The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Abortions should be free, safe and available all through the US

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 392 times Debate No: 86897
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)




All throughout the US women struggle to find a clinic for a safe and free abortion.

I believe that those women who wish to have an abortion, within reasonable time, should be able to have an abortion. Reasonable time meaning within the legal limit, since I believe that late term abortion is indeed wrong. However, an abortion within the first, let us say 12 weeks, is not unreasonable.

I do understand some people have religious views that are against abortion, but their views should not affect an entire population of women. Women should have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies, under any circumstances.

Therefor I believe abortions should be more available than they currently are and that women should not be shamed into not having an abortion.


Good morning, and thank you for coming to this morning's debate. I take it my opponent's previous post was meant to be his/her opening statement since he/she stated his/her position and gave reasons in support of it.

Until I discover the identity of Pro, I'm going to say "he" from here on out just to avoid annoying you with "he/she" and so on.

For Pro to carry his burden of proof, he must show three things:

1. Abortions should be free all through the US.
2. Abortions should be safe all through the US.
3. Abortions should be available all through the US.

One thing I will concede from the get go is that wherever abortions are available, those same abortions ought to be safe. But I do not concede that they ought to be available everywhere. When I say they ought to be safe, I mean they ought to be safe for the mother. Obviously, no abortion is safe for the unborn since they are the ones being aborted.

Pro appears to make only one argument in his opening. He argues that abortion is morally permissible within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and his supporting premise is that "Women should have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies, under any circumstances."

Notice, though, that even if this reasoning is sound, it doesn't not support any of the three original contentions above. Consider the first contention. How does it follow that because a person has a moral right to do something, that it therefore ought to be free for them to do it? I have the right to go see a movie, but it doesn't follow that it ought to be free.

Moreover, it's not really practical for abortion to be free. The equipment, doctors, lights, and electricity, all cost money. Somebody has to pay for it. These things don't just fall out of the sky.

Now, consider the second contention. It doesn't follow that because you have a moral right to do something, that it therefore ought to be safe. There are lots of jobs that aren't particularly safe. Being a police officer isn't particularly safe. Neither is being a Marine or a Navy Seal. Being an oil field worker isn't all that safe either. So it doesn't follow that because one has a moral right to do something, that it therefore ought to be safe for them to do it.

Now, consider the third contention. It has hard to see why if something is morally permissible, that a person who wants to engage in it ought to have the facilities provided for them wherever they go. Who owes anybody an abortion? Does the government owe anybody an abortion? Do citizens owe anybody an abortion? Of course not! If abortions OUGHT to be available everywhere, that means somebody has an obligation to provide them everywhere. But who has that obligation? I submit that nobody does. Abortion clinics are private for-profit businesses. Nobody is obligated to open such a business. So there is no sense in which such businesses OUGHT to be open everywhere.

So we can see that even if Pro's arguments for the morality of abortion is sound, that is not enough for Pro to establish the resolution for this debate since it doesn't support any of the three contentions implied by the resolution.

Now, let's look at whether Pro's argument is even sound to begin with. Recall that Pro's premise is that "Women should have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies, under any circumstances." Presumably, the argument would go something like this:

1. Women should have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies, under any circumstances.
2. Abortion is something women do with their own bodies.
3. Therefore, women should have the right to have an abortion, under any circumstances.

The problem with Pro's conclusion is that it contradicts what Pro had said earlier. Earlier, Pro had said that he believes only early abortions ought to be permissible since late term abortions are "indeed wrong." So there is a circumstance under which Pro would be in favor of prohibiting abortion, and that contradicts Pro's "under an circumstances" clause. It also contradicts Pro's reasoning. Pro thinks abortion is something a woman does with her own body, and that women have a right to do whatever they want with their own body. But how does that equation change from week to week while they are prengant? If abortion is something a woman does with her own body at 11 weeks, then it's just as much something a woman does with her body after 13 weeks, and vice versa.

We can see now that Pro's case is self-contradictory. He affirms what he denies. Pro's own statements about abortion restrictions refute his argument since if his argument were sound, it would follow that abortion is permissible through all stages of pregnancy.

Now, let me say why I do not think abortion should be free, safe, and available all through the US.

Reason #1: It's impossible for abortion to be free and safe at the same time. Safety entails competent and qualified abortion providers with good functioning sterile equipment, and that costs money. Somebody has to pay for these things.

Reason #2: Abortion is morally wrong for the same reason homicide is wrong. It's wrong because it takes the life of an innocent human being without proper justification. Taking the life of the unborn is wrong for the same reason taking the life of a teenager is wrong. They are both members of the human family. The unborn are not mere appendages or organs in the female body. They are not part of the woman's body in the same way their stomach, liver, or heart are part of their body. The unborn are distinct organisms from the moment of conception. Granted, they are dependent on the woman's body in the earliest stages of their development, but they are not for that reason PART of the woman's body. All of us have gone through various stages of development since our conception, but none of these stages make us more or less human. We are human beings through all stages of development from zygote to senior citizen. If it is wrong to deprive us of life at one stage of development, then it's wrong to deprive us of life at any other stage of development because we are the same organism regardless of our stage of development. Abortion is not something a woman does solely to her own body; it is something she does to the body of another organism--her own young. For this reason, abortion should not be made available all through the US.

And that concludes my opening statement. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


Good day.
Whenever a number is put into the text in brackets () it is a sources, which will be linked to in the bottom of this. Just so that you all know, I am a she.

Firstly, the issue of paying for the abortions. The government should provide abortion clinics, so that they would be more available than it is currently, to the health and good for the women in this country.

Those women, who are either denied or unable to have an abortion, because they do not have the money or that an abortion clinic is not available, will go to either more dangerous procedures or will go through with the pregnancy. Both have serious ramifications. If they go to some back alley procedure or self-abort that woman"s life is in possible danger. If they chose to have the child, studies show (1) that those children have a worse life than others do.

Secondly, the Con goes to stating, "Who owes anybody an abortion?" I would argue that the government should provide the service. Since I believe that, a woman has a right to get a free and safe abortion. It should be so that a woman should be able to get a free abortion.

In addition, most women who have an unplanned pregnancy are from lower income house holdings, meaning they cannot afford one and some may not even be able to travel to a clinic. (2)

The Con goes to question the statement of "under any circumstances." Which does not mean within all times or stages of pregnancy, but rather under which circumstances the abortion is being done. Circumstances meaning the reason behind the abortion. An abortion should be available, not matter how the woman got pregnant. Some people argue that abortion should only be available in cases such as rape, incest, life-threatening illness to the child or any other "acceptable reason". I however will argue that no matter the reason, a woman should be able to decide what to do; she does not owe anyone an explanation. Since the majority of abortions are not rape, incest and those listed, but rather financial and responsibility issues (3)

Also some would then say that "they can just give the baby up for adoption!" But that can be worse for a woman's mental health than abortion. While women say, within a few years, feels relived and do not regret their abortion (9), the opposite is true for adoption. Here many women feels the "loss" many years after. (8)

Now consider the time of the abortion. The trimester and week of which the abortion is preformed is crucial to how you view the abortion. For example within the first few weeks, a fetus is very long from viability, while in week 20 or so the fetus is only a few weeks away from being viable. Lastly, the procedure for abortion changes dramatically for which trimester the fetus is in (4). If it is extremely late abortion the fetus could be only days from viability. Mostly this however not the case 61% of abortions are within the first 9 weeks. (3 again)

Now to the matter of "a part of woman"s body". Of cause, a fetus is not a part in the same sense as an organ. However, it is indeed a woman"s body that has to carry and care for this fetus and sometimes even risk their lives for this fetus. They should have a say in whether their bodies will go through 9 months of pregnancy: nausea, weight gain, possible depression and many other side effects (listed in the sources (5, 6) Therefore I see it as a part of a woman"s body in that sense. Some would also argue that the abortion its self will cause mental problems, but that can easily be dismissed by clear evidence. (7) While I do recognize some negative feelings, most women cope with it within resent time.

Now, the matter of when a life is a life. I believe that life begins at birth that before a fetus is able to survive outside the mother"s womb that it is not a life. Now let me be clear, I completely understand the possibility of a life. That no matter the stage that fetus could become a person.
Nevertheless, in my views I see that life begins at birth. I recognize other people view that life begins at conception, but their views should not effect an entire population of women, who are in desperate need of an abortion.

Women have the right to decide what they want their bodies to go through. No matter the reason/circumstance, they became pregnant. Even if some people in the US are against it, which is a valid opinion that I recognize, it should not affect the availability of abortion clinics.

This is all why the US should have a clinic available with it being safe and free.

1 "
2 "
3 -
4 "
5 "
7 "

The reason they are not in order in the text, is because some were found later on.


There are more inconsistencies in Pro's new statement. Pro claims, toward the end of her post, that life begins at birth. Yet Pro claimed in the first round that an abortion after 12 weeks is morally wrong. These two positions are inconsistent with each other because there is no basis for saying an abortion is wrong if it doesn't take a life. If abortion takes a life, then it's wrong; if it doesn't take a life, then it's not wrong. So if life begins at birth, and not before, then no abortion is wrong regardless of how late it is. But if abortion IS wrong, at any stage of pregnancy, then it must be the case that life begins prior to birth. It is hard to know how to respond to an opponent when there are inconsistencies like this in their position.

I want to begin, though, but discussing this issue of when life begins because I believe the moral question of abortion hinges on this question. Before we can address the question of whether it's okay to destroy something, we must first address the question of what it is we're thinking of destroying. If it's a mosquito, okay. If it's a girl scout, not okay.

Pro claims that life begins at birth but gives us no argument in support of that view. In the previous round, I did give an argument for an individual human life beginning at conception. That argument was based on the premise that the unborn, from the moment of conception, are distinct human organisms that are not parts of their mothers. From conception, a human being goes through various stages of development, but remains the same organism throughout these changes, from zygote to adulthood.

But let me go on to add that from conception, the organism has it's own unique DNA which it continues to have into adulthood. It has human parents, and is therefore human. It is undoubtedly alive since it has all the necessary and sufficient conditions for being a living organism--it grows, reproduces, metabolizes, and reacts to stimuli. There really is no question but that it is a distinct living human organism.

Pro concedes that the unborn are not part of the woman's body in the sense of being an organ. She thinks, however, that it is part of a woman's body in the sense of being located inside of her and being dependent on her body for survival. But being located inside of her and being dependent on her is not the same thing as being part of her body. If we take the unborn to actually be part of a woman's body rather than being a distinct organism, that would lead us to the paradoxical conclusion that some women have penises, multiple brains, and as many as eight legs in the case of triplets (two legs on the outside and six legs on the inside). That is absurd. It is plainly obvious that the unborn are distinct organisms. They have their own body parts, their own DNA, their own gender, and their own future.

(Pro wrote one paragraph dealing with viability, but since Pro believes life begins at birth, not viability, it's unclear what work this paragraph is supposed to do in Pro's case. Pro doesn't tell us what difference viability makes to the question of whether abortion is moral or ought to be safe, free, and available everywhere. This paragraph seems to serve no purpose at all.)

That means abortion is morally wrong at any stage of pregnancy. Abortion takes the life of a distinct innocent human being without proper justification. Since abortion is morally wrong and deprives a human being of life, it should not be free safe and available all through the US. If anything, it should be prohibited. Before Pro's argument for the availability of free and safe abortions can even get off the ground, she must first demonstrate that there's nothing morally wrong with it. So far she hasn't done that. She has merely asserted, without argument, that life begins at birth.

Pro did address the subject of free and safe abortions. Perhaps some of her comments there were meant to imply that abortions are morally permissible. Let's look at some of the things she said.

First, she said abortions should be available for the health and good of women. Well, it may be for the good and health of a woman to free herself from the burden of motherhood by tossing her baby to the bears, but that doesn't make it morally permissible. It depends on whether we're talking about a real human being. We don't kill people for our own good and health.

Second, she said women for whom free and safe abortions are not available will resort to more dangerous methods. That may be true, but how is it relevant? A person who can't afford a car might resort to steeling one, but that doesn't mean the government owes everybody a car. The fact that people resort to dangerous pursuits when they don't get what they want doesn't obligate the government to give them whatever it is they want. People are responsible for their own decisions.

Third, she seems to imply that abortion might be morally permissible on the basis that some people can't afford to have kids. That is an odd sort of justification. We wouldn't allow people to kill their three-year-old for that reason because we all agree the three-year-old is a living human being. Well, if the unborn are also living human beings, then poverty does not justify killing them either.

Fourth, Pro says that abortions lead to less mental health problems than giving a baby up for adoption. Again, this is no justification if we are talking about the life of an innocent human being.

Fifth, Pro points out that a woman who chooses not to have an abortion is subject to all the symptoms of being pregnant, including nausea, weight gain, and depression. Again, that is no justification for taking the life of an innocent human being.

So we can see that the question boils down to whether the unborn are distinct living human organisms or not. If they are, then none of the reasons Pro gave for allowing them suffice as moral justifications for abortion. However, if the unborn are NOT distinct living human organisms, then none of these supposed justifications are even necessary. If Pro could show that the unborn are not distinct living human beings, then I would concede that there's nothing morally wrong with abortion.

But even if we grant that abortion is morally permissible for the above reasons, for some other reason, or for no reason at all, that still doesn't justify the claim that abortions ought to be free, safe, and available throughout the US.

It turns out that when Pro says she think abortions should be free, what she really means is that the government should pay for them. But the government gets its money from taxes which are paid by people--including the people who get abortions. So there is no sense in which abortions could be free. If the government pays for them, then everybody who pays taxes is paying for them.

Pro thinks the government should pay for abortions because "a woman has a right to get a free and safe abortion" and "Women have the right to decide what they want their bodies to go through." From whence comes this right? Even if women had the moral right to an abortion, it wouldn't follow that they were ENTITLED to an abortion and that somebody else owed it to them. I have the right to own a car, but it doesn't follow that the government should provide one to me. Nobody owes me a car, and nobody owes anybody else an abortion.

Except in the rare case where a mother's life were at risk or even when there is a significant risk to her health, abortions are elective procedures. A person with a big ugly nose might've suffered life long ridicule and emotional turmoil because of it, but that doesn't mean the government owes them a free and safe nose job. Maybe they were even turned down for jobs because of their big ugly nose, leaving them in poverty, but that doesn't obligate tax payers to pay for their nose job.

I'm almost out of characters, so I'll leave it at that.
Debate Round No. 2


Just to be clear. A person, such as myself, can have conflicted opinions. The reason I see LATE TERM abortion as wrong, is that the fetus is so close to being born, close to actually be a life that I therefore see it as wrong. I do not see a problem with having an abortion at even 14 weeks, but an abortion a few days before a fetus is viable? No, then at least from my point of view, the fetus is too close to being a life. Therefore, it can seem inconsistent.

(Hardly any abortions are so late, linked statistics in my previous argument.)

Now whether a life begins at conception or birth. I believe that it begins at birth, but the question is not an exact science. I can and will link to articles, papers and such to support my theory and belief that life begins at birth. However, so can the Con. I do not believe that this is something you can medically justify, since there is so much proof on both sides, I believe that it is the matter of personal opinion, not factual. Whether you believe conception or birth, you can medically and theoretically defend both. Here are some evidence to defend that life begins at birth and one for the (1, 2, 3, 4)

This should definitely justify my opinion on the subject, which morally defends abortions.

Con goes to comparing it with getting a car, which is not comparable. Getting a car and having an abortion? Definitely not on the same level in discussion, since abortion is a matter of health and morals, while cars are more a luxury and not a life changing fact.

He also does not link to anything to support his theories, but we will have to take his word for everything. If you are trying to justify, anything really, one should show proof to their statements.

Now I believe I have justified most of my previous arguments by adding to the fact that a life begins a birth. Therefore, it is not an innocent life an abortion is taken. My previous arguments are not to justify “killing an innocent life”, because it is not an innocent life, as I previous stated, I believe that life begins at birth.

The Con goes to talk about the paying method and taxes. The fact of the matter is that taxes will probably be paying it. However, taxes also pays for other things I do not want to pay for. If I had to choose there would be things I do not want to pay for, the same goes for abortions. I believe we should help those in the community who cannot afford an abortion themselves, because I see it as a right and an important part a good health system for the women.

Now I do not believe there is much more to say.







We come now to the conclusion. Pro may not be aware of this since she is new to the site, but new arguments are typically not allowed or considered in the last round. The reason is because it creates an unfair advantage for the person who goes last. If I brought up new arguments in this last round, Pro will not have an opportunity to respond to them. So I won't be adding any new arguments to this round--only defending arguments already made. And we should not consider the new arguments that Pro made in her last round.

Pro has essentially conceded the debate. It was Pro's burden in this debate to demonstrate that abortions should be free, safe, and available all through the US. Whether they should or not is contingent on when life begins, which Pro appears to agree with. But Pro flat out admits that she cannot demonstrate that life begins at birth rather than at some earlier time. She says it is a mere matter of opinion, and that no facts can prove it. That is as much as to admit that Pro cannot carry her burden of proof.

I, on the other hand, gave arguments for why an individual human life begins at conception. Pro points out that I didn't provide any sources to substantiate my argument. But none of the premises of my argument were controversial. The fact that the unborn have a unique DNA distinct from their parents is uncontroversial and common knowledge. The fact that the unborn are human is uncontroversial. The fact that the unborn are living organisms is uncontroversial. None of my premises required sources because none of them were controversial. And, in fact, Pro did not dispute any of my premises. Nor did Pro offer any refutation of my argument.

Pro appears not to understand my car analogy. The analogy was not to compare buying a car to having an abortion. Obviously, those are different things. Rather, the analogy was meant to address the question of whether the government ought to provide somebody with a product or service just because if the person doesn't get it for free, they might try to get it in some dangerous way. The car analogy shows that just because a person might resort to dangerous activity if they don't get what they want, it doesn't follow that the government ought to provide it for them.

Pro concedes the debate once again toward the end of her conclusion when she admits that if the government provides for abortion, those abortions will have to be paid for by taxes. It was her burden to demonstrate that abortions ought to be free, but if they are paid for by taxes, then they are not free. She goes on to say that taxes also pay for other things she may not like. But that is irrelevant to the question of whether abortion ought to be free. My argument has been that abortion CANNOT be free; therefore, it is not the case that it OUGHT to be free.

That's one of my arguments, anyway. The other argument, of course, is that it ought not be free because it ought not be allowed, and it ought not be allowed because it's immoral.

It does not appear that Pro has carried her burden of proof. She stated as a mere matter of her personal opinion that life begins at conception and gave no argument in favor of it. She admitted that she could not prove it and that it was merely her opinion. I gave an argument showing that life begins at conception using uncontroversial premises. Con did not deny any of my premises, nor dispute the reasoning I used to get from the premises to my conclusion that life begins at conception. This leaves Pro's case undefended.

In the last round, I refuted all five of Pro's reasons for thinking abortion should be free, safe, and available all through the US. Pro only attempted to address one of my refutations--the one with the car analogy. But her response suffered from irrelevance, which I explained.

With all of Pro's arguments refuted, and with Pro's premises unsubstantiated, I think it is safe that Pro has failed to carry her burden of proof in this debate.

Thank you once more for coming to this morning's debate, and thanks to Pro for engaging with me on this subject and sticking it out until the end.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Kilk1 6 months ago
@philochristos I'm sorry if this is intruding, as this comment is unrelated to the debate, but Wylted hasn't been online, so I'm looking for a new adviser for the final round, Round 5, of the debate:

Would you be able to fill in the vacancy for Round 5?

@Everyone To make this comment related to the debate, I disagree with the proposition. Abortions should be costly (the price of murder) and unavailable throughout the U.S.
Posted by U.n 8 months ago
"We don't like to kill our unborn, we need them to grow up and fight our wars."

- Marilyn Manson.
Posted by Daniel_Nemes 8 months ago
One of your points contains a factual fallacy. A developing fetus is, in fact, not the mother's "body". If anything, it's half of the mother's and half of the father's.
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