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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/20/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 336 times Debate No: 100094
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Abortion is a very personal and important topic that is constantly discussed on a personal and political level. The primary issue seems to be whether a fetus is considered a human or not, and if it's morally wrong or right for the life of the fetus to be ended. I think we often miss important psychological, social and, philosophical factors when determining if a fetus is a human or not. I would argue that a fetus does not have the societal impact, the level of consciousness, or the experiences to be considered a human. If we use the biological and the issues I brought up in conjunction with each other, I believe it helps this debate on abortion towards the pro-choice side.


Argument 1: The fetus is a distinctive, living human being

It is a pretty well-established fact that human zygotes are living. Zygotes are by definition eukaryotic cells [1]. Eukaryotic cells are considered living, therefore with some simple logic:

P1: All eukaryotic cells are living

P2: All zygotes are eukaryotic cells

C: All zygotes are living

There is also no dispute within the scientific community of biologists and embryologists that the human zygote is a human being. Below is an exert from an embryology textbook:

“The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”

This is more than an expert’s opinion. This displays the fact that the idea that the human zygote is a human being is universally accepted within the scientific community, enough so that it is published in a textbook and taught to incoming college students as standard [2]. Even pro-abortion advocates like the New Scientist concede that a human zygote is a human being:

“The task force finds that the new recombinant DNA technologies indisputably prove that the unborn child is a whole human being from the moment of fertilization, that all abortions terminate the life of a human being, and that the unborn child is a separate human patient under the care of modern medicine.” [3]

We also know that the each zygote is a distinctive human being because their DNA is distinctive from either parent.

Argument 2: Human rights

This argument is mainly for the purpose of establishing human rights. There are many clauses within US international law which supports the idea that there is a right to life. To begin with, stated within the United States Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” [5]

To be clear, the Declaration of Independence does have legal authority as it is included within the first volume of the United States Code, the collection of all United States laws, within the organic laws. [6]

A more clear example is within the US Constitution with the 14th Amendment which states:

“nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” [7]

The United States is also part of a larger coalition of countries known as the United Nations therefore abides or at least should abide by protecting human rights as they define it. The relevant articles here are articles II, III, and VI:

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.

Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. [8]

Sub-argument 1: Human rights as stated above apply to unborn babies

As stated in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, there is no distinction between human being and a “person” as within article VI, everyone has the right to be recognized as a person before law. The United States as a part of the UN is bound to these rights. There is also evidence that the United States Federal Government doesn’t make distinction. Under Common Law, recognized “persons” only include individual human beings and combinations of them acting in concert [9]. In addition, if you also look at the United States murder laws, the idea of “personhood” is irrelevant. Under USFG law, murder is defined as:

“Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.” [10]

Since a human zygote is a human being, abortion would fall under the USFG’s definition of murder and by logic make abortion illegal. The killing is unlawful in the sense that it violates the rights of the unborn to life as stated in the “supreme law of the land” and international law.

Argument 3: Conflict of Rights

Whenever rights are limited, the most common and justifiable reason is when the observation of one right infringes on more important rights of others. This idea is consistent with many political philosophies including utilitarianism, libertarianism, and egalitarianism. The most common justification for legalizing abortion by pro-choicers and used by the US Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade is that women have the right to privacy with their own body. [11]

However as established before, the unborn baby is due for protection under the law including the right to life. There are several reasons as to why the right to life is more important than the right to privacy. The right to life is the precedent to the exercise of all other rights. You can’t exercise freedom of speech or freedom of religion if you are dead and that’s the fact. In addition, what makes the right to life different from other rights is the fact that the right to life cannot be reinstated if wrongfully taken away. Privacy can be restored, meanwhile death cannot be reversed.

Even if the right to privacy and bodily autonomy overrides the right to life somehow, in most cases it cannot be used in most cases of abortion. The main issue with the right to bodily autonomy in abortion is that most females waive their right to bodily autonomy by consenting to sex. With many of the sacred rights in the United States, if you consent to giving up your rights the Constitution cannot protect you. If you give a police officer without a permit permission to enter your house and he/she finds incriminating evidence to be used at your trial, the 4th Amendment cannot be used to help you. If you sign a nondisclosure agreement giving consent to not say certain things, the 1st Amendment cannot protect you from potential punishments if you break the agreement. With abortion, a woman cannot claim the right to bodily autonomy since she most likely consented to sex. In addition, most if not all females are fully aware that with pregnancy is a possible natural consequence, therefore would consent to this possibility by having sex. By consenting to sex while making the decision to not utilize birth control, a woman is consenting to the possibility that she may face the natural consequence of creating a new human being.

Even in cases of rape, you have the unborn child’s right to life and bodily autonomy against the woman’s right to bodily autonomy. If abortion were to happen, two rights would be violated versus only one right if abortion was banned.


Human zygotes are living, distinctive human beings under the authority of the United States and the United Nations. As human beings under such entities, they are entitled to inalienable rights such as the right to life. Since human zygotes are human beings, abortion fits under the USFG law definition of murder and should be banned. Furthermore, the unborn child’s right to life and bodily autonomy outweighs the woman’s singular right to bodily autonomy. Even in most cases of pregnancies, the woman cannot claim the right to bodily autonomy as she has willingly given up that right when she consented to sex.



[2] Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3

[3] 189(2543):8–9, 18 March 2006 --- New Scientist








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