The Instigator
Boo92
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MrJosh
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points

Abortion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
MrJosh
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 953 times Debate No: 35453
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)

 

Boo92

Con

I dont believe abortion should be legal unless two situations exist, rape or the mothers life is in danger. Abortion shouldnt be an option for young women (or older women) who dont wish to be burdened with carrying and delivering a child. Especially with the numerous forms of birth control for little or no cost.
MrJosh

Pro

I accept this debate and await CON's argument for why abortions should not be legal (other than the two noted exceptions).
Debate Round No. 1
Boo92

Con

According to mayoclinic.com a babies heart starts beating 4 weeks after conception therfore it is to be considered a living human being, making an abortion after four weeks murder, and murder is illegal, yes? Why should a fetus with a heartbeat be any different? A woman has many ways to protect against pregnancy (under normal circumstances) failure to protect against unwanted pregnancy is NOT reason enough to warrent killing a human being.
MrJosh

Pro

First of all, since CON has not specified, I presume that we are talking about abortions that are currently legal, and that CON is making arguments as to why they should not be so.

Secondly, I would like to point out that as murder is defined as an illegal killing [1][2], any attempt to simply define an abortion as murder fails on its face because the abortions we are talking about are already legal, and therefore, not murder. However, I don’t think this is really what CON meant, and I am not going to try to argue that semantic point.

CON wrote, “a babies heart starts beating 4 weeks after conception therfore it is to be considered a living human being…”

CON is arguing that before its heart begins to beat, a fetus is not a human being. If we accept this definition; we are throwing out any argument about a fetus being genetically human or about being a potential human. I can deal with that. However, if we ignore genetics and potentiality, and grant human status to anything with a heartbeat, then we have to grant human status to all vertebrates, as all vertebrates have hearts [3]. This is an absurd suggestion.

I would now like to address a little confusion I have with one of the two exceptions CON suggested to her anti-abortion stance: rape. If CON considers a 4 week old fetus to be a “living human being,” and furthermore that terminating that life is tantamount to murder, why can there be a rape exception? A rape is a terrible thing; why add murder on top of it? Perhaps this is something CON can clear up in the final round.

Since CON has decided that genetics and potentiality do not give a creature human status, and I have shown why it is absurd to offer such a status on the basis of a heartbeat, there has been no case made as to why a fetus should be granted such a status. Therefore, the case CON has made for the changing of our current laws regarding abortion falls flat.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Boo92

Con

Lets begin with Pro's argument about currently legal abortion, as abortion is not legal in my state. There is currently much debate about whether or not to legalize it, the purpose of my debate is to show why not to legalize it. It also goes to show why Pro's 'illegal killing' argument is invalid and does not pertain to all states, including mine. Moving on. Since most home pregnancy tests detect pregnancy as early as a week after a missed period, 5 weeks after implantation, the fetus is then considered viable. (babymed.com) Current abortion laws in 13 different states do not allow abortion after 24 weeks because "a presumption of viability" exists. (wikipedia) If a 24 weeks fetus is considered viable, why not a 4-5 week fetus? The insinuation that all vertebrates be given human status because they all have heartbeats is absurd. But if that's the way you look at it, grant them human status then it would be illegal to kill and eat them as it would be considered cannibalism. As for pregnancy stemming from rape, the decision to abort would be completely left up to the mother. You said why add murder to a terrible thing like rape? Why should a woman be forced to carry a child that is a product of a hate crime? What about the daily reminder of the terrible crime commited against her? Rape victims want to move forward with their lives not be reminded of the incident everyday when they look down at their growing bellies. Why cause more pain and suffering by forcing her to carry it ? As you offered no argument on my statements about the abundance of birth control available to women today, I can only assume that you understand and agree with that fact. Furthermore, I would like to reiterate the point I made in my last statement, and say that these numerous forms of birth control are available at little or no cost to a woman and most certainly should be utilized if pregnancy is not desired. Too often young women are engaging in sexual intercourse unprotected without thought to the consequences. Knowing, in some cases, that if they happen to get pregnant, it can just be 'taken care of'. No more should this be a viable option for irresponsible women. You made your bed lie in it. I'm willing to bet if abortion were no longer an option, birth control would be better utilized, and teen pregnancy would drop.
MrJosh

Pro

First of all, I would like to say that it is unfortunate that CON waited until the final round to drop details such as the position from which she was debating. I may have chosen to respond differently, but now I cannot because CON would not have any opportunity to rebut my arguments, so I will, once again, do the best I can with what I have.

As I’m sure CON recalls, my “illegal killing” argument was a line of argument I said I was not going to take; I mentioned it only to clarify a point.

Next, CON went on some sort of tangent about viability, which she never actually tied down to an argument. She claims that a fetus can be viable five weeks after implantation. I am confused by this claim because it is dead wrong. Fetal viability, or the point at which a fetus is able to survive outside the mother’s body [1], is usually put between 24 and 28 weeks [1][2]. Perhaps CON is confusing pregnancy viability with fetal viability.

I think CON missed my whole point about giving human status to all vertebrates. Of course it is absurd; that was my point. However, if CON is going to assign personhood based on a heartbeat, that is the logical conclusion.

Regarding rape, CON is a walking contradiction. She talks about how we shouldn’t murder babies by aborting them, but it is suddenly OK when the object is to avoid further trauma to the mother. Its either murder or it is not; you can’t have it both ways.

I didn’t discuss CON's comments about birth control because they are irrelevant. The claim that women use abortion as their primary form of birth control is a myth. Often times their preferred method of contraception failed [3][4].

CON’s last point is an unsupported claim that “if abortion were no longer an option, birth control would be better utilized, and teen pregnancy would drop.” A source here would be helpful; because I’m pretty sure reality reflects the opposite. I wasn’t able to find figures specifically on teen pregnancy, but in areas of the world where abortion has been criminalized, the abortion rate has not dropped [4][5].

CON has tried to argue that abortion is wrong if the fetus has a heartbeat; I showed why this line of reasoning doesn’t pan out. She then went on to a discussion about viability, however her argument wasn’t properly formed, and I wasn’t able to determine exactly what she was saying. Con’s rape exception shows that her position is rocky at best, and finally her unsupported claim that criminalizing abortion would reduce teen pregnancy seems to be at odds with the available data. Overall, CON has failed to show why abortion should not be legal.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.babymed.com...
[3] http://www.prochoice.org...
[4] http://www.womenscenter.com...
[5] “Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008,” The Lancet, Volume 379, Issue 9816, Pages 625 - 632, 18 February 2012

Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by GEIxBattleRifle 3 years ago
GEIxBattleRifle
There exists a completely different mechanism by which a mother"s body might kill an unborn human, "fetal resorption". This phenomenon is fairly common in kangaroos; when the environment is poor in food, a pregnant kangaroo will literally suck out the life "and body" of its womb-inhabitant, until nothing remains. Other mammals can accomplish fetal resorption as well, including humans (rarely).

The existence of fetal resorption means one thing that drives at the heart of a significant number of anti-abortion arguments: It is perfectly natural for the unborn to be killed if conditions aren"t adequate for supporting it. And growing humans happen to need more support "especially after birth" than any other species, by a wide margin. Who is best situated to determine whether or not a particular unborn human can be adequately supported? Certainly not the average abortion opponent!

Then there is the fact that a pregnancy is perfectly natural mindless biology in action. Do humans claim subservience to natural mindless biology, or do they claim superiority over natural mindless biology? If subservient, then why are medical procedures from immunizations to heart-bypass surgery tolerated? If subservient, then, whenever you happen to walk near a swamp, and a mosquito flies out to suck your blood, you have no right to swat it!

But if we humans claim superiority over natural mindless biology, then why should any woman be required or even be expected to carry a pregnancy to term? It is pure hypocrisy (and K-strategy prejudice) to think one should be able to take a pill or have an operation, to deal with some unwanted natural-mindless-biological aspect of the body, like cancer " while also thinking that an unwanted/involuntary pregnancy is somehow different than natural/mindless/biological, and requires subservience even if unwanted.
Posted by daniel_t 3 years ago
daniel_t
Disciple, Although I agree that abortion should be legal, I don't agree with your comment that it should be solely up to the woman to decide. I haven't debated on this site in a while and I think it might be hard to argue my case in this format, but I'm willing to give it a go.

What do you say?
Posted by watevas808 3 years ago
watevas808
Oh imagine the chaos when they start creating genetically engineered babies.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
Con made no coherent argument (and I'm quite curious in what state she lives that it's actually illegal. to my knowledge, there is no such state, though there are many where it is virtually so).

This is Con's first debate, and I welcome her to the site. I hope she takes this debate as a learning experience.

For her reference, unsupported assertions do not a case make, particularly when they are coupled with clearly false assertions (the illegality, the viability). The entire argument from Con seemed an emotional vent (it has a heartbeat, therefore it's murder). While satisfying, such arguments are dramatically flawed, as Pro handily demonstrated. Pro needs to understand her topic before attempting to argue her point; the viability point she tried to make demosntrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the topic.

I urge Con to do her next debate on a simpler topic, although I understand that often it's harder to get excited and vehement about the simpler topics. At the least, I recomment Con give herself the opportunity to fully make her case with a longer debate.

Arguments to Pro. Sourcing to Pro as well, for fully citing and having sources which were directly relevant to contentions.

Conduct seemed equal enough. I'm tempted to award S&G to Pro. Syntax is important, as is appropriate punctuation use. Formatting is also important. However, this IS Con's first debate, so it seems unfair to be too harsh.
Posted by Disciple 3 years ago
Disciple
I agree with Pro on this debate. Just because a fetus has a heartbeat should by no means classify it as human, unless all vertebrae are to be classified as such.

Furthermore, the woman has the right to decide what she does with her body- it is discriminatory against women for abortion to be illegal (and this is coming from a male). Yes, birth control is widely available now, but it doesn't work, and, as I said, it is ultimately the woman's right to choose what she does with her body.
Posted by yoyopizza 3 years ago
yoyopizza
Yes, I have been thinking a lot on this, and it seems to me that abortion should be legal. I grew up thinking contrary, but then again, I grew up christian :). Anyways, i'm not atheist, and leaning pro-choice. Never thought I would say that! I mean, if you consider the unborn baby to be human, is then sperm human? Or the egg inside a woman? Because in that case, it would be impossible not to commit repeated genocide, as even if you didn't ejaculate purposely, eventually you would have a "wet dream", and they would die anyways.
Posted by daniel_t 3 years ago
daniel_t
Con needs to understand what is meant by "viability" and why a 24 week old fetus is viable while a 4 week old fetus is not. She might also want to consider that all her rhetorical questions about allowing abortion from rape can be applied to any unwanted pregnancy.

yoyopizza, it's not an easy topic. We have to draw the line somewhere, but the transition from non-human to human is very very fuzzy. At one time, in some cultures, it was considered amoral for a man to even ejaculate outside of a woman's vagina. Our views are different now.

It seems to me that once con allows abortion (which is apparently being defined as the killing of an innocent human,) in the case of rape, any argument against abortion because the fetus is an "innocent human" is rendered moot.
Posted by yoyopizza 3 years ago
yoyopizza
I'm currently developing my views on the topic, I'll be watching this one...
Posted by LYSSMYSTIC 3 years ago
LYSSMYSTIC
I agree with Con's argument. Unborn children are still human beings and deserve to live. The couple should have thought about their choices before they acted instead of using abortion like a "get out of jail free card".
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
Boo92MrJoshTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Passionate opinions are not arguments. 1+1=2 is an argument, with a conclusion that is required by it's premises. The only CON argument that I was able to discern before the final round was that abortion after 4 weeks was an act of homicide because a fetal heartbeat exists. Unfortunately, the presence of a heartbeat is not a sufficient component for a ruling of "murder," as PRO pointed out.
Vote Placed by ModusTollens 3 years ago
ModusTollens
Boo92MrJoshTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to understand Pro's arguments, and in some cases, as in the discussion of what a heartbeat means, ended up arguing against a restating of his/her own point.
Vote Placed by daniel_t 3 years ago
daniel_t
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Reasons for voting decision: Debating is a skill, and for some subjects, arguing one side is significantly harder than the other. Although Pro lost this debate, I hope she continues to practice. As a suggestion, start with a more focused topic. Rather than taking on abortion in general, find a specific piece of legislation or subset of the issue.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
Boo92MrJoshTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.