, but rather will go underground, then it is acceptable to regulate it.

Furthermore, your argument is turned on its head. There's no way you can prove anti-abortion laws reduce abortion, because abortion goes underground and is 100% unreported. There is no way to gain statistics on its efficiency, so you can't claim a net benefit when it comes to human life. In fact, in this round, I'm the only one that can claim a benefit, because it is better to have safer abortions where the mother does not die with the child.

****Overview****

We have our opinions on when abortion should be allowed. We have our opinions on what should be allowed sexually. We all have morals and standards, lines that should not be crossed (in our eyes).

But should our opinions, our morals become the law? Are our rules, our standards appropriate for everyone? Can we realistically enforce these laws on everyone, and would society really be better off from it?

For instance, if you believe that abortion is only appropriate in cases of rape, how should the woman prove she was raped? Most rape cases aren't reported, and only a small number of reported cases end in a conviction. And by the time there is a conviction, there would already be a baby.

So to allow for an exception in cases of rape, we have to take women at their word. And that means that any woman wanting an abortion can claim to be raped to get an abortion that would otherwise be illegal. A woman is now forced to lie simply for the sake of having a medical procedure.

What if a woman says she will commit suicide if she can't have an abortion? Do we allow the woman to have her life, or do we lose two lives in the process?

Should an infant be the consequence of sex? Should an infant be born to a woman who doesn't want one, and may not be prepared for the duties of motherhood? Should pregnancy be forced upon a woman? Is choosing to have sex so horrible that a woman should be punished by losing her old life, and forced into a new one?

It is not right to force someone to leave school and spend the next few years at home because of having unwise sex, or a slip up. There is no reason for anyone to be punished so severely for something so minor.
*********End Overview**************

Whether or not you agree with the moral rhetoric, ultimately, the rape and suicide arguments are crucial here. What should we do if a women says she will commit suicide (thus killing herself and the baby) if she cannot have an abortion? We should save one human life since we cannot save two, and this ultimately means that we must apply this exception to all women because anyone can claim they will commit suicide. This is the argument I meant when I was talking about medical prodecures in particular, so extend that up as well.

Furthermore, you can look at the arguments on rape, and how if we don't provide a universal exception on cases of rape, women will be forced to lie in order to have an abortion, encouraging more things which are "morally questionable".

***********************

Finally, extend my other arguments from my last speech. These all still apply to my opponent.

Essentially, whether one believes abortion is wrong or whether choice supercedes, I think we can all agree that there are some exceptions. And as I argue, these exceptions must be made universal for our system to work.
mjg283

Con

>>This [when life begins] is wholy irrelevant in this case, conception is not the subject of this debate.<<

The subject of this debate is whether or not abortion should be legal. At the very heart of that dispute is whether or not the fetus constitutes a living being with rights and interests that merit protection. Your failure to grasp this pervades all of your responses to me. You simply appear to assume that the mother is the only individual involved here and that her rights and interests are all that matter.

>>It would not, essentially the only argument I've ever heard against abortion is that "they're paying the consequences for their actions and they can't kill a baby". The important part of the argument is that the child is seen as a consequence of one's actions, however, if you think rape victims should be blamed for their rape, then you have some f***ing twisted logic. The woman in a case of rape has not had a choice, she has had it forced upon her. Can I force a woman to bear my child?<<

If that's truly the ONLY argument you've heard against abortion (there are many), I suggest you read a lot more about the topic. The most prominent anti-abortion argument is NOT that people must take responsibility for their choices. It's that the fetus constitutes a life that is deserving of love and protection, regardless of the circumstances through which that fetus came into being. I NEVER stated or implied that rape victims should be blamed for being raped. That is a classic example of a straw man argument. My point was that a child conceived through rape is no less deserving of protection than a child conceived in a marital bedroom. THAT is why the rape exception makes no sense, not because the woman is somehow responsible for being raped.

>>This isn't about a child from a rape being less human, that is not the argument at all. The argument is that a women should not be forced to bear a child of another man, forced upon her completely (a woman has no choice in rape, she did not choose to have sex). If a woman wants to bear the child, all good to her, there's nothing wrong with it, however, if she does not want to bear her raper's child, that should be allowed as well.<<

Actually, the argument is about whether or not abortion should be legal (unless I'm drastically misreading the subject line of this debate). As I explained above, the question of whether or not the fetus involved is a human being is central to that dispute. And if one believes that a fetus is a human being that no more deserves to be killed than any other human being, it shouldn't matter at all that the fetus was conceived through rape. If the fetus isn't a human being, then you're right -- all we're really talking about is forcing a woman to make decisions about her body against her will (and yes, as you say later, I suppose this could be seen as a form of oppression). But if the fetus IS a human being, another life, with rights and protections, we're not just talking about the woman's body anymore. That's why this question is so central.

>>You conceed an exception based on health. It would be difficult to prove perjury as well, the files would say there is a medical problem, so there would be no way to disprove it. Really, in this day, it's not hard to forge anything, period. I will explain further why this exception must be made universal in the overview.<<

I made no such concession. You used the word "health". I used the far LESS broad terms "serious, reasonable threat of severe physical harm." Basically the same situation in which somebody would be justified in killing to ward off an attacker. This type of thing would not be so easy to forge. You'd have a bunch of witnesses (all the doctors, nurses, etc . . .) plus x-rays, medical records and the like, all of which could be used to determine if there was actually the type of severe threat I described.

"You equate murder and larceny with abortion. The fact is, we can decrease the negative impacts of abortion by making it legal, we cannot do so with rape, so your analogy fails. Furthermore, it is an example of a logical fallacy, you cannot compare two unlike things."

This is amusing because the whole point of this debate is to argue over whether or not abortion should be equated with murder. The only distinction between "murder" and simply "killing" is that murder involves an UNLAWFUL killing. Therefore, a debate over whether or not abortion should be legal is in reality a debate over whether or not abortion should be considered murder.

You write of decreasing the "negative impacts" of abortion. But those are only the negative impacts that YOU perceive. Others, who believe that abortion is the unjustified killing of a human life, see the abortion of millions of fetuses as the most "negative impact" that must be decreased.

"Not necessarily, if we recognize that abortions cannot be stopped by making a law, but rather will go underground, then it is acceptable to regulate it."

If abortions are forced "underground", logically, the amount of abortions will dramatically decrease because: (i) There will be fewer people performing them out of fear of prosecution; (ii) fewer people will seek to get them out of fear of prosecution; (iii) information about where to obtain an abortion will not be readily available; and (iv) fewer people will seek to get them because the procedures would be unregulated and less safe.

So while this might not stop abortions entirely, the likelihood is that the number of abortions that occur would be dramatically reduced.

"Furthermore, your argument is turned on its head. There's no way you can prove anti-abortion laws reduce abortion, because abortion goes underground and is 100% unreported. There is no way to gain statistics on its efficiency, so you can't claim a net benefit when it comes to human life. In fact, in this round, I'm the only one that can claim a benefit, because it is better to have safer abortions where the mother does not die with the child."

My argument stands perfectly right-side up. :) As I stated above, even without empirical evidence, there are very logical reasons to conclude that the number of abortions would dramatically decrease were the practice made illegal. Any time you make a task harder to accomplish, fewer people are likely to accomplish it.

In fact, when you think it through, it's YOUR argument that gets turned on its heard. If abortions are so far underground that they go COMPLETELY unreported, how will the people who desire abortions be able to find out the necessary information about where to get one?

"But should our opinions, our morals become the law? Are our rules, our standards appropriate for everyone? Can we realistically enforce these laws on everyone, and would society really be better off from it?"

Many, if not most, laws are derived from the morality and the sense of right and wrong of the society that passes them. In large part, murder and larceny are outlawed because killing and stealing from people without justification is MORALLY wrong. Rape is illegal because forcing yourself on somebody without their consent is MORALLY wrong. And yes, many people believe society will be substantially better off with dramatically fewer abortions.

Since I don't believe in the rape exception, I don't feel the need to justify it here.

"What if a woman says she will commit suicide if she can't have an abortion? Do we allow the woman to have her life, or do we lose two lives in the process?"

This is nonsensical. What if I say I'll commit suicide (and kill my kids) if I can't get a hit of crystal meth? Does that mean we should legalize that?

I love how you talk about having children and starting a new life as a "punishment". There are plenty who would disagree with that. Lots of children are unwanted. That doesn't mean their lives are worthless and would be better off not having been born.
Debate Round No. 2
zarul

Pro

I'll start with a line-by-line sort of, and then go general.

--Line-by-Line--

I recognize the "pro-choice" stance, I am not ignorant, rather, I seek to ignore the "fetus deserves all rights" debate because it isn't productive. I would rather debate on the best real-world policy.

The fetus is a human debate will never achieve anything, we'll never see eye-to-eye. We can argue this for eternity and that would still be the case. However, I will argue that newborns receive human rights (in other words they're human after birth) (note this isn't my real life view). As well, I will point out the flaws in your methodology of conception.

A. Accepting a human at conception is ridiculous, the cell has no human characteristics not contained by a sperm or egg cell. It has no brain, no heart, no lungs, but rather, it is a unicellular organism like a sperm cell or an egg cell.

B. Egg cells and sperm cells are just as human as a fertilized zygote.

C. Furthermore, you will likely argue that a zygote will develop into a human being, however a sperm or egg cell cannot without help. However, the zygote needs nutrition, protection, and a slew of other things from it's mother. All a sperm or egg cell needs is the corresponding sex cell, and it's at the same point. The truth is that all three are potential human adults, but all three are also not guaranteed survival, any of them can die, not uniquely the sperm or egg.

D. This means if you accept if zygotes (cell at conception) have full rights, sperm and egg cells must as well or you're a hypocrite.

E. This means masturbation should be banned, there is nothing worse than mass-slaughter. Trillions of sperm are wasted a day, all potential human adults like a zygote. You must advocate this to avoid being a hypocrite.

F. Any women that fails to get pregnant once every nine months is a murdered as well, she has allowed an egg to waste, which is also a potential human adult. So yes, by your standards, any women not in perenial pregnancy is a murderer.

Ultimately, the point of this is to show the problems created from your standard for giving human rights, it's not a wise policy option. Imagine trying to enforce a law against masturbation, lol.

As for rape, this is a case where I think it can truly be said that choice triumphs. The woman has not chosen to have a child, instead, a man has chosen to force her to do something she actively chose not to do, he forced her to take a life inside her, and now you force her to take it to term. You take rights away from women, it's that simple. It's equivalent to sending a hungry child to a not wanting family. They clearly didn't want the child, but you forced the child upon them. You forced them to suffer for your sense of morality, your ethics. Your forced them, they had no choice. You can't force someone to do something against their will. And on your point that a fetus from rape has the same rights as one from a marriage, I agree, they both have the right to be aborted.

A fetus shouldn't be considered a full human at conception, as explained above. Furthermore, my right not to do what you tell me trumps, a woman does not have to bear a child forced upon her if she does not wish to (though it's perfectly fine if she does wish to).

A) You agree that an exception could be granted on health or B) It shouldn't be. You claim you don't conceed, but again, you either do, or you're being oppressive. As well, all of these documents can be forged. I mean honestly, if the USfg can forge evidence that some random nation has WMDs and convince a less-then believing world of it, then it clearly isn't hard to get through an already defunct system through forgery.

On your next argument, it's simply untrue. Look at the law books today, last time I checked, they don't execute women for having abortions, though they do it for murder. As well, I've explained above why a fetus doesn't have all the rights an adult does.

The truth is that abortions are going to happen (and as you admit, they are sometimes ok), and laws won't stop them. Banning abortions simply makes them more dangerous for the woman (and the fetus dies either way). You can't compare it to murder either because under no circumstances is murder considered ok. We have an ethical and political responsibility to lessen the harms of something that is 100% inevitable.

Forcing abortions underground would not decrease them. Abortions can easily be done, there's little stopping them. Furthermore, people that seek abortions generally have a reasoning behind it (contrary to what you think, the reason is rarely because they like killing zygotes), and people with a motive will seek out abortions regardless. Your argument that there will be less information is perhaps the worst argument I've seen yet, welcome to the INTERNET! There's no way you can suppress information without surpressing the internet, good try on that one. Less safe methods won't necessarily deter anyone, there's plenty of people that like a taste of danger. Though truly, people seeking abortions won't be deterred by less safe methods. So again, underground abortions does not mean less abortions.

They get information through the INTERNET, others that have had abortions, and numerous other ways. The fact that alcohol is illegal (for under 21) hardly deters so many teenagers today from drinking it or finding information on it (or where to get it).

So my argument stands.

True, I'll give you that many laws are based on morals. As well, consider your own arguments that rape is illegal because it involves someone forcing themselves on someone else. By making abortion illegal, you force yourself on any woman that's been raped and doesn't want to carry the fetus out to term.

You don't provide an alternative on the suicide argument. The fact is that with your argument we lose two lives, and with mine we lose one. I win it. And since I get this argument, it can be applied to any abortion because anyone can claim suicide and thus get an abortion. I win.

Also, on your last argument, I'm not saying that children are necessarily a punishment. In fact, if someone seeks them and gets them, it's a blessing, but on the other hand, if a women is raped and you force her to give birth, then it is a punishment, and nothing else.

--General--
Clearly the NEG's idea of rights at conception are absurd. Furthermore, it oppresses women and takes away their liberty. It's been entirely conceded that if an exception is granted on rape, it should be granted to all women (though it's been contested that rape is not an exception). That means if I win the rape exception, I win the round (especially since it's not legitimate for the NEG to bring up an entirely new argument answer that I won't ever get to respond to). Furthermore, I have a net benefit on the suicide argument, which means you vote for me there.

Don't forget that there's been no reason provided why life outweighs liberty. On the rape argument, I advocate that liberty outweighs because life has no meaning if we take away liberty. If we take away people's right to choose their life, we demean life itself. Liberty in this case is a pre-requisite to life, no one wants to live a living death. And even if my opponent comes up and answers that life outweighs, you'll give me the vote because the suicide argument gives me an advantage in lives saved, the NEG will always kill two, I kill one, so my impacts outweigh in the life category as well as liberty.
mjg283

Con

If you don't think debating the status of a fetus (or more accurately, a Zygote, embryo or fetus) is productive, you should have picked a different topic to debate because, as I said, that's central to whether abortion should be legal.

You say life doesn't begin at conception because a zygote doesn't have "human characteristics." But you never tell us what "human characteristics" you're talking about and why no fetus has such "human characteristics" prior to birth. You concede that a zygote, unlike a sperm or egg cell (both of which inevitably die out on their own if they're not fertilized) will develop into a human. In fact, the zygote, unlike the sperm and egg cells, has the DNA of both parents, which of course is the necessary building blocks for human growth. So in that respect, the zygote is a "human" in a way that the unfertilized egg and sperm cells are not. You further argue that the zygote "needs nutrition, protection, and a slew of other things from it's mother." What's your point? So does a baby after it's been born. So therefore, a zygote is clearly materially different than an unfertilized sperm or egg, and your hilarious tangent about banning masturbation and menstruating women being prosecuted for murder is not relevant.

You focus heavily that a child conceived through rape is forced on the woman. Undoubtedly, but the same is true (at least to an extent) of any child conceived through sex where pregnancy was not intended. But as I said, the manner in which the child was conceived doesn't make it any less human or any less worthy of protection. At 17, you might not fully grasp this about the world, but people are forced to do things against their will ALL THE TIME, both due to the law and to the fact of their particular situation. Lots of children are unwanted and/or live in homes that are less than ideal. That doesn't make their lives worthless or make them second-class citizens less worthy of protection or less worthy of having their most basic right (the right to life) respected.

You mention some "right not to do what you tell me." No such "right" exists. All laws involve telling people what they can and can't do, whether that means stopping at red lights, taking out the trash cans on Tuesdays for collection, or not aborting fetuses.

You claim I am being "oppressive" if I do not concede a "health" exception, but, of course, you've made no effort to define exactly what such an exception an entails. "Health" is a very broad concept that could end up being the exception that swallows up the rule because it would apply in so many situations. I gave a specific answer to as to when I would consider abortion justifiable -- I would not force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term if doing so be either life threatening or present a sizable risk of grave, physical harm.

As for your forgery argument, tomorrow, go ask your doctor to forge up some medical records for you or to write you a bogus prescription. See how far you get. Do you honestly believe that a sizable number of medical professionals in this country would risk their medical licenses (i.e., their livelihood) so that a woman can get an abortion? Get real. As an aside, I'm not aware of any FORGERY allegations with respect to the Iraq issue -- only that the intelligence was bad and/or politically manipulated.

As for your argument that "banning abortions won't stop them," my response is the same as the previous round (which you didn't address) so I won't repeat myself.

To clarify a statement I made in the previous round which you appear to have misunderstood, I never said abortion was murder (incidentally, most convictions for murder do NOT result in executions, especially if we're not talking about murder in the first degree). What I said was that this debate was about whether we SHOULD equate abortion with murder.

To continue briefly on this tangent, your statement that "under no circumstances is murder considered ok" is simply not true. Murder is ok in certain situations, including self-defense, defense of others, etc . . . . In any event, making abortion illegal would effectively send the message that society does NOT consider abortion to be okay except in those same limited situations.

I never said people get abortions because "they like killing zygotes." Where did that come from? I understand that people have motives to get abortions, but they will only seek out abortions if the determination behind that motive outweighs the risks and the difficulty and inconvenience of the obstacles imposed. Therefore, the harder it is to get an abortion, the less people will actually get one, even if they have "motives".

Of course information about where to obtain underground abortions will not be readily available if abortions were made illegal. That's why they'd be called UNDERGROUND. The internet is generally nice resource, but it doesn't really address this issue. Underground abortion providers won't want the police finding them, and it was you that said such abortions would ultimately go unreported. I am curious as to what websites would be accessible to women seeking abortions but would somehow be inaccessible to police and reporters.

I didn't provide an "alternative" to the suicide argument because the suicide argument is ridiculous. You don't legalize something because somebody holds themselves and others hostage. Otherwise, you'd be creating some pretty perverse incentives. You want to legalize crystal meth? Just threaten to go on a killing spree and then commit suicide. That way, legalizing crystal meth will save lives in the end.

In any event, you haven't provided any evidence that such a sizable amount of women would actually contemplate suicide if they were denied an abortion to make this "argument" even worth considering.

Life isn't outweighed by unfettered liberty. If it was, anybody would have the "liberty" to kill anybody else. We have fundamental rights (most of which are set forth in the Bill of Rights) which may not be infringed, but those simply don't include an unfettered right to abort a fetus at any time before birth. Indeed, one of the basic notions of individual rights is that your liberty ends at the point where you're infringing on somebody else's fundamental rights. And since the fetus is a life with rights worth protecting, "liberty" cannot be said to include the absolute right to an abortion.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mjg283 8 years ago
mjg283
Not to sound arrogant, but I'm a bit surprised by this voting result. To the people who voted for Pro, which of Pro's points do you think was not effectively countered? I'm not criticizing people for how they voted, but am genuinely curious as to what people thought the most persuasive points expressed were. I hope people didn't just vote because of their opinion on abortion. Because that kind of defeats the purpose of having a debate.
Posted by psynthesizer 8 years ago
psynthesizer
mmm, the authors stated a moderate stance on the issue of abortion due to the inevitable backlash from such a statement. However, their data and model suggests that abortion WAS the main reason for the decline in crime during the start of the nineties.

If you study their case, as well as the numbers, stats, figures, and facts that they present throughout the paper, they do develop causality between abortion and crime rates.

I read through the second link you posted; the responder basically states that though there is a definite link, it is smaller than estimated in the original paper.

Sorry, I was not aware that this was a policy debate.
Posted by mjg283 8 years ago
mjg283
Irrelevant countersnipe:

That's not true. In a self-defense situation, you have a killing that usually meets all of the statutory elements of murder. However, the law has affirmative defenses (such as self-defense) which are typically referred to as "Justification", such as in New York:

http://ypdcrime.com...

So yes, in those situations, murder is technically "justified".
Posted by zarul 8 years ago
zarul
I do have one little snipe I'd like to make, it's not really debate changing so it shouldn't effect voting in anyway.

But when you say that "murder is sometimes justified", that is not true. Murder is unlawful killing, it is always unjust. Of course, you could deny that a killing was not murder, but I don't see how you can say that "unlawful killing" a.k.a. murder is justified in some occasions.
Posted by mjg283 8 years ago
mjg283
I don't have time to read that paper in detail right now, but a cursory review leads me to believe that the conclusions are pretty speculative (which even the authors themselves appear to recognize at least to an extent). And it has been the subject of criticism:

http://www.econ.ubc.ca...

http://kalimna.blogspot.com...

In any event, the whole thing is pretty unsettling to me. Justifying abortion (which, in fairness, the authors of the paper you cited did not do) because the future children are "likely" to engage in future crime sounds a bit "Minority Report"-ish for my taste. In this country, we judge, prosecute or punish people for things have DONE, not for things they are "likely" to or "may" do. To justify the abortion of an unwarranted child (and deem that child's life worthless) because he/she is "likely to" commit a crime at some point in the future should be pretty repugnant to any honest proponent of individual rights and due process.

As for Roe (and its progeny), it deals with the question of whether or not the United States Constitution REQUIRES that abortion be legalized all over the country. I could probably use up a lot of bandwidth giving my reasons why Roe was wrongly decided, but that's ultimately a different argument than the POLICY debate of whether or not legalizing abortion is desirable.
Posted by psynthesizer 8 years ago
psynthesizer
This debate focused a lot on the moral and ethical aspects of abortion and legalization. Unfortunately both sides bring up way too much speculation in regard to the resolution.

I fundamentally agree with the Pro side simply due to the fact that legalization leads to greater governmental regulation over a practice that occurs regardless of legality. The only difference is that the standards wherein an abortion is performed, as well as the time limits on an abortion are placed under governmental control rather than an underground operation.

However, I am a bit surprised that the PRO side did not bring up this paper/study written by John Donahue and Steven Levitt:

http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu...

Though the paper is not in full support of abortion, nor is it at all advocating the procedure, it brings up several valid points regarding the legality of abortion. It includes very interesting theories and a fair amount of data proving causation of lowered crime rates and the decision made in Roe v. Wade.
There is also some stuff in there about a certain communist country that outlawed abortion and went as far as forced insemination to increase its workforce. Needless to say, the example is a bit on the extreme side of what the CON is saying/trying to prove, but it is a very interesting and very relevant point.

Actually, I kept expecting to see Roe v. Wade somewhere during the debate. Landmark judicial cases regarding the constitutionality of abortion should definitely have been discussed, or at least mentioned.
Posted by Bitz 8 years ago
Bitz
The police aren't stupid. When someone files a police report for rape, they don't end it there. They ask questions, they do digging, they go to the supposed sites invilved and look for EVIDENCE. That's what we pay them for :) Is the system perfect? Of course not. But what system is?

The point that some people are willing to go through the hassle to make a false police report and risk spending 90 days in jail is not the point, of course there are going to be some people. The point is most women wont.

It goes even deeper that that. If the women does indeed make a false police report, whatever semen is found will be DNA tagged for future reference. This puts th guy who willingly had sex with that woman in a sticky situation. if he commits a crime in the future, not only will he suffer from that crime, but he will also get DNA tagged and well, what do you know! it will be a perfect match with the semen found in that rape case. Guys will start to think twice abo having sex with women in this scenerio, and will only under the condition that she will not falsely claim rape, for their own saftey.
Posted by zarul 8 years ago
zarul
Woah, yeah, I guess my mind had a lapse on the condom argument, you're right.

Though how would you know that rapists don't usually use condoms, that sounds suspicious (jk)...

And you know this how? There are people that would do ninety days for an abortion, and frankly, that's not empirical proof that false rape reports are often caught.
Posted by Bitz 8 years ago
Bitz
"If a condom was used, there would be no semen"

If a condom was used there probably would be no abortion either since there would be no baby.

Also in just about all cases of rape criminals do not use condoms.

All it takes is to require a police report within 72 hours of the rape required to abort the fetus.

"Frankly, the truth is that forgery isn't even necessary, but if it is, it's certainly easy enough."

LOL are you kidding? You realize in order to accomplish this you must intentionally lie to a police officer about getting raped and file a fals police report. Do you know what can happen to people who do that?

REDWOOD CITY -- A San Mateo woman who lied about being sexually assaulted at gunpoint after her car supposedly broke down in Foster City was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail for filing a false police report.

People are NOT willing to take that risk of getting caught.
Posted by zarul 8 years ago
zarul
If a condom was used, there would be no semen. As well, there are times when this is not the case, yet no DNA evidence is gathered.

As well, unless her boyfriend was a criminal or a suspect, they wouldn't have his DNA to match, furthermore, she need not say she has a boyfriend. Frankly, the truth is that forgery isn't even necessary, but if it is, it's certainly easy enough.
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