The Instigator
kohai
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
OMGJustinBieber
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

Abortion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 793 times Debate No: 16784
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (5)

 

kohai

Con

In this debate, I will attempt to show that abortion is wrong. I wish my opponent good luck.

Arguments begin in the next round. This round is only for acceptance.
Debate Round No. 1
kohai

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and would like to wish him the very best of luck. I shall use the same opening arguments I used before.

Contention 1: A logical reason why abortion is wrong.

I would like to begin with this quote:

"To prevent birth is anticipated murder; it makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or does away with it in its nascent stage. The one who will be a man is already one." Tertullian (160 - 220)

1. Murdering a human is wrong
2. Abortion is murder
3. Therefore, abortion is wrong

Assertion 1: Murdering a human is wrong

Most sane people would agree with this assertion.

Assertion 2: Abortion is murder

By definition, murder is the unlawful killing of another human being.
We need to determine why the fetus should be under this protection.

Evidence 1: A fetus can dream

Many pro-abortion activists say that a fetus cannot think. However, we have discovered that they can, in fact, dream. Therefore, the fetus must be conscious.

I encourage any pro-choice activists to read the article Baby's First Dreams following this link
http://www.sciencedaily.com......;

Evidence 2: A fetus, by definition, is a human!

Many pro-choice activists argue that the fetus is not a "human" until it is born. Let me ask you this question, what makes a human fetus any different than a dog fetus? Is the dog fetus not a "dog" because it is smaller or because it is not yet born? No. Then what makes human fetuses different?
Furthermore, whether you agree with that argument, I want to ask you and any pro-choice activists this question: "Why isn't a fetus a 'human?'"

Contention 2: Abortion is morally wrong because of the emotional side effects.

There are major consequences to ones actions. Abortion is no different. Here is a list of some of the emotional side-effects to an abortion.
  1. Regret
  2. Anger
  3. Guilty feelings
  4. Shame
  5. Impared self-confidence
  6. Depression
  7. Anxiety
  8. Lonliness

Souce
http://www.americanpregnancy.org......

In fact, abortion INCREASES the risk for cancer! 8 medical organizations in 2006 RECOGNIZED this fact. For more information, go to this link http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com......

All experts recognize first risk that abortion denies women an opportunity to reduce their risk for breast cancer through childbearing! (also from same page

Contention 3: There are better options than abortion

I contend that adoption is a better option than abortion. This is because adoption allows the fetus the right to life and it also allows the mother to be relieved of raising the child if she is unable to.

OMGJustinBieber

Pro

I thank Con for the quick reply.

C1: I would actually disagree with every one of these premises.

A1: There are plenty of cases where murdering a human is largely considered morally correct. For example, self defense. Or, again, if person X is planning to kill persons A, B, and C. Feel free to dispute this.

A2: Here we get into a definition of personhood. Since Con is only arguing abortion in the absolute, I can make the argument quite a bit easier by going earlier in the pregnancy where the acceptability of abortion is much clearer. For example, 4 weeks into the pregnancy the fetus is essentially unrecognizable. It has none of the features that would resemble a human [1]. Brain development doesn't even begin until the 7th week, and there is no heart beat [2]. Arguing that abortion is wrong in the absolute fails to acknowledge shades of grey in fetal development. By weeks 1-5 there is quite little - no brain, no heart, none of the common bodily forms.

E1: The link unfortunately did not direct me to an article, but rather a general website linking lots of articles.

E2: This is linguistic folly. Is an acorn an oak tree because it has the potential to be one? Simply the potential to become X does not make me X. It would be silly for me to describe myself as an old man, or even dead.

C2: Here you just list negative qualities. There are a number of people who have had abortions who do not regret the decision at all (like Chelsea Handler), and as a result are more independent and can lead freer lives as a result of that act. Regardless, the emotional consequences of an act should not lead one to reject the ability to do that act whatsoever. Gambling or fighting a war may have some degree of negative qualities listed but it plays no role in whether such an action should be allowed.

Con cites studies that are scientifically controverial, and not entirely morally relevant to the issue at hand. Numerous sources, including the US National Cancer Institute label the link as complete falsehood and junk science [3]. Regardless, I don't believe that harm that one does to oneself makes an action morally wrong. Imagine a person walks into a nuclear powerplant and gets radiation poisoning - is this morally wrong? Con's logic is questionable here.

C3: Perhaps there are cases where the woman "ought to" follow through, but I believe this point is far outweighed by others, namely the right that a woman has over her body. Don't forget the large physical strain that pregnancy can have.

Arguments For The Right to an Abortion

1. A Woman Has a Moral Right to Her Body

The Violinist - Judith Thomson made a strong case against abortion in her paper "A Defense of Abortion" and puts forth the following example:

"You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. ... To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you."

This is specifically applied to the case of rape, but this should be no problem as Con seems to be arguing that abortion is wrong in the definitive. Thomson even grants "personhood" to the fetus in this example. The fact is that by no choice of your own this person is now attached to you and severely infringing on your freedom and health. This situation is inherently unjust as it negatively effects the woman in numerous ways and violates her rights. Moreover, in the earlier stages the fetus is hardly anything but a clump of cells. Regardless, this example shows that the "right to life" has its limits once it begins infringing on the sovereignty of others. Instead of an inalienable "right to life" a more realistic term would be "the right not to be killed unjustly." What if a pregnancy lasted 9 years instead of 9 months? Does the "right to life" still apply?

2. The Fetus May Pose a Direct Harm to the Mother (Self Defense)

Granted that the mother is a fully sentient being, and full member of a moral community it is clear that her life should take preference over something which is not fully sentient and can lack essentially every definition of personhood. The mother, like any other human being, has a right to self defense and if the fetus is seriously endangering her health and well being it is acceptable to use that right.

[1] http://www.babycenter.com...

[2] http://brainmind.com...

[3] http://www.cancer.org...
Debate Round No. 2
kohai

Con

I thank my opponent for her quick and speedy reply. Good luck to you as we advance into further rounds.

There are plenty of cases where murdering a human is largely considered morally correct. For example, self defense. Or, again, if person X is planning to kill persons A, B, and C. Feel free to dispute this.

Murder is the UNLAWFUL killing, killing that CANNOT be justified. Abortion is NEVER justified.


I am going to jump straight to the violinist argument as it is my favourite.

Let me re-state the violinist argument.


You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist, a famous
unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has
canvassed all available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have
therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys
can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, ‘Look,
we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you--we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still,
they did it, and the violinist now is plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only
for nine months. By then, he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.’ Is it
morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be nice of you if you did, a great kindness.
But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or still longer? What if the
director of the hospital says, ‘Tough luck, I agree, but you've now got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into
you, for the rest of your life. Because, remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons.
Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right
to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him.’ I imagine that you would
regard this as outrageous.

REFUTATION


1. Ask: Are the parallels truly parallel? For Thomson’s argument to work, a woman being forcibly
hooked up to the stranger violinist must parallel (in morally relevant ways) a mother who is hooked
up to her own child. Are there important differences between pregnancy and kidnapping? Yes.

(a) Thomson’s argument tries to justify abortion as merely the withholding of support. But it is also something
else--the killing of a child through dismemberment, poison or crushing. As Beckwith points
out, "Euphemistically calling abortion the 'withholding of support' makes about as much sense
as calling suffocating someone with a pillow the withdrawing of oxygen."

(b) Thomson assumes that a mother has no more obligation to her own child then she does a total stranger (or a
burglar). Clearly this is mistaken. What if the mother awoke to find herself hooked up to her
own child instead of the violinist? We may not have the obligation to sustain strangers who are
unnaturally plugged into us, but we do have a duty to sustain our own offspring, both legally
and morally. As Schwarz points out, “The very thing that makes it possible to say that the
person in bed with the violinist has no duty to sustain him; namely, that he is a stranger
unnaturally hooked up to him, is precisely what is absent in the case of the mother and her child.”

I am also going to point out a couple of things
1. The Consent Objection: Perhaps the most damaging critique of the argument comes from the fact that in Thomson’s
analogy the woman is connected to the violinist against her will. However, 99% of pregnancies occur out of consensual
sex. Adults engaging in sex, even with contraceptives, know pregnancy is a possible outcome and should be held
accountable for their actions. Thomson’s “Society of Music Lovers” is certainly a far cry from reality and how pregnancy
actually happens. (This is not to say that abortion is justified by rape, only that Thomson’s analogy does not represent the
overwhelming majority of pregnancies.)

2. The Parental Obligation Objection: The analogy also fails to take into account the relationship of the mother and child
in pregnancy and that parents have special obligations to their children that they normally would not have to strangers. For
example, if a stranger comes to my door asking for a place to stay I am not obligated to help them, but if my five year-old
comes to the door asking to sleep at home turning him away would be child abuse!

3. The Different Burdens Objection: The analogy is a rather perverted view of pregnancy and makes it out to be far more
difficult than it really is (even though it certainly is difficult). Thomson’s view of pregnancy as spending nine months in a
hospital bed hooked up to a strange violinist is disturbing and misleading. During the first weeks of pregnancy the fetus is
not even noticeable. Later, when the woman displays the physical characteristics of pregnancy she is still capable of
maintaining a routine of leisure, exercise, and having a social life. It would be an extreme rarity for a woman to need to be
confined to a hospital bed for all nine months of her pregnancy.

4. The Killing Versus Letting Die Objection: Unplugging the violinist is a passive way of killing him, while abortion is
a violent, active way of killing the unborn child. The act of unplugging a device from the woman, which results in the
violinist’s death, is a morally neutral one. While the violinist’s death is foreseen, it is not intended. This is contrasted in an
abortion where the abortionist intentionally and directly kills the child and the child does not die in a passive way like the
violinist. Instead, the child dies from poison or dismemberment during the procedure.
http://www.prolifetraining.com...
http://www.azrtl.org...

The Fetus May Pose a Direct Harm to the Mother

In a case where the fetus poses a direct harm, then that is the ONLY time when abortion can be justified. This is a tue story.


One of my friends was pregnat and had a baby that was triploid. Obviously we know that triploid animals--including humans cannot survive
The fetus was draining the mother and the fetus was unable to survive, therefore, an abortion was the only way to save the mother.

Furthermore, cases like this are extremely rare.
In another case, what if the mother's life was NOT at risk?!

E2: This is linguistic folly. Is an acorn an oak tree because it has the potential to be one? Simply the potential to become X does not make me X. It would be silly for me to describe myself as an old man, or even dead.

The whole point to E2 is simply to point out that to say a fetus is not a human is to say a dog fetus isn't a dog.

I turn it back over to my opponent for her refutations.
OMGJustinBieber

Pro

I suggest to save yourself the time you look down to the final section.

"Murder is the UNLAWFUL killing, killing that CANNOT be justified. Abortion is NEVER justified. "

Okay, then you're saying absolutely nothing here then. You've just re-stated the Con position. This is not an argument at all. I would certainly disagree with abortion be labeled "murder" in the sense that "murder" means never justified.

a) The point still stands that the mother has a right over her own body and the human attached to it is taking her resources and threatening her livelihood and independence. It would be unjust to deny this woman freedom over her own body. She never even asked for this duty. I ask, would you still support this principle of the pregnancy took 9 years?

b) Read Below

1. This is irrelevant as we're arguing abortion in the absolute. Therefore, I pick the battles in attacking the premise. I could easily bring up the case of a woman who is raped and who's life is threatened and you would have to defend that abortion is definitively wrong in that case or forfeit the argument. You never specified that abortion was wrong except in X, Y, and Z.

I'm actually going to skip ahead here as my opponent has seemed to have conceded the assertion that "abortion is wrong."

"The Fetus May Pose a Direct Harm to the Mother

"In a case where the fetus poses a direct harm, then that is the ONLY time when abortion can be justified."

I have won this debate. This was not a discussion about to the extent that abortion was wrong, only that it is "wrong" in the absolute. If Con had exceptions to this rule, he should have made it clear in the premise.

I wish Con good luck in future debates.
Debate Round No. 3
kohai

Con

kohai forfeited this round.
OMGJustinBieber

Pro

argument extended.
Debate Round No. 4
kohai

Con

kohai forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by OMGJustinBieber 5 years ago
OMGJustinBieber
Wow, I'm really lucky Con didn't know that because he could have used that to great effect. I had no idea.
Posted by BennyW 5 years ago
BennyW
OMGJUstinBieber, do you realize Justin Bieber opposes abortion? There was an interview where he said as much.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
Okay, why do you not think these arguments were good
Posted by DakotaKrafick 5 years ago
DakotaKrafick
Oh, okay, cool. That makes me feel slightly better lol Maybe we can debate the topic another time.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
This was never an open challenge.
Posted by DakotaKrafick 5 years ago
DakotaKrafick
I regret not taking this. Next time an abortion debate is up, I'm taking it.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
kohaiOMGJustinBieberTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Countering Massvotebomber
Vote Placed by MassDebator255 5 years ago
MassDebator255
kohaiOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: justin bieber is gay
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
quarterexchange
kohaiOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: fofeit
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
kohaiOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Kohai is RIP, win by default to Bieber.
Vote Placed by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
kohaiOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits