The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
21 Points


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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/25/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 419 times Debate No: 75760
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)




First Round is the acceptance and then from there fire away with arguments.


I accept.

Just to clarify, I will argue that abortion is morally wrong and/or should be illegal (I would argue it amounts to the same thing) in all cases except when it is necessarily done in order to prevent the mother from dying or being seriously injured.
Debate Round No. 1


Abortion should be leaglized because the illegalization would infringe upon the women's right to her body. The fetus does occupy space inside the mother and that is an infringement of her right to her body. The fact that the fetus invades upon the mother's body makes gives the mother the decision to accept the pregnancy or to abort the baby.


I agree with Pro to the extent that women have a right to control their body, but this debate is whether this right supersedes the right to life, which is infringed by abortion.

My argument has the following logical form:

P1: Abortion kills a human foetus
P2: A human foetus is a human being
P3: It is wrong to kill a human being
C: Abortion is wrong

This is logically valid - the only way that the conclusion can be negated is if any of the premises are refuted. I will now defend them:


This premise is uncontroversial, considering abortion is defined as:

'a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus' (1)


A human foetus is an organism of the species homo sapiens, and hence it is a human being.

An organism is defined as 'an individual living thing' (2). A human foetus is an individual because it has its own unique genetic makeup and is a distinct biological entity, and it is a living thing because it functions on negative entropy (3) - meaning that it takes in 'free energy' from the outside and converts it into a more ordered form (via growth). A foetus does this because it evidently grows.

The US Senate report on Senate Bill 158 summarised this:

'Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.' (4)

Therefore, a human foetus is a human being.


First we must consider why killing is wrong. Is it intrinsically wrong? No, because we can think of cases where it is justified. Is it because of consciousness? No, because it is still wrong to kill unconscious people. Is it because it causes pain? No, because it is still wrong to kill people painlessly.

The reason killing is wrong is because it denies them a future life. This is demonstrated by how mourners often say things like 'he had his whole life ahead of him'.

The denial of a future life is wrong because, according to utilitarianism, it is wrong to inflict pain and/or deny pleasure and it is right to prevent pain and allow pleasure. Killing is wrong because it prevents someone from experiencing pleasure/happiness in the future.


The conclusion logically follows, that abortion is wrong.


Pro argues that abortion should be legal because otherwise it 'would infringe upon the women's right to her body.'

What does this mean? A right to own her body? Pregnancy doesn't infringe this, she still owns her body during pregnancy.

Or does it mean the right to control her body? In which case there is a conflict in rights:

- The foetus's right to life
- The woman's right to control her body

So which right is more important? Life or bodily autonomy? It is evident that life is a more important right than bodily autonomy, as otherwise we would have the right to use our body to kill other people (which is absurd). Zechariah Chafee summarised the conflict between bodily autonomy and the right to life:

'Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins' (5)

In other words, we have a right to bodily autonomy, but only up to the point at which it does not harm others. Abortion, whilst being an exercise in bodily autonomy, is not a right because it harms the foetus (by killing it).

Finally, Pro states that the 'foetus invades upon the mother's body'. Yet this implies that the foetus willingly and consciously decided to occupy the mother's body whereas, in reality, the foetus has no say in it and was placed inside the mother by an external being.

(4) Kaczor, Christopher 'The Edge of Life: Human Dignity and Contemporary Bioethics' p48
Debate Round No. 2


Debate_King1475 forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited and hence my arguments stand.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Rosenley 1 year ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit by Pro, and Con had good arguments.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited one round and failed to present a supported argument, instead making bare assertions. Con demonstrated that a human fetus is a human being, thus standard morality and the right against killing must be extended towards it. Con used basic biology to demonstrate that a fetus is generally considered a sentient life form, and to kill a human being is infringing on the human's right to life, thus killing that human being is wrong. Pro's case was based on bodily autonomy, which Con soundly refuted by showing the right to life is greater than the right to autonomy. Pro's forfeit hindered their ability to refute Con's case or present counter-rebuttals to defend their own. Thus, I award the victory to Con. And, as always, I'm happy to clarify this RFD.
Vote Placed by Lexus 1 year ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Con successfully brings forth an argument that shows that the right to life of a fetus is more important than the right of a mother to her own body. Con refutes pro successfully, while pro leaves con's arguments dropped because of a forfeit. Con wins.