Debate Rounds (4)
No civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different.
Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and accomplishes the same result. And with 1.5 million American families wanting to adopt a child, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.
An abortion can result in medical complications later in life; the risk of ectopic pregnancies doubles, and the chance of a miscarriage and pelvic inflammatory disease also increases.
In the instance of rape and incest, proper medical care can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant. Abortion punishes the unborn child who committed no crime; instead, it is the perpetrator who should be punished.
Abortion should not be used as another form of contraception.
For women who demand complete control of their body, control should include preventing the risk of unwanted pregnancy through the responsible use of contraception or, if that is not possible, through abstinence.
Many Americans who pay taxes are opposed to abortion, therefore it's morally wrong to use tax dollars to fund abortion.
Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterwards.
Abortion frequently causes intense psychological pain and stress. Source http://womensissues.about.com...
My opponent begins by saying that since life begins at conception, abortion is akin to murder. Of course, the government does not recognize it as murder when we take the lives of plants, animals, viruses, and other living things. The government also does not recognize humans in a vegetative state of consciousness as having the right to life. Not all homicide is unlawful, such as euthanasia . As such, the proper way to define murder is the taking of a PERSON'S life. The word person is not necessarily limited to human beings, and it does not apply to all living human beings. I will discuss this later on in the debate.
For now, I'd like to address Con's supposition that abortion neglects the sanctity of human life, and that "no civilized society" permits one human to intentionally take the life of another human without punishment. First, legalized abortion does not deny the sanctity of human life. Instead, it upholds it by acknowledging that included in our right to life is freedom to govern our own person. As such, if a woman wishes to terminate a pregnancy that requires her person (body) to both house and carry a child to term as well as birth it, she should have the right to decide what happens to and with her own body. To suggest otherwise is to deny our right to freedom which is quintessential to the right to life. Further, many "civilized" nations including Canada, South Africa, Guyana, Russia, China, and every country in Europe minus Ireland as well as others all have the option of legalized abortion .
I dispute the idea that adoption "accomplishes the same result." That is false. Adoption requires a woman to carry her pregnancy to term and give birth. This can have detrimental effects on a woman's life, health and sanity as well as other negative repercussions (eg. financial).
While it's true that abortions can be problematic to one's health, that is a rare occurrence. Only 2% of abortions are said to have major negative health effects . Compare that to the statistic that 40% of ALL pregnant women experience health problems, and 15% of women endure complications that are considered life threatening . It is more dangerous and harmful to a woman to be pregnant and have a baby than it is to have an abortion.
My opponent is wrong in asserting that in the instance of rape and incest, proper medical care can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant. The word "ensure" is misleading and inaccurate. According to WebMD, the fastest sperm can get to a fallopian tube is about 30 minutes, meaning that the quickest conception could occur following sex is in the half-hour range . This means that following sex, the egg could be fertilized before you've gotten up to get a drink of water . You cannot always prevent pregnancy in the case of rape or incest. Birth control is also not always 100% effective.
Choosing safe sex or abstinence is indeed a choice a woman has over her own body. Abortion is another optional choice.
I do not necessarily advocate tax payers paying for people's abortions and my opponent cannot force me to defend that position. However, this argument is moot anyway because tax payers are forced to pay for all kinds of things they do not support or agree with. For example, I am vehemently against war; however, my tax dollars still support the expansion of our military (which I am against), war, and other programs or bills I am against. Such is the nature of taxes.
Con says that many young people choose abortion as a way to suggest that those making the decision are too young and immature to know what they're doing. The reality is that women in their 20s make up the largest demographic seeking abortion (58%) and the second largest group of women are in their 30s (22%). That means that 80% of those seeking abortions are well beyond the legal age of consent . If they are old enough to vote, consume alcohol, etc. then they are old enough to make decisions about their own bodies.
While it's true that some women have regrets, people have regrets about all kinds of life decisions and yet we do not inhibit their right to make choices based on the potential of regret. We don't restrict the right to marry despite the fact that the majority of people wind up regretting who they initially chose and became legally bound to as a life partner. Some people also regret not getting an abortion. This is an irrelevant contention.
In Defense of Choice
First, it is not always morally wrong to kill an innocent human being. Human life actually begins prior to conception, because each sperm and egg cell is a living thing. It is more relevant to discuss when sentience, or self-awareness, begins. Not every living human being possesses or is able to possess sentience, such as humans in vegetative states of consciousness, those who are brain dead, or anencephalic fetuses. Furthermore, the law has also recognized the practice of legalized "mercy killing" or other forms of euthanasia where people are sometimes killed due to persistent, terminal (often painful) health problems or other risks. While clearly these examples are not exactly analogous to abortion, it does dismantle the idea that killing an innocent human being is always wrong.
Like the individuals mentioned above, zygotes and fetuses do not have desires. In most cases (before a certain level of sentience), they also do not experience pain. They are not self-aware. To grant them the right to life based on the nature of their species alone is unwarranted. I submit that in the instance of a non-human species entering or evolving into existence, that possessed a certain level of consciousness (eg. an alien), they too should be considered a person despite not being a human.
The difference between a human and a person is as follows: a person is conscious, has the capacity to reason, is self-motivated, is able to communicate, and understands the premise of self-concepts . At any time it is possible that a human has but loses any of these abilities - eg. while they are asleep. However such an observation/objection would be trivial and arbitrary. To suggest that a fetus will one day have these abilities is irrelevant. We do not grant rights on the basis of what one will have but what one has. For example, it is not legal for a 20 year old to drink alcohol because some day they will be 21.
The moral case for permissible abortion rests on the notion that a) a fetus is not a person and/or does NOT possess the right to life based on logical distinctions, and b) that the rights of the mother trump the rights of the fetus both for the aforementioned and practical reasons. Further, criminalizing abortion increases the chance of "back alley" abortions which can be severely harmful to both the mother and fetus, as well as creates a new and unwarranted class of criminals. That brings me to my next point...
The legal case for abortion is pretty simple. There are not enough parents willing to adopt children, meaning "unwanted" babies will be placed in orphanages at the expense of tax payers. This nullifies my opponent's argument that tax payers should not have to bear certain costs for things they do not agree with. Our government quite literally cannot afford this expense, and the mental and emotional toll on these orphans can be irreparably harmful. Meanwhile, a fetus has no understanding of their own existence and therefore won't miss it and should not have a right to it.
AnonymousUser14 forfeited this round.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dylancatlow 4 years ago
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