The Instigator
lliwill
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Frodobaggins
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Allowing Abortion in every U.S. State

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Frodobaggins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,074 times Debate No: 10746
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)

 

lliwill

Pro

Thank you for accepting my challenge.

First off, I believe that every woman has the right to make her own decision regarding to her own body and potential offspring. I would hope to believe that every woman believes the same thing.

I'm going to start off scientifically with the clear fact that an embryo is not a human being. Based on what we know right now as a scientific community, Fetuses cannot think, have emotions, make their own decisions, etc. Now many anti-abortion groups have cleverly generated a mass term from "Human" to create the sense that a Fetus is a human, to instill a sense of sympathy upon others. Their large argument there is that human beings all have human DNA, so due to the fact that Fetuses do have human DNA, they can clearly state that fetuses are human. Well, no. If we were to base being human off of that, then a flake of my skin could be considered human, my hair, my nails, etc. They may contain human characteristics, but they can't be considered Human Beings.

Picture yourself in an unlucky teenager's situation. You are 15 years old. You and your boyfriend have had sex for the first time. All is going well until you've missed your period. Suddenly, it feels as though a ball has dropped in your stomach. You hurriedly call your boyfriend and you both go to a convenient store for a pregnancy test. Later, no surprises there, the test clearly states that you are pregnant.

You have about three options at this point. 1: Keep the baby. 2: Have the baby, then put it up for adoption. 3: Get an abortion.

Now here's the twist. The third option isn't available to you. You live in a state where abortions are illegal. Well then the next easiest option would be to put the baby up for adoption.

You are now a few months into your pregnancy, and you go to get your first Ultrasound. The doctor is saying everything is normal, but he suddenly stops. He tells you that your baby's head is at an odd proportion to the body, indicating Downs Syndrome.

On your way home from the Ultrasound, the full reality of your situation hits you. You will most likely have to drop out of High School, so essentially ending your chances for a diploma and completely obliterating your chance for a college education. You are having to give up your life for a child. Just imagine that.

I will save the rest of my argument for future rounds.

Sources: http://mypage.direct.ca...

http://media.www.spectatornews.com...
Frodobaggins

Con

===> I N T R O D U C T I O N <===

Thanks for making this debate on the classic topic of abortion.

===> P R O B L E M S -- W I T H -- R E S O L U T I O N <===

To start off my opponent's entire resolution is vague and does not clearly address the question at which my opponent is hinting at.

90% of his opening argument is emotional pandering to the audience.

The only real contention he makes is that a fetus is not a human. There is no logical, nor philosophical backing to the statement. Thus for this round and for the sake of clarity on this broad subject I will ask questions which will hopefully refine this debate onto what my opponent is presenting in his argument.

Suggested Resolution: I affirm that a fetus (at x months and x days if applicable) is not a human and thus should not have the right to life.
Suggested definitions: My opponent must present his case for what determines humanity.

----> Argument from Logic and Reasoning and Questions to answer to help the debate function more smoothly <----
Is it logic and reasoning as he hinted in his opening round when he stated: "Fetuses cannot think, have emotions, make their own decisions" This is the argument that humanity is derived from thought or reason.

-->Questions
Does the fetus gain the ability to think at any time at all during development? If not does the fetus then gain cognition directly at birth? At a later time period? Does the ability to reason dictate humanity? Does the ability to have emotion dictate humanity? etc.

----> Argument from Survival <----
You believe that a fetus is human, but that it doesn't deserve the rights as a human because it cannot survive independently of a party that does not want it. In essence this belief is that a mother's right to control her body tramples another humans right to life. Or, as an alternative, you believe that a fetus is not human but that it's humanity is dictated by its ability to survive independently of the mother.

-->Questions
If the child can survive through the use machines outside the mothers womb does the mother have the right to an abortion? Why should one human's minor rights trample another human's crucial right to life?

----> Argument from Symbolism <----
This is the belief that the symbolism of birth constitutes humanity. That one becomes human and gains rights through the act of birth.

----> Argument from Body Parts <----
Crucial organ x determines humanity. This is the argument that a crucial organ's development (such as the heart, brain, etc.) determines humanity.

My opponent can choose any other argument make any other argument up, these are just a few of the more common arguments used in a "fetus is not a human" debate.

----> Additional Argument <----

In addition to whichever argument my opponent uses, I would also like him/her to present a case on why living(key word) potential human life should be given no inherent right to life.

===> C O N C L U S I O N <===

In conclusion I feel that my opponent has not presented a case that can as yet be debated. 90% of the opening argument was emotional pandering to the audience meant to gain sympathy and not any logical contentions. I need my opponent to expand upon the issues I have with his vague resolution so that this debate can be a good debate where there is a clear winner/loser and not simply members of this site voting one side or the other based upon their pre-set opinions. Therefore I need a clear resolution with clear contentions. I appreciate my opponent's cooperation in making this debate the best debate it can be and I thank him for bringing up this topic.
Debate Round No. 1
lliwill

Pro

For my second round, i'll pick a new argument, but before I do so, I would like to point out that my opponent did not state any sources.

My opponent earlier asked me to present my case on what constitutes humanity, and I will address that now.

Humanity: the quality or condition of being human; human nature.[1]

I will start with my beliefs, then move onto my scientific backing.

I believe that many things can constitute humanity, such as the ability to make decisions for one's own self, having emotions, having a thought process, etc. Essentially, what makes up our personality, thus making us human, not necessarily making us alive. Life and Humanity may go one-in-the-same, but life does not require humanity.

As far as we know currently, fetuses do not have emotions, or feel pain.[2] They consciously register what is happening around them, and when a woman has an abortion, the fetus does not feel pain or experience trauma.

Based on the definition of "humanity" and scientific evidence, fetuses aren't humans, they are merely beings that can become potential humans.

Here's a rhetorical question: Is life really life without thought? Without the ability to make decisions, feel emotion, etc. People may argue that it is or isn't, but my belief is that "true life" doesn't exist without the ability to feel life, let alone know you're living life. We may consider a plant living, but have most ever really stopped to consider if it can feel pain, and come away from the experience believing so? Many don't. If we were able to truly experience what is happening inside the womb, I believe the reaction would be similar.

[1]http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2]http://www.jstor.org...
Frodobaggins

Con

===> I N T R O D U C T I O N <===

"I would like to point out that my opponent did not state any sources."
The debate is philosophical in nature. My opening argument stated nothing that needed citing.

Furthermore I would like to note that my opponent's definition of humanity does not in any way define humanity nor does it explain his position on it related to this debate.

===> D E F I N I T I O N S -- A N D -- P R O B L E M S <===

For clarity I pose the following definition:
Fetus - an unborn human

My opponent has entered 3 very broad terms for his criterion but has not defined them nor given a guideline for determining what they are and are not.

Therefore I ask my opponent to define "emotion" "pain" and "reasoning" and to prevent a very clear guideline for determining pain, emotion and reasoning in any human being.

===> C R I T E R I O N -- F O R -- H U M A N I T Y <==

My opponent has made the argument that the ability to make decisions for oneself, have emotions, and feel pain are the prime criterion for humanity. However my opponent has been exceptionally vague on how to weight these 3 criterion. Is one greater than the others? Does one of the criterion constitute humanity? two of the criterion? All three? Are they all weighted equally? All are pertinent questions.

As the person who created the resolution and being pro, my opponent has the burden of proof and must prove that a fetus does not have the ability to reason, cannot feel pain, or has no emotion.

===> A R G U M E N T -- A G A I N S T -- P R E M I S E -- O F -- C R I T E R I O N <==

My opponent is attempting to make the case that the ability to decide things for yourself, feel pain, and have emotions constitute humanity. These are all separate criterion which haven't been thoroughly explained. However, as the debate has been changed to "Fetus's are not human" and human is the equation of these criterion, then is my opponent suggesting that all three of these qualities occur at the moment of birth? If so what scientific support does my opponent have to support this rationale? In order to win this debate my opponent must prove that the ability to reason, feel pain, and have emotions, occur at the moment of birth.

If this is not so and the criterion occurs after birth then my opponent must admit that newborns are not human and do not deserve life and should legally and philosophically be allowed to be killed by anyone without anything but destruction of property as a violation.

If this criterion occurs before birth then my opponent must concede this debate as a fetus is then at some point a human.

===> A R G U M E N T -- A G A I N S T -- C R I T E R I O N -- O F -- P A I N <===

My opponent's source that he uses to prove his contention is a 1995 report that confirms all the necessary body parts to feel pain at 26 weeks, however it argues that since fetuses observe nothing in the womb they don't have any concious memories and thus can't consciously experience pain. This argument cites information from source that is 25 years old and makes its argument from a popular fallacy. The argument from ignorance. The argument is that because there is no proof of conscious observation that it doesn't exist thus pain doesn't exist.

"The 2009 study found that by 30 weeks of age, a fetus could "remember" a sound for 10 minutes. By the 34th week a fetus may be able to "remember" the sound for four weeks. "
SOURCE: http://abcnews.go.com...

As by my opponent's own source which says that fetus's have all the parts necessary for experiencing pain and from my source which shows a long-term and short term conscious memory we can easily conclude that by the 30th week the fetus can experience pain.

Contention negated.

===> A R G U M E N T -- A G A I N S T -- C R I T E R I O N -- O F -- E M O T I O N <===

"Medical research has proven that the uterine environment is not just subject to physical trauma but to emotional trauma as well. How can this be? Well when you really think about it makes a great deal of sense. Our emotions, whether happy, sad, or stressful have effects on our body, releasing hormones from time to time. These hormones are transmitted from the mother to the fetus via of the placenta. So when a mother feels excited her unborn child feels the effects of being excited, and when she feels blue her unborn child feels those effects also"

SOURCE: http://www.suite101.com...

As is clear emotions are passed onto the fetus. Thus fetus's experience emotions.

Furthermore there is clear evidence that a fetus cries in the womb.

Source: http://dsc.discovery.com...

===> A R G U M E N T -- A G A I N S T -- C R I T E R I O N -- O F -- R E A S O N I N G <===

While I do not understand the extent of reasoning that is required to prove the criterion my opponent has presented me, I can say that a fetus being able to recognize his/her mother's voice is clear evidence of cognition.

"New research findings on the ability of a fetus to recognize its mother's voice and even distinguish it from other female voices confirms what scientists have speculated about for more than 20 years - that experiences in the womb help shape newborn preferences and behaviour.

Dr. Barbara Kisilevsky, a Queen's University professor of nursing along with a team of psychologists at Queen's and obstetricians in Hangzhou, China, found that fetuses are capable of learning in the womb and can remember and recognize their mother's voice before they are even born.

Their research findings are published in the current issue of the international journal Psychological Science."

SOURCE: http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com...

===> C O N C L U S I O N <===

My opponent's definition hardly defines humanity, fails to prove that all three criterion he constitutes as proof of humanity occurs exactly at the time of birth, and has given no proof or solid logical reasoning that support his affirmation. I have clearly refuted all three criterion through my own arguments despite being given no logical evidence to refute from my opponent.

As it thus stands my opponent's affirmation that a fetus is not a human has been refuted. I wish my opponent the best of luck in the following round.
Debate Round No. 2
lliwill

Pro

lliwill forfeited this round.
Frodobaggins

Con

Unfortunate. Extend my position.
Debate Round No. 3
lliwill

Pro

lliwill forfeited this round.
Frodobaggins

Con

Extend my position. I hate it when this happens.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by chsTG 7 years ago
chsTG
@ciphermind

The difference between the fetus/baby and you/president is that you have the CHANCE at becoming president it is POSSIBLE however a 'fetus' can ONLY be a child. It is a baby in the womb, I don't see how the few inches of relocation change it's status of rights. Furthermore even if it is only a potential child it is 100% potential.
This also defeats the sperm vs conception argument (sorry to the Catholics) but a sperm has a minute CHANCE at being alife... a fetus A) already is but even if it weren't it B) has a 100% probability of being ahuman... it's not going to morph and possibly be a cat or something.
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
Everything to Con.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Default to Con due to multiple forfeits.
Posted by Frodobaggins 7 years ago
Frodobaggins
@ciphermind
Are you saying that a fetus 10 mins before birth is completely different from a fetus 10 mins afterward?
Posted by ciphermind 7 years ago
ciphermind
Calling a fetus a baby is equating a potential with an actual.

For example, I as an intelligent 15 year old, born and naturalized in the United States, I have the potential to become the president. However killing me is not killing the president.

Abortion is not as clear cut, but works under the same principle.
Posted by LeafRod 7 years ago
LeafRod
Koopin, your "point" is, well... nothing. Sit back and watch, and maybe you'll learn something.
Posted by lliwill 7 years ago
lliwill
About the debate:

Rape Cases do apply
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
Did you know that there are some people who are in a coma who can't make their own decisions!
Maybe we should murder them to, its the logical thing to do...right?
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
I would just like to clarify two things before I decide whether or not to accept:
1. Is this only social abortions?
2. Do rape cases apply?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Vaibanez 7 years ago
Vaibanez
lliwillFrodobagginsTied
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Vote Placed by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
lliwillFrodobagginsTied
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
lliwillFrodobagginsTied
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Vote Placed by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
lliwillFrodobagginsTied
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